Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Watch My New YouTube Video!

To make fun of the dumb ways people think they can lose weight, check out my "Easy Button For Weight Loss" YouTube Video.  Enjoy!


Monday, January 30, 2012

The Greatest Scam In The History of Man

There are many rip-offs and deceptions in our society, but there is none greater than that which is perpetrated on the American people by the weight loss industry.

No other crooked enterprise even comes close.  The guys running the Nigerian money transfer scam can only dream of ripping people off on such a grand scale.  Used car salesmen look like fine, upstanding members of society compared to the weight loss companies.  But here's why it works.  Here's why the con is so perfect.

People are so desperate for a quick fix, they're so desperate for the easy way out, they are willing to believe anything.  And my friends when I say anything, I do mean anything.

You see the commercials.  You see a famous football player on TV telling you how much weight he lost and how great he feels.  You see the ripped muscle guy on TV using some stupid machine you can buy for 4 payments of $99.99 and you think...hey, that could be me!  (Only it won't be you, ever.)

But here is the 100% truth: none of it works.  None of it was ever going to work, all of it is guaranteed to fail 100% of the time.  Oh, you'll lose weight. Lots of people lose weight.  There will be success stories.  That's how they get into the ads.

But think about it, be honest with yourself.  Are you really going to order frozen dinners off the television and eat them the rest of your life?  No.

Are you really going to shake a weight in your hand every day and achieve dreams of muscle-bound glory?  No.

Are you really going to only eat meat for the rest of your life, swearing off carbohydrates forever?  Nope.

If you can't do it for the rest of your life, it isn't worth doing.  Losing a whole bunch of weight that you can't keep off is an enormous waste of time.  I know, I was there once.  I lost 240 pounds 13 years ago using an extreme diet and exercise plan I could not keep up and guess what?  I gained it all back, plus 137 more pounds.  It was a traumatic failure.

And here is what is all the more amazing: a diet is the only product where people blame themselves when it doesn't work.  Imagine buying a television, taking it home and having it die after a week.  You wouldn't say "Oh, I must've done something wrong.  I wasn't doing it right."  No, you would put it back in the box, march it back to the store and demand a refund.  Only when it comes to the diets and the weight loss rip-offs, people don't do that.  Incredible.

So, to recap:

1.) All diets are doomed to fail as a means of long-term weight loss.

2.) There is no magic pill, machine or special food that is going to make you lose weight.

3.) There is no such thing as a "fat burner."  You are the only possible fat burner yourself, when you move your body and exercise.

4.) The best diet plan is one that you create and customize yourself, using common sense.

Don't be ripped off, my friends.  Keep your money and spend it at the grocery store.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Can't Tell You What To Eat

I get this question daily from friends, family, e-mails from readers of this blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.


"Tell me what to eat."

The only problem is, I can't.  I could write down and print out what I eat every day and give it to you, but how do I know if you like the foods I like?  I don't.

The "tell me what to eat" crowd operates from a faulty premise.  They want me to tell them what to eat because they believe in magic and think I have the secret.  I have the "Easy Button" and I am hiding it.  They mistakenly believe that my success up to this point has been easy.

It isn't easy.  It's the opposite of easy.  It's very, very hard.  But I'm doing it, so you can too.

But what I can do is give you a basic outline of what I believe everyone should be eating.  And not eating.

Looking at what I have been eating for the last 19 months, it falls into what I will call The 6 Food Groups:

1.) Fruits

2.) Vegetables

3.) Lean Meats

4.) Lowfat Dairy

5.) Whole Grains

6.) Water (spring water, flavored water, carbonated water, Crystal Light, etc. are just fine.)

When you think of it that way, you can look at a particular food item and see if it fits into one of those categories.  If it does, good.  If it doesn't, don't eat it. 


Here is a nice list of the garbage you should avoid:

-Fast food
-Restaurant food in general, which is of poor quality and usually very unhealthy
-Vending machine food
-Sodas, diet or not, it's all poison
-Overly processed food. Note: I said "overly" processed food. Everything is processed to some degree. 
-Junk food

Are you going to burst into flames and drop dead if you eat something from the "bad" list?  No. Can you stay on the wagon while still giving into temptation in moderation?  Maybe, but I can't.

So there you have it. I've told you what to eat. Sort of.

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Time To Start A Revolution

I have received hundreds of e-mails from all over the country in response to my story on CNN.com.

A lot of these e-mails are from people that saw a lot of themselves in my story and my YouTube video and they are desperate.  People are tired of being lied to and ripped off by the weight loss industry.  They're tired of the false promises and the quick fixes, the gimmicks and the games.

It's time for people to rise up and take their lives back.  It's time to stop being spoon-fed lies.  It's time for people to fight back.

Enough is enough.

I have told every last person that's e-mailed me with their story of suffering and hopelessness that they are not a victim, but that they need to stop falling for the scams and take action now.

All you need is common sense.  Nothing else. You know, I know and everybody else knows that weight is lost when the total amount of calories consumed are less than what is burned. Anything else is a lie.

The food that someone who is overweight needs to be eating needs to come from the grocery store.  You must take control of your life back from the restaurant industry and the vending machines and the soda companies.

Don't settle for being told the only option is to go see the butcher and have your stomach cut out to change your life.  It's a free country, you might choose to do that.  And if you already have, I commend you for taking action and you must follow your plan to be successful.  But to someone who is only 100 pounds overweight, put away the easy button and get moving.

Walk.  Shop.  Cook.  Eat.  Let's go!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcome CNN.com readers!

I just wanted to say hello to everyone from CNN.com who is checking out my blog. I appreciate it.  If you haven't already seen it, you can check out my weight loss story on CNN.com.

Feel free to check out my site, read and comment on the posts.  If you haven't already check out my YouTube video. 

I can be reached at bganey@gmail.com. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter.

I have opened a Cafe Press store that features some T-shirts of the Pants Flag logo and my "Angry Man" with a baseball bat pose!

Thanks again for checking out the site and have a happy and healthy day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's New Driver's License Day!

Today was new driver's license day. I have this ritual: every time I hit a new milestone, I go get a new driver's license with the new weight and a new picture. Well worth the $10 it cost me and hour of waiting. It's also nice to have the correct weight on my license, instead of the fantasy number I had on the old one.  298 pounds. I haven't weighed this little since 1999!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What To Eat and How To Get Started

I get this one single question more than any other: "What should I eat?"

Most of the time, people aren't asking because they are really interesting in eating better.  No, what they really want is for me to give them the secret answer.  The one special food they can eat that will do all the work for them and make them skinny. 

Sorry, but it doesn't exist.  It never did exist. Stop searching for the secret. Stop looking for the easy way out. You're wasting your time.  I know I sure wasted a lot of time myself. 

I will tell you this: I don't have the secret, but I do have the answer.  If you do what I say, follow through with it on a daily basis and never look back, you will not only lose weight but will be healthier than you ever have been. 

That said, I can't tell you what to eat.  Every person is different.  For instance, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables on Earth.  You couldn't pay me to eat it.  I hate it.  Again, every person is different. 

Now, let's create your daily eating plan.  

The first rule of your lifestyle change is to KEEP IT SIMPLE.  Stop trying to make things complicated.  Making things complicated is a defense mechanism for the status quo.  Subconsciously, your mind wants your eating plan to be complicated so when you stop following it, you will fail.  I know, because I did it.  Your body, together will your subconscious, wants you to stay overweight forever.  You will fight this every day.  I do. 

I eat 6 times a day. 3 meals, plus 3 snacks. Consistently. Daily.  With no exceptions, for the last 19 months. You can see the results of this at the top of this webpage. 

"But I can't eat that much!"  Shut up and listen.  You can eat that much and you will eat that much and here's why: you have to regulate your hunger.  You have to make sure that you do not go through the day building up your hunger to the point you find yourself in the McDonald's drive-thru at 2 in the morning.  That starve/binge cycle is what keeps people overweight.  It's a vicious cycle. 

Also, stop thinking hunger has anything to do with when you eat. 

I am never hungry. I have no idea what being hungry feels like. That ability was lost long ago.  But I do know when my body requires fuel.  6 times a day.  


The 6 Food Groups

What you eat and what you buy to eat will fall into 6 food groups.  This is my personal modification to the government's "4 food groups."  They are: Fruits, Vegetables, Lean Meats, Low-Fat Dairy, Whole Grains and Water.  These are your categories.  So it's time to head to the grocery store and work down the list of each one. 

Fruits - Find which ones you like and eat them regularly, several times a day.  Apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, grapes, whatever.  I love to eat watermelon and cantaloupe like it's going out of style. 

Vegetables - This one was hard for me.  I don't like a lot of vegetables.  But I have found that I love to eat green beans.  I eat them by the truckload. I also eat carrots and potatoes.  Find the vegetables you like, buy them and eat them. 

Lean Meats - I eat chicken breast, fish, turkey and pork.  I gave up red meat.  There are lean cuts of red meat, but that's a personal decision.  I found it too high in fat for what I got in return. 

Low-Fat Dairy: I eat yogurt like it's going out of style.  Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, plain yogurt...all of it. Just buy the non-fat kind and watch the sugar.  Skim milk is fine too, although I don't drink it and I don't eat cereal, I prefer oatmeal.  But all of that is fine. Low-fat cheese and cottage cheese is fine, but watch the salt. 

Whole Grains: Most of the bread sold in stores today sucks.  You need to buy the good stuff. Whole wheat bread with 5 or 6 grams of fiber per slice.  Oatmeal is good. I eat a ton of oatmeal. 

Water: You cannot lose weight and keep it off without drinking a lot of water.  The health benefits of drinking water are many.  It keeps you hydrated and actually quenches your thirst.  It is essential to life. Soda, diet or not, is absolute poison and will stimulate your appetite like nothing else.  Quit drinking it as soon as possible.  What?  It's hard?  I know it's hard.  I used to drink 12 cans of it a day.  If I can quit, anyone can. 

Now that you've made your list and shopped and bought your food, there are 2 final things you need to do: write down everything you eat and measure everything you eat. 

The last person than can be trusted to eyeball or estimate how much they're eating is somebody who is overweight.  I do not trust myself at all.  So buy some measuring cups, a food scale and some measuring spoons. 


Then, write it down.  You can use my free meal planner sheet or you can make your own, or you can use your computer or smartphone app.  It doesn't matter.  BUT YOU MUST KEEP TRACK.

How many calories a day? There are calorie calculators all over the place, but most of them are worthless. I eat between 2,400 and 3,000 calories a day.  I also work out a lot.  If you're overweight, 2,000 calories seems like a nice target, but give yourself some room in the beginning. If you need 3,000 to get through the day, so be it.  The next day will be different.  The more active you are, the more you can eat.  But to start, for women, shoot for 2,000 and men 2,400. Somewhere in there. 

If you do everything I have just described, you will lose weight and keep it off.  It will be long.  It will be hard. But if I can do it, anyone can. 

SO GET MOVING! NOW!



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Take Your Life Back


I get asked all the time: "How can I lose weight like you did?  How do I find the motivation to lose X number of pounds?  Will you tell me what to eat?"

As well-intentioned as those questions are, they all miss the point completely.  Simply losing weight should never be the focus.  As a matter of fact, it's a counterproductive way to think.  Being overweight is a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle, it is not the cause of it.

Before you start thinking about losing weight and trying to add years to your life and life to your years, you have to be in the proper frame of mind. You need to think about how you can make your lifestyle change permanent.  If all you're going to do is temporarily change what you do in order to lose 50 pounds for a wedding and then put it all back on, you may as well not bother.

No, dear reader, what you want is a total lifestyle change.  Nothing less will do.  That is the best chance you have at getting healthier, losing weight and keeping it off and staying out of the doctor's office.  So what are the steps that go into this?  First, you have to analyze your own behavior.  You know yourself better than anyone else, right?

Identify what your demons are and stay away from them....forever.  For me, one of my biggest demons is restaurants.  When I am being served food in a restaurant, I cannot control myself.  It is very much like an alcoholic in a bar.  So I stay far, far away.  For you, it might be something simple like mindless eating.  Whatever it is, identify it and don't do it!

For a successful lifestyle change, you need two things: proper nutrition and exercise.  This sounds like an impossible, huge task, but it's not.  I have had great success eating 5 or 6 small meals per day, totaling about 2,400 calories: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low fat dairy and whole grains.  And lots and lots of water.  Keep a food journal.  Nothing goes into the hole in your head without writing it down.  Pack your lunch every day and eat what you pack.  No restaurants.  Never let someone else decide what you're going to eat and how much you're going to eat.  You're not a dog...you don't just eat what's in the bowl because your master put it there.

Now for the exercise.  Start where you are.  My first exercises were pushing a grocery cart around Walmart and walking to my mailbox at the end of my driveway.  I talk about it in my video on YouTube.  It was all I could do.  But the key to my success is consistency.  Exercise should NOT be painful.  ('No pain, no gain' is a lie.)  But what exercise should do is elevate your heart rate and build your strength and stamina.  Start out slowly.  The biggest mistake people make is going all-out and burning themselves out before they even get started.  Work out 3 times a week, with a day off in between and off the weekend.  You must allow your body time to recover.  Walking is the best exercise to start with.  Don't even bother with a gym membership at first.  Walk 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.  Once you have that conquered, increase the time.  Then look for hills to climb, and so on.

Remember: slow and steady wins the race.  You are changing your life.  Oh, and one final tip: stay off the scale.  Weigh once at the start, then about once a month.  Being obsessed by the scale and weighing constantly will only fuel your disappointment.

You can do it.  You know you can and so do I.  Take your life back.  Take it back starting right now.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Negativity....And What To Do About It

Negativity is everywhere.

We're all guilty of it.  You've heard the phrase "misery loves company?"  It's very true.

But when it comes to saving your own life and changing your lifestyle, negativity has no place.  It must be banished forever and not be tolerated in any way, shape or form.  Your mindset on a daily basis is critical to your success.

So what kind of negativity am I talking about?

Sabotage. Face it, some people like us the way we are.  People don't like change.  Perhaps your partner thinks you'll leave them if you lose weight.  Maybe somebody close to you enjoys putting you down because they can't do it themselves.  Either way, watch out for sabotage.  People always offering you food, for instance, trying to tempt you and enable you into failure.  I've run into it before and I simply confront it head-on: "I appreciate the offer, but I am never eating that. Thank you though."

Put-downs. Don't stand for it.  This takes many forms, but the basic thrust is the person putting you down doesn't think you can do what you're doing.  Or perhaps they can't do it themselves, so they put you down to make themselves feel better.  The code words and phrases for the putter-downer are things like "you need to be realistic" and "you can't do this on your own." Again, just like with the sabotage,  shut them down: "I am changing my life and I would appreciate you being more supportive."

Fatism. It is an absolute irrefutable fact that the last acceptable form of discrimination in our society is the mistreatment of the overweight.  I will debate this issue with anyone who cares to try.  It isn't right, but a large portion of society sees big people as less than a human being, if they see them at all.  I've experienced this first hand.  When I weighed 577 pounds, many people wouldn't even say hello to me.  Now they're my best friend.  But what they don't realize is I have a mental list and they're on it.  So don't tolerate it from your friends and family. You are due the same respect any other person is and don't tolerate the jokes, the put-downs or the comments. You are on a mission to change your life and you will leave the doubters behind.

And one more note about people.  Early on, I realized that just like an alcoholic has to ditch their drinking buddies to get clean, I had to do the same thing with my eating buddies.  I don't mean to sound drastic, but it had to be done.

When you change your lifestyle, you are changing your life.  You are becoming a different, healthier person.  That goes for the mind and the body.  Your transformation will be the result of your own positive energy and anyone that is not on board with that 100% has to go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Logo Emerges

I'd like to thank my friend Pete Mrsich, who is a graphic designer and whose work you can check out on his site, for creating this logo out of one of the still frames in the video.

The video is up over 2,000 views and climbing.  People have told me the scene of me running down the beach with the pants flag touched them somehow.  Others have said it made them cry.  I don't mean to make anyone cry!

In any event, here it is. Very cool!  Thanks Pete!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Updated "after" picture

This is a picture from today, in all my glory.  A grocery store's produce section seemed to be an appropriate location.  Hard to believe, but as happy as I am with my results so far, I still want to lose 100 pounds.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Managing Expectations

If you've been reading my blog regularly, this might seem like a repeat, but if you're new to the site as many of you are, it might not.

When it comes to a lifestyle change, how you approach it, the expectations you set are almost more important than the journey itself. I'll give you some examples.

"I need to lose weight"  needs to become "I need to adopt a healthy lifestyle, one of the benefits of which is having a lower body weight."  See how that works?

"I need to lose 20 pounds by July" needs to become "I'd like to be in shape in time for July. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, that will help me."

Again, if just losing weight is the focus, then give up  now.  The failure rate on weight loss-based dieting is about 95%. That's 199 out of 200 people gaining it all back.

Don't put yourself through that.

Instead, try this.  Don't put a time limit on your lifestyle change.  Don't weigh yourself all the time.  Stop wanting it all now, now, now.

When I started my journey, I had a doctor tell me it would take 3 years to lose all this weight.  And he might be right.  He then suggested weight loss surgery.  But I knew, for me, that weight loss surgery wasn't going to fix my problem.

It wasn't going to fix my food addiction problem, only I could do that.

It wasn't going to teach me how to eat right, only I could do that.

It wasn't going to teach me to exercise, only I could do that.

Instead of "I need to lose weight," focus on "I need to maintain a healthier weight."

Because I can tell you from experience, there is *zero* point in losing a bunch of weight if you can't keep it off.  Absolutely a waste of time.

Make sense?  Tell me what you think, or sound off in the comments below.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Overeating In Restaurants? Shocking!

I read with great interest a piece published on Health.com and picked up by CNN about overeating in restaurants. It was a fantastic, well-written article that included some great tips. But when I read this line, my head almost exploded:

"How can people fend off these extra calories? We can stay away from restaurants altogether, of course, but for most of us that’s not a viable—or particularly appealing—option."

To quote the well-known 20th century philosopher "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: "WHAT?"

It might not be appealing, but staying away from restaurants is not only viable, but it is the absolute key to the success of any lifestyle change.  Before you go any further, if you're the type of person that eats out in a restaurant once in awhile, say once a week or less, I'm not talking about you.

I'm talking about the person who eats out daily, like I used to.  Or multiple times daily, like I used to do.  The problem with eating in restaurants is that somebody else is deciding the size of your portion.  Somebody else is deciding the nutritional content of your food.  And in most cases, there is *zero* nutritional information available.  Sure, there might be "healthy options," but how do you know?  Did you see it being prepared?  Nope.

Also, think about this. In an environment where somebody is bringing you anything you want, as much as you want, who is really going to keep track?  It is the goal of the restaurant to get you to spend as much money as possible and that means getting you to eat as much as possible.

Before the last 30 years or so, eating out used to be reserved for special occasions.  People would have never dreamed of going to restaurants every single day, or multiple times per day.  And yet here we are.  But know this about most restaurant food:  the food sucks, the food is not of very high quality and the food is loaded with as much sugar, fat and salt as possible to get you to eat as much as possible.

I should know. I was addicted to restaurants for years.  I have eaten out exactly once in the last 19 months.  The entire restaurant industry can shove it as far as I'm concerned.  I don't think they're bad people or doing anything wrong, but I'm just not coming back.  My own kitchen is my restaurant.

Preparing my own healthy meals and packing my lunch daily is both a viable and appealing option for me.  How about you?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

See The Inspirational Video That Started It All!

Welcome to my weight loss blog here on Ganey.com.  You'll find all sorts of weight loss tips and motivation, updated daily. Check out my YouTube video that documents my journey from beginning to now. It's only 4 1/2 minutes long. After you watch it, share it with someone else and spread the message: extreme weight loss WITHOUT SURGERY is possible if you take charge of your life and do it on your own. YOU CAN DO IT!




I (the guy in the video that lost all the weight) can be reached at bganey@gmail.com. Thanks!

Diets Don't Work, So Don't Bother

  

Diets are the only product where people blame themselves when it doesn't work.  They are a quick-fix designed to lure people in and steal their hope and take their money.  The weight loss industry is a criminal organization that should be shut down, the money given back to the people that were ripped off and the executives marched away in handcuffs. 

To lose weight properly, you must change your lifestyle.  It will take a long time.  But if you start slowly, make lasting changes and keep an open mind, I know you can do it. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What To Do About The Excess Skin

I get this question a lot.

Now that I've lost all this weight, what am I going to do about the excess skin?  I love this question because I've also had people who are looking to lose weight actually be concerned about this.  People consistently look for the downside.  I always tell them to cross that bridge when they come to it.

But here's my answer: no, I am not having surgery to remove excess skin.  Not now or ever.  To me, that is unnecessary cosmetic surgery.  I'm not criticizing anyone who does choose to have it...that is their own personal decision. I'll lay out my reasoning below with a numbered list.

1.) I don't want the excess skin to be removed because I want it there as a reminder of where I came from.  My weight problem was just that, mine.  I own it.  It was all me.  I don't want to ever forget what happened to me and what I am having to do to overcome it.

2.) It's actually not that bad. I have purposely not lost weight as fast as I could because I knew my body needed time to adjust. I could have lost all 274.5 pounds in 9 months, but my body would be a mess.

3.) Lifting weights is really helping.  By developing some muscle tone, the skin is tightening up quite nicely.

So there you have it.  No, I am not having major, life-threatening surgery just to remove excess skin.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Uncork the R A G E

I get asked daily how people can find the motivation to lose weight.  People generally have a mental block that prevents them from "getting started."  I know I did for a lot of years.

Here's the best advice I can offer when it comes to motivation:

Get mad.  Get really, really, really mad. In other words, Uncork the Rage.  How are you going to generate this kind of productive anger?

Sit down and think long and hard about the limitations that come with being unhealthy.  If you are extremely overweight like I was, that's easy.  Aren't you tired of not being able to walk longer distances?  Wouldn't you like to take the stairs?  Are you tired of driving up and down the aisles at the grocery store, looking for that one spot close to the front door, so you don't have to walk far?

Or maybe you just have 20 to 30 pounds to lose.  Maybe you're tired of not being able to wear the latest fashions.  Maybe you're tired of being out of breath climbing the stairs to get into your apartment.

So do something about it.  Is this really what you want for yourself?  Is this "how you roll?"  Imagine how things will be the day those shackles are removed and the limitations are lifted.  Dream about the day when you can do anything you want, wear anything you want, drive any car, ride in any airplane.

And finally, one note.  When I say "uncork the rage," I don't mean get mad at yourself.  Beating yourself up is a counterproductive waste of time that only serves to delay your lifestyle change and your transformation.

Get mad at the situation.  Really, really, really mad. That fire, that motivation will burn inside of you every day and get you through the hard days.  I know it does me.




The American Diet...What Happened?


I am fascinated by the history of eating habits in this country.  I have also made it a point to examine my own history.  Why did I become so heavy?  Have I always been this way?  What were the lifestyle habits that determined my weight during my 39 years on this Earth?

The health care crisis in the last several years that comes with rampant weight gain in western civilization didn't just happen by accident. There has to be a reason. 

Take a look at the picture below.  It's a neighborhood grocery store in Dayton, Ohio (my hometown)  in 1957.
Photo courtesy of Dayton History Books Online


This was how it was back then, a neighborhood grocery store.  This was way before the massive grocery stores of our time.  But look in the window.  Fresh fruits.  Vegetables.  Meats.  They probably had plenty of junk food in there as well, but you get the idea. 

What wasn't in that store was row after row of frozen, processed foods.  I am sure there weren't any Hot Pockets at the B&L Market in 1957.  People, by and large, bought foods in their native state, took them home and prepared them. With that as a regimen, it would be very difficult to become morbidly obese. 

Fast-forward several decades and we can see what happened: the vast majority of what is offered in grocery stores today is processed, prepackaged or frozen food.  Now that's not because the store is evil or bad or wrong, they're just giving people what they want. 

Then there is the issue of restaurants.  In 1957, or 1967 and probably still 1977, dining out was considered a "treat."  The quality of the food was generally very high and restaurants were still expensive.  The idea of eating restaurant food or fast food all the time would have been unthinkable 55 years ago. 

That's what happened: people have stopped cooking and eating their own food.  On a very basic level, that's what took place.  It's what happened to me. I used to eat fast food 10 times a week. 

Something to think about.  Often times, the past teaches us about the present.




Sunday, January 8, 2012

Goodbye, Big and Tall Store



















2 years ago, I was too big to shop at the big and tall store.

Now, as of yesterday, I am too small to shop at the big and tall store.  It's a good problem to have.  I went there looking for t-shirts and bought some XL sized ones.  They're a little big, but they'll do for a few months.

And then it dawned on me: that's the smallest size they have.  After that, I will have to go somewhere else.  I used to be so embarrassed that I was too big to shop at the big and tall store...the 6XL shirts were way too small and wouldn't button..they didn't have pants anywhere near big enough.

But now...I can shop anywhere.  Goodbye Big and Tall Store. It's been real!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's The Little Things, Part 1....Workout Music

When you undergo a total lifestyle change, you quickly learn that sometimes it's the little things that get you through the day.

For example, when it comes to working out.  Whether you're walking, running or working out on a machine, the music you select is very, very important.

After doing this for over a year and a half, allow me to dispense a little advice.  The music you should be working out to isn't necessarily going to be the music you like.  It needs to be:

-Upbeat

-Motivational

-Transformational.  That is, the music should take you to another place.

-Imaginative.  The music should make you imagine your goals, imagine yourself achieving them.  Imagine the reaction of the naysayers.  Visualize your success.

-Emotional.  The music should push you...it should remind you of all that you have accomplished or want to accomplish.

I cannot stress the importance of the music having a very good beat.  Because if it has a good, driving, pounding beat, the faster the beat, the faster you will go.  So having read that, you can see why the music you like isn't necessarily the music you want to work out to.  For instance, if you're a big fan of James Taylor or Dan Fogelberg....that just won't sustain you on an intense workout.

I listen to pounding, driving dance music, like Lady Gaga.  I also look for only upbeat music that is currently in the top 40.  For some reason, new music helps me "stay young" in my mind and forces me to work out harder in the gym.  Find out what motivates you and implement it.

I also put things on my iPhone like the Rocky theme.  Because when I am gutting it out on the treadmill and I hear that music....with sweat pouring off my face....for a moment, I believe I am Rocky Balboa.  I'm training for the next big fight.  If "Eye of the Tiger" gets you amped up, listen to it.  I know one person that listens exclusively to explicit rap music when he works out.  At no other time in his life does he listen to this music, but it makes him push himself.

Again, it's the little things.  Select your workout music based on how it makes you feel and how you will perform while listening to it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Weight Loss Video: Frequently Asked Questions



Thanks to everyone that checked out or shared the video about my weight loss journey.  The response has been overwhelming.  I cannot thank you enough.  It is the most intensely personal and honest portrayal of my weight struggle that I could make.

Many of you have sent me a lot of questions, so I thought I would post an FAQ for all to read.


1.) Where did the idea of the 'pants flag' come from?

Everyone that loses a lot of weight always has the "before" pants that they use to take pictures and benchmark their progress.  It just so happened that I still had the custom-made dress slacks with the 74 inch waist that I was wearing in a lot of my "before" photos.  I was trying to think of a clever way to feature them in the video and the pants flag idea just came to me. I am sure many of the people on the beach that day had no idea what I was doing running up and down the beach with a giants pants flag.

2.) How did you make the video?  How long did it take?

I used an iPhone 4 to take most of the pictures and all of the video.  A Blackberry Curve was used to take the pictures in the hospital.  It was all edited, assembled and uploaded to YouTube with an Apple iMac G5 and iMovie '09. I worked on the video over the course of maybe a month.

3.) Where did the music come from?  How did you record the voice over?

Since YouTube doesn't allow copyrighted music (or does allow it, but throws up ads all over the place,) I just used the public domain music loops that came with Apple Garageband. I recorded the voice over in my car with the iPhone 4 voice memo app.

4.) Come on. You didn't really lose all that weight on your own.  You had to have surgery or something. You're obviously lying.

No, I really did. But for proof, just look at the time line.  It has taken me more than a year and a half to lose 270 pounds. If I had weight loss surgery, I would've lost it much faster.  I have nothing against people who decide to have weight loss surgery, it just wasn't the right option for me.

5.) Are you going to have surgery to remove the excess skin?

Absolutely not.  I've actually purposely slowed down my weight loss to give my body time to adjust.  I've also been lifting weights to try and fill out the loose skin a little better.  I know that the excess skin will always be there and I want it to be there, for one reason:  to serve as a reminder of where I came from.

6.) Where did you get the idea for the famous quote at the beginning of the video?

There's quite a story behind that quote.  It comes from the late Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford commencement speech, at about the 12:09 mark.  Originally, the quote I was going to use was "In war, there is no substitute for victory" (WW2 General Douglas MacArthur.)  Then, it was a Gandhi quote.  Then it was Winston Churchill.  Then I saw Jobs' speech and identified with how almost dying really motivates you in ways you never thought possible.  I had originally used a longer quote, but came up with the finished product you see in the video.

Feel free to drop me a line: bganey@gmail.com. Thanks again for watching my video and reading my blog!

Bryan

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Video About My Weight Loss Journey

Well, here it is for all to see.  This is the most intensely personal thing I have ever posted on the Internet.  But I'm doing it because I want other people to have hope, to be able to see that a regular person really can lose a lot of weight.  I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making (and living) it.


Crazy Diets

There are crazy diets for everything, all promising weight loss success. You've probably heard of many of them.  Some of the more popular ones:

The Atkins Diet
The South Beach Diet
The Zone

And so on. All diets promise weight loss and in many cases deliver.  But I think where people really lose their grip on reality is when they start believing they have found "the secret."

I can save you a lot of time and trouble telling you "the secret."  Are you ready?  Shhh...don't tell anybody.  Here it is:

The amount you eat + the amount you do = how much you weigh

There you have it. A lot of people (including me, for many years) don't want to hear it, but it's true: if you consume less energy than you burn, you will lose weight.  If you consume too much energy (food) you will gain weight.

There is no secret.

And another note about diets.  If you can't do it for the rest of your life, why bother?  Why put yourself through the yo-yo dieting, losing weight quickly, then gaining it all back?  It isn't worth it.

And some of these diets are just plain rip-offs and many of them are dangerous.  Pills, patches and gimmicks will only cause you to lose weight in your bank account.

If it sounds to good to be true, it is.  Common sense is all you need. Trust your instincts.





Check out my new Facebook Page!

I have created a Facebook page dedicated solely to my weight-loss journey as well as any thoughts, inspiration or healthy lifestyle tips I might have or come across.  Come check it out and join the revolution!

The direct link is: http://facebook.com/ganeyinc

See you there!

Bryan

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Serving Size Games

It's well-known that food companies play games with the serving size on labels to make their food look better nutritionally than what it is.  Some of the serving sizes are ridiculously small, like Coke claiming 2.5 servings in a 20 ounce bottle of soda.

Today's entry in the nutrition facts hall of shame is something I eat every day: Egg Beaters, made by the giant food company ConAgra.

I noticed that the serving size has mysteriously changed from 1/4 cup (easy to measure) to 3 tablespoons (not so easy to measure.)  Other than the calories going from 30 to 25, I couldn't figure out why, until I read further down the label.

The sodium has decreased from 115mg per serving to 90mg per serving.  They no doubt did this on purpose, to make it look like Egg Beaters have less salt in them than what they do.

The reality is, nobody eats 1 serving of Egg Beaters.  I usually eat 4 every morning for breakfast. I'm not a big fan of government regulation, but something needs to be done about the serving size fraud.

It's like bread.  Serving size: 1 slice.  Who eats 1 slice of bread?  Nobody.  You make a sandwich, so really, 1 serving is 2 slices.  I could go on, but you get the idea.

The food companies are afraid that people will find out what is *really* in their food. That's why they make 1 can of soup have 2 servings in it, because if you really knew it contained almost 2,000mg of sodium, you might run the other way.