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Name: John M. Brown
Before Weight: 370 pounds
How I Gained It: For as long as I can remember I have been overweight. As a child I never thought I was inactive. I played baseball, rode bikes. I was always outside with my friends. It was my diet that led me to be overweight. I would consume pizza, fast food, chips, cookies and everything else under the sun. It really got out of control when I got my license. I had a job and a car, so I could buy anything I wanted to eat. It was like this through high school and college, and continued after I got a job on a tugboat, which can be a very sedentary lifestyle. There is not much walking around on a 100-foot boat. With access to all of the boat’s food, I was eating a lot with not much exercise. I work on the boat for three weeks, and then I am home for three weeks. I spent my time at home sleeping, eating and drinking. That was all I did.
Breaking Point: I had always thought about losing weight but never gave it a fair try. I thought about it every day. The hardest part for me was trying to find clothes. I would have to order them online or go to big and tall stores. There are only so many styles at those stores, and I definitely didn't like many of them. On January 1, 2012, I decided I needed to change, not just to be able to buy nicer clothes, but for my health. The U.S. Coast Guard has been cracking down on BMIs in the industry. I had my annual physical coming up in March 2012. I figured if I jumped into a healthier lifestyle I would have three months to shed some weight.
How I Lost It: My close friend Ryan suggested I read a book by the name of Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson about the paleo lifestyle. I figured I could eat meat and veggies and be happy with it. After diving headfirst into the book, I adopted a paleo way of eating. I found it to be very easy, and read every paleo book I could get my hands on. By my March physical, I had lost 40 pounds with little effort. In fact, my doctor and nurse were shocked when I walked in. I decided to hold off on exercise while I focused on my diet. By September, I was down 100 pounds! I started to exercise after that.
The first two weeks were the hardest, when I didn't know what exercises to do or what machines to use. I started to watch all of the trainers and how they used the equipment and started reading every magazine and website I could find for workout tips. After two weeks, I got a good routine down, one that I could use on the tugboat as well as at home.
The weight loss slowed down, but hey, muscle weighs more than fat, right?! I go to the gym every day and mix in cardio and weightlifting. I really enjoy it now. I never thought I would enjoy going to the gym. I schedule days off now because if I don't I will keep pushing myself and the body needs rest. Now, I live for working out and doing cardio. I never thought those words would come out of my mouth.
My biggest joy of losing the weight is helping other people. I love talking paleo and I have even started a blog to help my friends. I can't tell you how happy I am. It truly is a life-changing event. My new goal is to get to 220 pounds and go from there. My even bigger goal is to help people with losing weight.
After Weight: 240 pounds The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
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