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 :