My Story

300 lbs Jan 2013


July 2014 – 210 lbs, Nov 2014 – 178.6 lbs, Mar 2015 – 163 lbs


Back in 2013, I weighed 300 pounds.  The previous year, in the summer of 2012, I had been in a car accident which had turned my rheumatoid arthritis from not great to completely awful.  I had a lot of pain in my neck, shoulder and back from the accident and the rest of my body was acting up too. Back in Jan 2012, I had started to work out and switched to drinking water to try to lose the weight. At 38, switching to water did nothing at all.  Then in the summer of 2012, the car accident happened which made it impossible to do any exercise at all.

Back at 24, in 1998, I had switched from a standard american diet to a non-gluten diet for my rheumatoid arthritis.  I would describe what I actually ate as “autoimmune paleo+corn” and no fruit.  I didn’t track my calories and probably under ate by a lot.  If I think about it now, I probably was eating 1200-1400 calories a day.  I kept up this diet until age 29 in 2003.  That year I had shaved my head because my hair was falling out–but the girls seemed to like the new look.  So that year I started dating.  I was able to keep up my diet when I wasn’t with my girlfriend, but she would always want to have a dessert or a drink or real food and have me eat or drink that way too so she didn’t have to eat crappy or drink alone.  I have always had a sweet tooth and like to drink, so I wasn’t that hard to convince to start going back to my old diet.

I graduated with my PhD from Georgia Tech in 2007 I moved to Florida for a new job.  The weather there is always warm, usually in the mid 70s to mid 80s.  A lot of my pain got better, so I started eating crappier and eventually went back to the standard american diet of junk.  I was 220 after a year, then 250 in another couple of years, and then up to 300 by 2013.  So here I was at 300 and a lot of pain.  I said to myself, “Ok, let’s go back to that non-gluten diet that I never really liked so much.”  This time though I used something new.  I have an android phone and an ipad and put the “My Fitness Pal” app on both.  There is a website for it too.  I had tried it a couple of times in Jan 2012 but wasn’t serious about it.  Wow.  At first I just wanted to get a baseline.  What were the carbs and calories of my standard american diet?  Most days actually weren’t too bad running at about 2500 calories.  But then there were some 3000 calorie days and some topped at 4000 calories with 500g carbs.

So I started on my non-gluten diet and MFP said I should be having 1800 calories per day to lose 1 pound/week.  I still ate out for everything because I was lazy and hadn’t cooked in 6 years.  But with tracking, I lost the weight.  I ate lunch usually at Downtown Produce which was close to my work.  For dinner I ate at Chipotle–a steak rice bowl with guac and no cheese.  I would get non-gluten pizza from Publix and eat their spicy wings.  I did that for a year and lost 90 pounds.

Then in June 2014, everything fell apart.  My shoulder had been injured in the car accident.  When one joint gets messed up, the others compensate.  Actually in Nov 2013, I got tennis elbow from my elbow having to compensate.  By June 2014, my wrists went and I couldn’t work.  I do research in image processing/computer vision/machine learning, so I spent my days in front of a computer.  I had never actually been on a biologic before this.  Not once.  So I went to rheumatologist and he started me on sulfsalazine and prednisone.  It didn’t help fast enough.  Another week, my right wrist was unusable.  He gave me a shot in my wrist.  That was enough to get me out of the weeds. Then I went on Humira.

During this time I was trying to think what was wrong with my diet.  When one is on a non-gluten diet you eat a lot of rice and potatoes–common ingredients for non-gluten products.  I also ate at Chipotle a LOT.  I had forgotten about nightshade veggies.  They actually CAUSE inflammation!  Potatoes and Chipotle pepper both fall into this category.  So I went on the Autoimmune paleo diet which takes these out. I started batch cooking everything on Sat.  My energy has gone though the roof and my neck and back are much better.  My wrists still have a long way to go and some of the damage from the car accident isn’t going to be fixed by my diet, but I am able to work my full 40 hours and drive around.

I kept losing weight and in another 7 months I lost 47 pounds for a total of 137 pounds.   Right now I weigh 163 which is about what I weighed when I was 17 and running 4 miles a day!  I never thought I would be back at that weight, let alone at 41.

Here is my food diary:

Here is my food diary so you can see every day all at once.


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