Goal! - Full success : 260 to 172 lbs in 6 months, and a new life

11-13-2012, 05:58 PM
My name’s Barthelemy, I’m 32 at the time of writing these words. I live in Poland, work as a private language teacher and international business consultant, and I’ve been struggling with weight all my life. I’ve been on a diet several times, always hated it because I simply love food. The last time I had a correct BMI was at the end of high school, with 160 lbs on the scale. Then came the student’s life, very unhealthy, followed by different sitting jobs, and 10 years later, I ended up with 260 lbs. Some would say it’s not that bad, that it doesn’t significantly complicate life. You can still shop in normal clothing stores, and you can fit into a single seat on a plane. But that’s not enough to live a life at the fullest. We all have one life, and there was no reason why mine couldn’t be truly awesome.
Working with my foreign students was my first source of inspiration to change my lifestyle. I spent a lot of time talking people from China, Japan and France about their cuisine, food habits, and lifestyle. I deeply wanted to understand more how they manage to avoid obesity problems in their nations. That gave me some ideas worth trying, and finally turned into a sustainable, completely new lifestyle, healthy body, clear mind, and 88 lbs less to carry. The main part took 6 months, starting end of March this year.
I can’t say it was hard – the mindset of working on self well-being was (and still is) a wonderful experience each single day. Losing weight was a side effect. When you realize you only live once, and you cannot expect to experience more good than what you’ll do yourself, the power of unhealthy habits weakens dramatically. Also, changing diet and lifestyle for health benefits take off the pressure from getting rewarding results on the scale. And these results come easy when you don’t care about them. Caring about health is the priority.
I always enjoyed riding bicycles as sport as well as for commuting. Now I also started to like running, as a quite intense form everyday leisure to balance my sedentary job. I almost never exercise because I find it quite boring.
It’s almost a year I have no TV, I try to not lose time on things without meaning. Health, joy, love, passion means something. TV, couch and fast food just don’t. I eat over 3.5 lbs of food a day, I never wait to get hungry, but also never eat more than one big plate of food at once. It’s particularly important due to the fact I had one serious obstacle on my path to control my food habits. I’m missing a major part of abdominal muscles which allows my stomach to stretch very easily, compromising the physical signal of satiation. It’s cool when you want a career in competitive eating, but not when you want to gain control over compulsive eating. But finally, it had not made it too hard to achieve.
Now I see the modern world in a completely new way, and the health problems of western societies not as something what is just “happening” but as an integral part of a logical result. Obviously, people who know me ask many questions – from “do you have cancer?” to “how the **** is it possible?” And I enjoy talking about my experiences, about popular objections, beliefs and myths. I enjoy listening to people who want to change something in their life, and argue with those who already convinced themselves nothing can change for them. My friends from school and studies, who never been overweight, are now heading towards heart attack or stroke in less than 10 years time. It feels rewarding to be a role model for people who were always fitter and leaner than me.
I found this forum only now, and I’m willing to participate to it, staying curious about people, their motivations and their will to improve their life.

6 months separates these pictures :


11-17-2012, 12:02 AM
Hey Bart, congratulations on your success. Your story is interesting and you've made quite the transformation both inside and out. I like your wholistic approach. Thanks so much for sharing.

Misti in Seattle
11-17-2012, 06:31 AM
Congratulations! I certainly agree it needs to be about health and lifestyle. The more I study on our Western style way of eating, the more I give up of it and am going back to whole foods as much as possible.

11-17-2012, 09:00 AM

What an amazingly cool story you have. I, too, have just found this forum, and I know myself well enough to know that how I think about things is key. Anything that you would like to pass on about how your thinking changed, after talking to those other folks, I would like to hear. I like your phrases "the mindset of working on self-well-being" and "caring about health is a priority." Congratulations, thanks for being that role model, and thanks most of all for coming here to describe your success.

11-17-2012, 10:59 AM
Bart, Welcome and congratulations on your success.

11-24-2012, 10:22 AM
Congrats that is a great story. Thank you for sharing it :)

Welcome to the site as well.

11-24-2012, 10:42 AM
Thanks for sharing Barthelemy, it was a pleasure to read your story. I love your positive attitude and I wish for lots of health and happiness in your life. I hope you stick around!

11-25-2012, 12:02 PM
Thank you very much for your warm welcoming. How about now, when the full before/after picture is attached?

11-25-2012, 04:51 PM
Hi Bart, welcome to the forum and congrats on your weightloss success :carrot:

Great pics, you can really see the change :)

11-25-2012, 05:25 PM
Its fanastic that you started looking to different cultures, and viewing their lifestyle as an inspiration.
I have alot of friends with different cultural backgrounds as well(especially in Thailand, Phillipines, France and Romania) that I've had the pleasure of meeting, and it truely is facinating how different their lifestyle and views on food compare to ours...

...Enjoyed reading your story very much and you look great. :)

11-30-2012, 08:03 PM
Wow!!! Congratulations, you've got a lot to be proud of. :carrot:

12-01-2012, 08:00 AM
you look great!

12-05-2012, 11:30 PM

12-11-2012, 03:22 PM
Hey Bart congrats! I am Polish myself , living in Canada though! :)
I'm VERY curious, what DID you find out about the Chinese/Japanese/French cuisine? How DO they stay so fit, I always wondered myself to be honest.
I love Japan :)

12-11-2012, 04:03 PM
Thank you very much :)

What I've found out? Lots vegs and fruits, less meat and fat, no dairy, some fish, 3-5 eggs a week. And maximize the variety of fresh ingredients - 3-4 things on the plate is not enough, 10 is the least what satisfies me. Carbs are by far the main source of calories, and it's important to begin a day with a whole lot of fast carbs - 150 grams of carbs for breakfast is a good norm. Whole foods are preferred. Simple as that :)

12-11-2012, 04:45 PM
Great story! Tanks for sharing. :)

I love your before and after...what a difference! You are a handsome guy! Congrats!

12-16-2012, 06:19 AM
Thank you very much :-) Today I checked my weight and laughed out loud because, despite my sincere will to maintain weight around 172-176 lbs [78-80 Kg], it was 167 lbs, so once again I lost unintentionally a few pounds, eating 3-4 lbs of food each day... I rarely say it, but... this is kind of crazy :)

12-16-2012, 06:57 AM
Congrats on that steady loss, Barthelemy, and for continuing to keep it off. Thanks for posting your picture so we can visualize you.

How is your food plan now for maintenance different from your food plan for when you were losing?

12-16-2012, 03:52 PM
For losing weight, I used to moderate my carbs intake, but I was losing too fast. So I added a heaps of bananas, dates and lot of other fruits, without any real effect on the pace... it slowed down about 200 lbs but did not stop completely. On the other hand I have plenty, plenty of energy, I do sports I was never doing before because it helps me unload some of the internal energy in me. And my breakfasts and lunches are so sweet they are almost inedible...

01-02-2013, 02:20 AM
Congratulations! You really did a great job on your weight loss goal. Itís truly an inspiration for others.

01-02-2013, 02:39 AM
Barthelemy, Your transformation is inspiring! I love this phrase from your post:

"When you realize you only live once, and you cannot expect to experience more good than what you’ll do yourself, the power of unhealthy habits weakens dramatically."

Truly something to ponder... Thanks for sharing your story!

01-02-2013, 06:22 PM

01-08-2013, 03:34 PM
I thought that after 2 weeks of Xmas/NYE feasting I will get some weight. Polish pierogis, fried salmon, fatty soups, tons of cakes, eating all day long should have left something. I was ready for it, not afraid, just prepared to see it on the scale. I was thinking it will be around +5-6 lbs. Yesterday, back on my standard way of eating since 2 days before, having proper hydration, etc, I went on the scale. And... it seems I gained nothing. Not even 0.1 lbs.

01-08-2013, 07:01 PM
Great story! I love your profile pic, I think that is a great idea to show your pics side by side.

My favorite part of your story was this line "We all have one life, and there was no reason why mine couldnít be truly awesome." I think that is such a great attitude. Congrats & good job on the weight loss!

01-13-2013, 02:45 PM
Loved reading your story, you have an amazing point of view. Thank you for sharing!

01-14-2013, 02:24 PM
OK, so today the next step has been taken : together with my girlfriend we're eating so much fruits and vegs that we decided to shop them in a wholesale company, in order to avoid shopping 2-3 times a week. And today I came home with 35 lbs of bananas, 4 lbs of dried dates and about 30 lbs of other fruits and vegs. Should be enough for about 2 weeks I guess.

01-15-2013, 05:30 PM
You look amazing! Way to go! Wish I could shed pounds that quickly. Mine are slow and steady.

02-09-2013, 07:47 PM
Thanks for sharing...would love to hear more from you, particularly on the Chinese/Japanese/French cuisines.

02-13-2013, 04:32 AM