Sam Sheffer's journey to 140

This is the story of my weight-loss. There was some interest for me to write this, so I did.

And I've never written anything like this before (well, my other forum post was sort of similar I guess), but I like to think I'm a pretty good story teller, so here goes.

So I've always been in shape — for as long as I can remember, I was never fat. Going into college I weighed around 150 lbs, ate pretty normally and was moderately active (skated / played basketball once in a while). I started eating like shit at school though. Like, I'd order mozzarella sticks at 1AM with a side of ranch because why the hell not, right? I didn't think I'd put on much weight until I took a step back near the end of my sophomore year. Whoa. I was fat.

You can ask my former roomate, Joe, I had a huge belly. I wasn't a fat person, per se, I'd just gained around 10-15 lbs. over the two years eating garbage and not caring. I was pretty ashamed of that gut because I couldn't fit into my Levi's 510 Super Skinny's anymore. My shirts didn't fit properly either. It was time for a change.

I hit the treadmill. Fair and simple. 2 miles, every day, in 20 minutes. Two months later, I was skinny again. Woohoo! This was around May of 2010, if you're following.

Enter my junior year of college. I started eating like crap again. This time, I gained even more weight over the two years. In June of 2012 I peaked at 170. Holy shit! I had a huge gut and some excess fat in my face / neck area. But interestingly enough, no one seemed to notice that I was (relatively) fat. Only when I took of my shirt was it noticeable. It was kind of weird, actually. And some people even thought I worked out! Haha.

Anyhow, right around my 22nd birthday is when I decided that enough was enough. 170 pounds? "Pathetic, Sam," I thought to myself. It was time to change my life around. And I did.

I started running. That was it, really. In the beginning, I was running between one and two miles. That's it. I wasn't running at marathon speeds or anything, I was just getting out there and actually doing it.

I actually started tracking my runs with an iPod nano that I wore as a wrist watch (with the Paradox kit — my friend made this!). It's got the Nike+ app built in but it's not NEARLY as robust as the iPhone / Android version. I used this for about a month weeks and then switched to using my iPhone.

The iPhone app is great because, like I mentioned in my favorite post, it tracks time, distance, pace, and calories burned. These stats are visualized and interactive which, to me, is pretty motivating and a great way to track your progress.

So I continued running, every day, with my iPhone in my hands (no case / armband / etc) and kept running more and more. The thing is though, I also ate well. This is pretty important if you're looking to cut fat quickly. Oh, also super important — run to music. I can't explain how much it helps. It's like a shot of adrenaline in your ear drums.

Another important thing is to be consistent and persistent. I can't say I ran 90+ days in a row, because that's not the case. I'd run, say, 5 days in a row, break 1, run 4 days in a row, break 2, run 6 days in a row, break 2, etc. I just never stopped. Always kept pushing to further and become faster. I was feeling hella good. And so healthy.

Fast forward around three and half months. My longest run, distance-wise, was 7.6 miles — something I never thought I'd do in my entire life. I was consistently running 4 miles every day. Then I decided to weigh myself.

I stepped on a scale for the first time in a while. The scale read 140 lbs. Whoa. Did i really lose 30 pounds in roughly three months? Were my eyes deceiving me? I stepped off the scale and had it reset. 140 lbs. Again. I was stunned. I had not been this weight since high school — close to five years. Wow.

Now I'm around 145 and I don't eat particularly well, but I also don't splurge like the psuedo-porker I was.

Anyone can do what I did, really. It's all mental. You are the only one stopping yourself. If you do it, you'll feel good about yourself. The feeling I have now, looking in the mirror and not seeing that gut — it's a special feeling and I strongly encourage you to go out and make a difference in your life if you are looking to do so. If you have any questions, just ask!

Oh, and I obviously had to include this — before and after.