Friday, October 28, 2011

Plateau

It was bound to happen sooner or later, so here we are. I weighed today.  Total pounds lost: zero. This is the first time this has happened in the 17 months I have been doing this.

Two weeks have gone by, I haven't lost anything.

Nothing gained either, but nothing lost. How could this be?

I don't know. I have no explanation.  I have done nothing differently.  Maybe a little less weight lifting this week, but just as much, if not more exercise.

I've been through my food diary, it's all about the same as usual. There's always room for improvement, but nothing out of line.

So I've decided it's one of a few things:

1.) I really did lose weight, but since I was up late last night watching baseball, my dinner did not properly digest. (HAHAHAHAHA, I know...that's reaching.)

2.) I lost fat, but gained muscle, which weighs more.

3.) The weight-loss Gods are giving me the finger and there is no logical explanation.

I'm going with #3. Either way, I intend to keep doing what I am doing and am not concerned in the least.

Onward and upward!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why fast food sucks: an illustration

Here's an excellent example of how much more you can eat if you're eating anything remotely decent.

Here is my lunch for today, a total of 610 calories. We have a tuna sandwich with light mayonnaise, an apple, an orange and 2 Dannon Light and Fit yogurts.
























Now, here we have one single fast food menu item, the "McSkillet Burrito with Sausage" from McDonald's, also 610 calories. What is going to fill you up more?


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Check out my CNN iReport

After several people urged me to, I finally posted my story on CNN's iReport.

My only goal in doing things like this is not self-promotion, rather it is so people can see that a regular person with a lot of weight to lose really can do it.  If just one person sees my story and becomes inspired to change, then it will have all been worth it.

Click image to view my CNN iReport

Friday, October 21, 2011

Learning from Failure

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."  -Winston Churchill


To those that have know me for a long time, you may remember I once lost all of this weight back in 1997 and 1998.

And then I gained all of it back, plus more. It was complete and total epic failure on an absolutely cosmic scale.  It was humiliating and painful.

That failure haunted me for over a decade.  But when I was going through the weight loss, I felt indestructible.  I felt like I had cracked the code and was cured forever.  I was wrong.

So, when it all came crashing down, I panicked.  Instead of just calmly trying something else and giving myself a break, I overreacted.  It took me less than a year to gain back what I worked so hard for almost 2 years to lose.  I have never been more humbled in my life.

When I set out to lose this weight again, I decided to learn as much as I could from my failure 12 years ago.  Why didn't what I did work? Looking back now, I can see all the dumb things I was doing that were unsustainable:

1.) I was starving myself. Losing weight became the focus, rather than focusing on maintaining a healthy weight.  I got addicted to the number on the scale.  With that in mind, I only weigh on the scale every 2 weeks.  Not 1 day sooner.

2.)  The foods I were eating were a drastic departure from a normal diet.  I became a vegetarian and for a time, a vegan.  Those are healthy diets and good choices for some people, but unsustainable for me.  This time I have tried to eat only the way that I think I can maintain forever.

3.) I never cut myself a break.  When I gained back 5 or 10 pounds, I should've just relaxed and slowly gotten back on the horse.  Back then, if i didn't go to the gym 10 times a week, I felt like a failure.  I had completely lost my mind and it's no wonder I burned out.  So these days I try and take the long view.  If I miss a workout, I just go the next day and move on. 

It really is true when people say "slow and steady wins the race."  Sometimes I lose 2 pounds every 2 weeks.  Sometimes 8.  I'm not trying to win an award, just get and stay healthy.

The important thing is never giving up.

Media inquiries and Speaking Requests

Contact Bryan Ganey: bganey@gmail.com

Bryan Ganey has been featured on Dr. Drew on Headline News, CNN.com, MSN.com, AOL.com, The Huffington Post, Fitbie, Sirius/XM satellite radio, ABC News 4 and Live 5 News in Charleston, SC as well as The Charleston Post and Courier. A YouTube video about Bryan's journey has been viewed almost 100,000 times.

Bryan is now on a crusade to educate the public about the lies of the weight loss industry and the empty promises of weight loss surgery.


Some basic facts:

1.) From 6/20/2010 to the present, Bryan has been able to lose 370 pounds through a healthy lifestyle change of diet and exercise.

2.) Bryan has not had any sort of weight-loss surgery. Bryan has seen a nutritionist and has a personal trainer through his employer.  He also walks a lot and eats a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, lean meats and a lot of water. 

3.) Bryan does not take any weight-loss drugs and is not a member of any organized program.  Bryan does not follow any published diet, other than just common sense. 

4.) All of this started when Bryan was hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism for 6 days.  He has since overcome this condition as well as high blood pressure and being pre-diabetic. Bryan no longer takes any prescription drug medication. 

Need an entertaining, dynamic speaker on the subject of weight loss who has lived it himself?  Book Bryan Ganey for your next gathering or corporate event!  E-mail here for more information.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Priorities

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose."   -Steve Jobs, 2005


I've never been one to have clear-cut priorities in my life.  I've always just done whatever I wanted to do, in whatever order I wanted to do it, whenever I felt like it.  I've always envied people who had that single, driving passion from day 1 and followed it forever.  That's just never been me.

I've also frequently put things (and people) ahead of myself.  But like the Steve Jobs quote at the top of this posting says, nothing changes your perspective and priorities like realizing you are about to die.  It does something to you.  People used to tell me that, but I never understood what they were talking about until it happened to me.

16 months ago, on my way to the hospital, I was convinced I was having a heart attack and I was convinced I was about to die.  For hours after that in the emergency room, I was still sure I was having heart problems and death was imminent.  A cardiologist once told me they don't do open heart surgery on people over 500 pounds.  So I was sure the grim reaper was knocking on the door and the game was over.

When I discovered I was going to live, but only with major changes in my life, it all became very clear.  Like no other time in my first 37 years on this Earth, it all became crystal clear.  I remember hearing myself say it over and over in my head laying in the hospital bed for 6 days straight:

"Nothing matters anymore except my health.  Nothing."

And in one fell swoop, everything went out the window.  All that mattered was my health.  Doing what the doctors told me, following a regimen and setting up everything to support a healthy lifestyle was job #1.  Anything that got in the way had to go.  I am motivated by the will to live, no other reason.

That is my #1 priority.  What's yours?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Telling it like it is

When I was in the hospital last year, most of the doctors and the nurses talked to me like you would expect them to: with complete compassion.  The week I spent there was filled with people dancing around my biggest issue: that I weighed over 500 pounds and was eating myself to death.

I once had an emergency room physician dare to tell me I may have "a conditioning issue."

But one doctor, actually I think she's a Registered Nurse, Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practitioner, told me like it is.  Her name is Cynthia MacDonald and she worked for the critical care lung doctor that was taking care of me. 

I was sleeping during the day in my hospital room, she came in, ripped open the curtains and asked me what I was doing.  She told me I was too young to be in the hospital. She asked me a question that still reverberates in my head to this day:

"Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in the health care system?" 

I had never been spoken to like that in my entire adult life, but it was just what I needed.  She was like a drill sergeant:

"Do you eat breakfast? All heavy people I know don't eat breakfast!"

"What do you drink? Do you drink water? Diet soda doesn't do anything for you!"

"Frozen dinners are loaded with salt! That's why your blood pressure is so high!"

"Stop sleeping the day away and go to bed at night!"

Rather than being upset at being confronted, I loved it.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  She was right.  

More people should tell it like it is. 

Enough already

At first it's funny, but now it's just sad.  If I had a nickel for every time somebody asked me "what the secret was," I would have enough to pay off the national debt.

I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but when it comes to sustained weight loss, there is no secret. It's long, it's hard, it's a lot of work. Sometimes I don't want to do the exercise. I don't want to eat breakfast every day. I'm not even hungry in the morning.  But I make myself eat, so I don't get hungry later on.

People, it's hard. So let's forget about these popular theories:

1.) "I will lose weight when I find something that works."  Sorry, the only thing that makes you lose weight is taking in less energy than you put out. It's an earth-shattering concept that works every time it is applied.

2.) Stop with the gimmicks, or at least stop telling me about them.  There is no pill, plan, diet, machine, DVD, gym you can join then never go to, or any of it that is going to lose weight for you.

3.) Please stop telling me you "don't eat that much." I told myself that for decades and it never did any good.

4.) You can't eat "anything in moderation" because anything is not moderation. Come on.

5.) And for crying out loud, please don't tell me how difficult it all is while at the same time stuffing your face with the contents of a Hardees bag. (You know who you are...I still love you, but c'mon.)

No one has the answer for you, only you do.  No one else is going to fix your life. It has to come from within.

So from now on, when people ask me my secret, I'm going to tell them I did it all with the Shake Weight.

Oh, and one more thing: the weight-loss patch only works if you put it over your mouth.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Race for the Cure




I had a great time today at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure here in the Charleston, SC area.  It was a 5K and it was for a good cause.

This is my third race this year.  It's easy for me to forget day-to-day that I have lost the weight that I've lost. But something like this drives home the success.

I would have never been able to even walk from the parking lot to the starting line 18 months ago. It just wasn't possible. And that's why I do them.  Because I can.

So today is October 15, 2011. Yesterday I weighed in at 325.5. I have at least 100 pounds left to lose. The more weight I get off my knees, the more I can run.

Onward and Upward!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What exactly is a "lifestyle change?"

You've probably heard the following saying many times in your life: "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change."

What comes to mind is the idea that not only are you changing what you eat and how much, but you're also exercising.

But as I've discovered over the last 16 months, it's much, much more than that.  You don't get to be 577 pounds without having several serious problems going on around you. But when it comes to changing that lifestyle, here are just a few things I changed that aren't necessarily just diet and exercise.


1.) Your friends. That's right, your friends.  In much the same way that a recovering alcoholic gets rid of their drinking buddies, a food addict has to ditch their "eating buddies."  If all you do with somebody is go out to eat, then that relationship is destructive.  If the people you hang out with have become a bad influence, time for them to go.

2.) Grocery Shopping. If the junk food isn't in your house, you can't eat it. If you swing open your refrigerator and look inside it, what is available? Is it full of crap? If it is, time to throw it all away and fill it with healthy food.  Or the absolute worst, is there nothing in it at all?  Time to start grocery shopping...stat.  As far as eating out in restaurants goes, this is out of control.  It used to be dining out was reserved for special occasions. Now it's turned into 3 and 5 times a week.  I believe in order to change your lifestyle, a large percentage of your food has to come from the grocery store.

3.) Your schedule. This may just be unique to me, but I'll include it anyway.  Part of my cycle of self-destruction included working a night schedule.  I would get off work, then stay up all night watching TV and binging on junk food. By the time I fell asleep at 4 or 5 in the morning, I was stuffed with thousands of calories.  For me, it took switching to an early morning shift to help jump-start my healthy lifestyle change.  It is true what Benjamin Franklin said: "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."  Except for the wealthy part, all of that has come true for me.

4.) Television. I almost never watch TV anymore. In fact, I've thought of giving it away. What's on TV, anyway?  Non-stop food commercials. I used to watch the Food Network all the time.  But I have discovered that I can't anymore.  Everything they show is one gigantic eating trigger. I used to think I had to watch certain TV shows...that there is no way I could live without the TV.  Turns out I don't need it at all. 


Those are just a few.  So the next time you hear the term "lifestyle change" thrown around, perhaps it will bring to mind more than just diet or exercise.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Photos and a video from the 2011 American Heart Association Lowcountry Heart Walk

Yours truly (right,) on stage in Marion Square in downtown Charleston, SC accepting my Lifestyle Change Award. September 17, 2011.























Below is a picture of all of the Lifestyle Change Award winners, taken from the Lowcountry Heart Walk video.




Here's an awesome video produced by the American Heart Association about the 2011 Lowcountry Heart Walk.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Bryan Ganey Power Breakfast

I get the question all the time about what I eat, well here goes. What you see here:

2 Morningstar sausage patties - 160 calories
4 servings of Egg Beaters with fire roasted peppers and onions (from a frozen bag) - 190 calories
1 serving of steel cut oats, the kind you buy frozen and melt in the microwave - 150 calories
1 banana - 135 calories

Total: 635 calories