From 589 pounds to 220 pounds. This is my journey. Welcome to the countdown.

Posts tagged ‘Jeff Stein’

Score One For the Countdown

As I was cleaning out my email, I found something I’d never posted. This happened in October–a month which seemed to be all about the celebration of my weight loss. The following was sent to every employee of Lifetime Fitness. If I’ve not said it before, I’ll say it again: it’s all about the people you work with. The people of Lifetime Fitness Old Orchard are those people.

From: Jason Thunstrom
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2014 12:35 PM
To: All Team Members
Subject: Our ‘WHY’: A journey from 589 pounds

Life Time Team:

As you know, we commit to helping people positively change their lives every day. For some, the degree of change is small. A fine tuning, so to speak. For others, however, it can be a massive overhaul. The following story from Life Time Old Orchard member, Jeff Stein, speaks for itself. Mr. Stein’s dedication to his health is both powerful and motivating. The support of our Life Time Old Orchard team was equally critical. Read on – and be inspired. This is the ‘WHY’ we do what we do!

Regards,

JT

Hi Jason,

My name is Jeff Stein. I’ve been a member of Life Time Fitness Old Orchard since Feb 2012. One of my trainers sent me a copy of an email you’d sent out to the employees, entitled “This may make you cry.” 

https://mms.ltfinc.net:443/105503000/105503290.jpg?1413309832322

In 2007, I weighed 589 pounds.

I wore a 6-7x shirt and size 74 pants.

As a child, I was overweight. At 12 or 13, I remember being over 200 pounds, 300 or more in high school, and 400+ in college. My life wasn’t horrible. I had a job, friends, and drove a car. I even played a year of college basketball. New England Division B, but still, it was college basketball. I was your average guy – just a lot bigger.

I can’t remember a time I was not referred to as fat. I couldn’t get into booths at restaurants. I had a chair or two break under my weight. One was in my boss’s office. I even missed out on an incredible free trip to Las Vegas and a major speaking opportunity because I was worried I wouldn’t fit in an airplane seat.

In November 2012, I set out on an ambitious weight loss program with the help of Jeremy Survoy, Miranda Willetts and Matt Bauman. It as a week before Thanksgiving and, at 543 pounds, I set out to change my life.

Fast forward to today and my life is different. A LOT DIFFERENT.

I weigh in at 325 pounds. That’s 264 pounds fewer than my days at 589. I’m wearing 2XL shirts and size 48 pants. 

In February 2014, I boarded a plane for the first time in over 20 years, no longer worried if I’d fit in the seat. The day I got to Vegas, I walked more than 30,000 steps! 

A day I’m not at Life Time is rare. I workout 7 days a week – sometimes twice a day. On top of four training and nutrition sessions, I participate in Pilates, WERQ, water fitness, and yoga. I wear a Fitbit and average 10,000 steps a day. As a member of Life Time Fitness Old Orchard, I’ve won the club’s 90-day weight loss challenge – TWICE. Many people in the club remember the day I walked in at 543. People I’ve never met ask me about it daily. My trainers tell me I’m asked and talked about even when not in the building.

My goal weight is 220 pounds. When I reach it, I will have lost 369 pounds from the 589 I once weighed. 

While I still have a little ways to go in accomplishing my goal, I’ve started to talk about it. I do this because I think it’s important people know what they can accomplish. That it’s not about pills or surgery. I want inspire and help others toward their goals, dreams, and a healthy lifestyle.

Life Time has been a huge part of these accomplishments and this journey.

Best Regards,

Jeff Stein

The Countdown 3/17/2014

Last Week: 323

This Week: 324

Next week’s goal: 318

Magic Number to 220: 104 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012 (561.8 lbs): 221 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011 (561.8 lbs): 239 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 265 lbs)

 

I was posting these regularly on Monday and the last two…late. I suppose I should be happy I was out 7 nights in a row and ended up only gaining a pound. I went places where I had no business being, ordered wisely, and walked away without my weight skyrocketing.

But it’s now going on week 4 of trying to reach 318. My trainers and team are getting nervous. Some are beginning to question my commitment level.

I can understand that. 

I could have not gone out a few nights. I could have brought my own food. Maybe exercised even more. 

But I didn’t do any of them. 

Last Friday was the 22nd anniversary of the worst day of my life. Someone I considered a friend I can no longer trust. I wasn’t wise with funds, work isn’t going well–and my bosses know it. I got into with one of them last week. Someone on my side no less. Mostly because I wouldn’t let him in with what’s going on with me. Others have noticed as well. 

People want me to strive to better or do my best and right now I just keep wondering how much more I need give. It’s almost like I’ve become a totally different person now. I keep wondering what was wrong with who I was or who I am now. Sometimes I look in the mirror and still see the same fat guy who’s always been there.

I know it’s not true but and I’ve made huge strides but I still look and see a big fat guy. I see the loose skin that sags on my body now that I’ve lost. Yesterday I thought I saw definition in my abs but really it’s covered by a layer of fat. So I get depressed looking at what I did to myself. And yet when people ask me “if I feel better now…”, I get annoyed.

Annoyed as if I was just some loser who sat on the couch all day and ate chips or something. Like I was some sort of total loser before all this. Then there’s the people who think I’m going back to being some 500+ pound guy if I don’t have structure or if I take a break. I’m a different guy now and yet they look at me like it was 16 months ago. 

I feel tired, lost, and like I’ve lost my identity. I almost want to say depressed because the last few days all I wanted to do sometimes was crawl up in a ball and not leave my bed for a while. 

And I think I can motivate people. Hell, I can’t even motivate myself right now. Inspirational my ass!

This all said, I’m not giving up. I may not have this all figured out right now but I’ve come to far. Win or lose, I’m going to keep going. Sooner or later I’m going to put the pieces together again. I’m going to figure out these answers. And call it a gut feeling but I’m pretty sure when I do, it’s all going to fall into place, and better than it ever was.

Just got to believe. 

Next week 318 and I don’t even want to know what happens if I don’t get there.

 

The Countdown—3/3/14

Last Week: 330

This Week: 323–GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!!!!

Next week’s goal: 318

Magic Number to 220: 103 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012 (561.8 lbs): 220 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011 (561.8 lbs): 238 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 266 lbs)

Steps for the week: 63,582

Average Steps per Day: 9,083

Welcome back to the countdown. I apologize for the delay. I find it interesting that the weeks where I accomplish goal are the bounce back weeks. I also think it’s interesting how those weeks have been 6 and 7 pound losses. And given weigh in happened on Wednesday, that’s 7 pounds lost since then not Monday.

The step numbers were low this week. This included a less than 5000 step day. It again begs the question of how hard you work versus quantity of steps. As I write this, I’m almost at 11,000 but I wouldn’t it was a hard workout–just a lot of walking. I do find that the extra walking and movement sometimes helps with thought and stress. But when I get to goal, I’m thinking more quality and less time.

I don’t know I’d say I was perfect but I was watching a little of the what, where, and when. So we’re back to before the Vegas trip. 323 with a goal of 318. I’ve noticed so far this week my intake is up some. Good quality foods but up. Going to need to watch that.

Again, we’re inches away from being under three digits from goal. We’re also 24 pounds from 299–a number I can’t recall when I saw last. My trainer Matt asked me about it this week. I think I was in high school at this weight but under 300…maybe at 14?

I think sometimes that’s where the disconnect happens. I’d daydreamed about it but actually being here is surreal. And sometimes it makes me content. And why wouldn’t I be?

And there lies the rub.

Best shape of my life but even now–not done. And that’s what’s hard. Even harder with the pats on the back and lauding what’s already come. Harder because you so want to take those moments but doing so makes you content. And right now I can’t be content.

The end is so close and yet it’s still far enough away. Frustrating.

Next week–318. We break into the teens, get closer to 299, and double digits to goal. Exciting times for the countdown.

A cold day in hell…

When I first started working out, my Monday and Wednesday workouts would start at 6 am. Opposite me in the gym was what they called a boot camp. It wasn’t just any boot camp. It was the alpha boot camp. The hardest of the hard. Those taking this camp were covered in sweat. When it was over, they looked like zombies. Their trainer was Terri.

You’d hear her the whole time. Barking out orders like a drill sergeant. Just watching and listening in the other gym made me sweat. It sounded like a government torture session. And none of these people looked happy. They looked drained and exhausted.

I told Matt, my trainer, it would be a cold day in hell before you’d catch me in there or working with Terri. Every so often Terri would peek in. She’d hint she might be my trainer and my face would turn white. Eventually I moved an hour later to 7 and out of the gym. And that meant I’d rarely see or hear about alpha boot camp or Terri. Yes, I’d see her around and we’d joke but never work together.

Last week, almost a year plus later since I’d seen boot camp or Terri, Miranda needed a sub while she was on vacation. She was having trouble finding a sub. As a joke, Miranda suggested Terri.

I said…okay.

Miranda did a double take. I think I shocked her. I saw Terri that week and she seemed a little shocked too.

Her comment–“really?”

Mine–“bring it”

She smiled.

So this morning, a cold day in hell arrived. The first of two days working with Terri. The woman who scared the absolute crap out of me in those early days at 543 pounds. The one I swore I’d never work with. Oh and I survived. Had to or there’d be no blog entry today or ever again. I think I even scared my trainer Matt because Terri tells me he texted a few times about how I was doing.

I was doing fine. Covered in sweat–but fine. No zombie like states though. Maybe that’s tomorrow.

Guess hell isn’t a cold as I thought.

And I opened this door because…

I came back from Las Vegas and wanted to make changes. In one of the seminars, they talked about asking others as to how they perceived the same time or place. It got me to thinking about how I am perceived. So yesterday, I asked my boss.

And he told me the truth.

It’s a funny thing about the truth. Sometimes you think you want it when really you don’t. That came in the form of this revelation:

I do just enough to get by.

Now my “just enough” is pretty good but I could do better and don’t. My radio career failed because I didn’t go the extra mile. In my job, I could do more but I don’t. I claim I want to win the World Championship of Public Speaking but I don’t put in nearly the effort to do so. Even with the weight loss, if I get to 5 pounds and I could get higher, instead I take as a time to go eat pizza or something.

The good news–it’s fixable.

The bad news–I’m not sure I want to.

Yes, I want more and better but am I willing to do it? Will I put in supreme effort? Worse, what if I do and fail?

So where does that leave me?

A mess.

Nobody wants to admit they’re not willing to do something. It’s a horrible feeling. It’ll make you sick to your stomach. The obvious step is to make a change. But what happens when you’re not willing to? What do you do then? Can you live with yourself knowing you’ll never be what you could be?

What do you do when you open a door and find the answer wishing you’d never seen it?

I have a lot to think about and soul search now.

Countdown 2/26/14

Last Week: 323

This Week: 330

Next week’s goal: 323

Magic Number to 220: 110 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012: 213 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011: 231 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 259 lbs)

Steps for the week: 89,598

Average Steps per Day: 12,800

I know what y’all are thinking.  He went to Vegas and this is the result.

I wish I could say that was true…but it’s not.

I came home from Las Vegas at 325. During that trip I had a 30,000 step day and two 10,000 step days. My only sweet all weekend? One small serving of mint chip ice cream. Yes I drank and had some carbs but I stayed strong.

So how am I up 5 pounds since Monday?

On Monday night, I went with friends to TGI Fridays. I ordered a grilled chicken salad.

And then I decided to split boneless buffalo wings with someone.

I thought I’d have 1 or 2.

Well they brought us the wings and they had a bone. The waitress told us to keep them and she’d get new ones. My partner didn’t want any. And there it was. I had a plate of wings in front of me. Worse, the 2nd plate came and half my partner didn’t want either.

So 1 and half plates later, I ate my salad as well.

In one sitting, I wrecked weeks of work. When I try to identify why I keep thinking I was happy. Somehow in my happiness I felt it was okay to have buffalo wings. And then there was the additional food. Why did I eat it? Because when I was a kid, I was told to eat everything on your plate and not waste food.

So because I was happy, my reaction was the celebrate with food. The continuation occurred when I felt obligated not to waste food and eat everything–like a good little boy. Just when I think I’ve figured this out, I realize I’m always going to have issues like this. That I’ll always need to be on top of this stuff and hyper aware.

It’s easy to say why buffalo wings suck and I shouldn’t eat them. But for someone like me, it’s the taste and what reactions and emotions it brings that make them attractive. The memories of hanging out with good friends in college, drinking beer, and eating wings. Or those Sundays watching football with the guys.

Then there’s the other part of this. In Vegas I wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t a fiasco. So why did I create one the night after I came home? Why at a moment of triumph did I torpedo myself like this? Why did I hurt myself? Did I not deserve to be happy? To feel like I accomplished something? I walked 13 miles on Friday and yet it now means nothing.

But then it sort of all makes sense. Ever since I hit 200 pounds lost, I’ve sort hit a standstill. It’s not a physical one just mental. I hit 200 pounds lost and felt like I’d accomplished something. And that would be the case if the job was done–but it’s not. There’s 110 to go. I’ve been justifying and saying I’ll figure it out.

But that’s not happening. I’ve hit goal just once in 2 months. I’ve been content with the 1-3 pound losses. The goal on Monday is 323–7 pounds. I need to get my head out of my ass and make it.

The Countdown 2/17/14

Last Week: 325

This Week: 323

Next week’s goal: 318

Magic Number to 220: 103 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012: 220 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011: 238 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 266 lbs)

Steps for the week: 78,011

Average Steps per Day: 11,144

This was a crazy week. One of my vendors came in–and brought snacks. And while others ate some, I ate more. I’ve been having trouble with the community food in the kitchen. I didn’t used to but of late it’s been an issue. I’d be one thing if it was just a taste but usually it’s more than that.

There was a box of chocolate covered english butter toffee that I’m positive I ate the majority of. Then there were the 3-6 oreos with cookie dough filled I just had to try. Even tried bigger breakfasts to compensate but alias no–not working. Still, no fast food again this week. Two weeks in a row. I had two dinners out this weekend. One was a date and the other my Mom and Aunt.

And with all this, I’d lost a pound.

I might made this week except…I planned poorly. Saturday I had my Toastmasters club’s anniversary party. I should ate more before I went but I also knew I’d eat while there. So I tired to push through. I did it after treadmill and Zumba.

There was pizza.

Crappy Little Casears Pizza.

I had 1 slice….then 2…then 2-3 more. And of course as club president , I felt obligated to eat the cake that was made.

Sunday morning…up a pound.

If not for my error, I’d been close this week. Instead–2 pounds. I know I shouldn’t complain but damn it I really wanted to be further along before Vegas. Normally I’d be more annoyed but things have been great. Had an amazing date Friday night and I’m headed for Vegas on Thursday.

As I mentioned, it’s the first time I’ve flown in 20 years. My schedule for Saturday and Sunday is pretty packed too. It’ll be nice to get out of the cold for a few days too. This weather is absolutely driving me nuts. As I write this the snow falls…AGAIN! It’s just maddening how much cold and snow there’s been this year.

The real trick will be finding the time to get in a workout and keeping the eating healthy. It’s Vegas, I’m positive I can get what I need. The question becomes will I have time or what will I need to do in order to make it all work? If anything, I’m worried more about the drinking. It’s Vegas and free drinks. I could gain and not have eaten anything.

The sorta good news? Looks like I don’t weigh in until Wednesday next week. It screws up the next week but depending on how Vegas goes, it could be interesting.

So next week is 318. 18 pounds from 300 and 98 pounds from 220–the goal. A fun and challenging week lies ahead. Vegas baby!

Tag Cloud