32 Pounds and Counting: My Husband's Weight Loss Story

I have waited many months to write this post. Well, come to think about it, maybe it's been more like years. I started this journey of desiring a healthy family many years ago. But as you may know, you can't always convince others to hop on board with you... right away, that is! 

Let me start by saying, my husband is a very, very humble man. He is not super thrilled I am dedicating a post about something he has accomplished. When I interviewed him for this, he first gave credit to God for giving him the grace to carry out all of this.

Two years ago he started working from home as an editor. It has been a very high stress, high-intense job that requires him sitting at a computer for 8 or more hours a day. And as most people can attest that with a stressful job comes stress-induced eating. He knew the weight had come on, but finding the time and energy to put into losing the weight, just wasn't in him at the time. 

As the new year was approaching in 2011, he prayed about losing weight. With having a family and a stressful job, adding a new eating and exercise regimen wasn't something he was totally pumped about, but he started anyway and quietly determined he was going to succeed. (Here's an article he read awhile ago that may have had something to do with some of his success... read here or watch the TED talk here).

As I've talked before about losing weight, being healthy is key... not so much the numbers. Focus on eating well. Eat real foods that provide powerful nutrients to make your body work and feel better. Brian has truly focused on putting the right things into his body. Everything counts! 

I am so happy to share our interview with you today.

{What motivated you to want to lose weight?}
Brian: It was a combination. First, I am working from home and became very sedentary. I was slowly gaining weight and with the stress of my job, I knew I wasn't healthy. I also struggled with stomach aches daily. I usually felt bad after I ate and also woke up every morning with pains in my stomach. 

{When did you start this journey and how much have you lost?}
Brian: I started in January of this year and have lost 32 pounds.

{So what overall changes have you seen or felt after losing this weight?}
Brian: First of all, my clothes fit better... well, actually, they don't fit :) I am the same size I was in high school and that is a great feeling. I just feel healthier. My stomach aches are almost gone. I have more energy and never have that bloated feeling. Also, a weird fact, I use to have a small exterior cyst by my ribs for several years.... it is completely gone.

{So, tell us... how did you do it???}
Brian: Well, I have tried many diets in the past, but by God's grace, this one stuck. I really don't feel like it is a diet. The secret has been not starving myself, but actually eating all day. I just have disciplined myself to eat better foods. I found foods that were healthy that I really liked.

We don't eat red meat or pork, at all. We eat a lot of rice and beans and some lean meats like chicken and fish a couple times a week. Jenna (me) is gluten-free so I have obviously cut way back on my wheat intake, but do treat myself with pretzel thins (and yes, I count out the correct serving size). I do not eat cheeses, butter or sauces of any kind.

The one thing that I eat every day, several times throughout the day is low-fat GRANOLA. It has to be under 3 grams of fat and high in fiber. I eat it with low-fat Greek yogurt or will just grab some handfuls here and there when I need to munch on something. I don't know what it is about granola, but I feel it has been a part of my success.

There's his granola at top (so kiddies won't steal) with his measuring cup!

I have stopped fast food altogether. There is really nothing that I want to eat there anymore.

The other thing that I cut back on is diet pop. I use to live on it. I would drink about three, 20-ounce bottles a day. Now I just drink water and will have a pop only on special occasions. 

{Give me a glimpse of specifically what you eat and when, on a normal day.}
Brian: First thing in the morning, I start with a small -- portion controlled -- (he actually measures it out exactly) bowl of low-fat granola with skim milk and blueberries. I never skip breakfast. I still have my morning coffee. I use a low-fat creamer with a little stevia -- there are just some things you can't give up.

Around 11 a.m. I come up from my office and have a piece of gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread, toasted. Then around 1 p.m., Jenna makes lunch for us. Usually we have an ethnic-type lunch. A Chipotle-type burrito bowl... brown rice and beans and a lot of hot sauce. Other times we'll have a salad with a lot of veggies and a light, balsamic dressing. We usually add some type of beans or hard-boiled egg for protein.

Later in the afternoon, I'll snack on (serving size appropriate) nuts or Greek yogurt and granola. I also like low-fat cottage cheese with raw honey. Gala apples with salt are another favorite. Whatever it is, it's low-fat, real food.

For dinner, it's always gluten-free and either meatless or chicken or fish. My all time favorite dinner is fish tacos with raw cabbage, fresh salsa and corn tortillas. We also love to grill local veggies or have corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers for dinner.

{What about exercise?}
Brian: I didn't start exercising until about 4 months after I started the eating plan and by that point I had already lost 20+ pounds. I have lost additional pounds since exercising. (So food choices play a HUGE part in your weight loss!) 

I switch up what I do, but need to mix it up again because what I'm doing is getting boring. I exercise about 5-6 times a week. Three days I do a cardio, fat-burning video (30 minutes) and the other days I do a light run usually about 2 1/2 miles.

{What about when you travel or are away from home... how do you do it?}
Brian: I really don't stray from my normal eating since it has gotten me this far. I look for fresh fruit, salads, nuts and granola in airports and will run into grocery stores to get those foods instead of fast food. Small yogurt containers with granola make for an easy breakfast. If I must eat out, I will find a sub place and eat a vegetarian on whole wheat bread or a wrap... again, with no cheese or sauces.

{What other things would you like to tell the readers?}
Brian: I do drink a lot of water throughout the day. I do not take any supplements, but I do take a psyllium/fiber powder mixed with water everyday. This just helps to keep things "moving" well. 

Do not starve yourself. Just make sure it is healthy and low in fat. 

Lastly, "forcing your body to do what it doesn't naturally want to do (exercising and eating right) feels a ton better than eating bad, not exercising and being fat."

So that's it. I am so thankful for his journey to health. He has truly challenged me to eat better -- mostly by watching my portions -- and now I am trying to exercise more regularly as well. I hope you are challenged too!

I didn't include all the things Brian likes to eat or snack on in the interview portion of this post, but here are some links to some of his favorite foods (and mine, too!).

Also, with no links:
Aldi items: 
fat-free fudgsicles
cinnamon-raisin granola cereal 
low-fat cottage cheese
black beans
fresh salsa 


  1. Wow! What a touching story, I can say that you are a virtues women. I can see the great improvements in his diet.

  2. I began eating more healthful a few months back. I cut out gluten and any soda or sweetened drinks. It has made such a difference in my energy levels. It really is quite incredible.

    Thanks for sharing your husband's story of weight loss.

    May God bless your day!


    1. Thank you for your comment, Janet :) Great to hear of your success as well!