Monday, June 13, 2011

Newlywed Nutrition #2 - "I Pick Things Up & I Put Them Down: HOW I Lost 50 lbs...Twice!"

Hi, Nick here!

Welcome to another episode of, “Newlywed Nutrition!”

First I would like to thank you all for making our last “Newlywed Nutrition” post our most-read post thus far. I would like to follow that post up with how I dropped the 50 pounds in six months.

My weight has always been an issue for me pretty much my entire adult life. I’m kind of like Oprah, in that I have yo-yo’d so many times. After high school is when my weight really took a turn for the worse. I had always been a bit bigger for my frame, and by the time I was 20 I was at least 50 pounds over weight. I was depressed and didn’t know what to do. In January of 2001, just two months shy of my 21st birthday, I moved to Los Angeles, California: The Land of Skinny People. My father, Neil Baldwin, accompanied me on a road trip across the USA all the way to La La Land.

                         On my way to LA w/ a stop at the Grand Canyon - Pushing 200 lbs.

                                           Looking sexy as usual in this picture ;-)

It was in L.A. where I wanted to pursue my acting career, but in Hollywood I was not going to get the parts I wanted unless I dropped the pounds. I came to the realization that I couldn’t make this change all by myself. I had gym memberships in the past, but let’s face it – unless Jillian Michaels is screaming at me telling me to do another set, I might as well have just flushed that $50 a month down the toilet. So, I went to get a personal trainer. That’s how I met my trainer for the next two years, David Anthonie. To this day, I still attribute my love of health and exercise to him. He knew that in order for me to really drop the weight, I was going to have to make a complete life change. He planned meals for me, and designed a weight training & cardio regimen that I still incorporate into my regular exercise these days. Working with David, I dropped from 200lbs to 150. The thinnest I had ever been, and I felt great about myself. So great, that I got certified to become a personal trainer and got a job training clients in a gym.

                           1/2 the person I was just 6 months with a trainer.

        A year later in London w/ my sister, still keeping the weight off.

Let’s fast-forward about eight years or so…

Living back in New Jersey, I met my lovely wife, Anne, while I was waiting tables at an Irish pub and going to school full time majoring in Exercise Physiology. I was still doing some personal training on the side and had been able to maintain my weight loss over all of these years, but I was 27 at the time and the metabolism was starting to slow down a bit. At this time I decided to go into real estate. I decided it was time for a job change and I wanted to show Anne that I had the motivation and drive to do big things. Real estate took off for me right out of the gate, and I found myself with more responsibility than ever before. Being so busy left much less time for the gym and I had to eat on the go most days. The pounds began to pile on and before I knew it I was back up to 200 pounds again on the day of our wedding.

Wedding day, 11/28/2009, back up to 200 lbs.

Anne, knowing my weight is a sensitive issue for me, was very nervous when one day she decided to talk to me about how I could shed the pounds again. Knowing me very well, she suggested that I needed more structure. The personal training worked 12 years ago because it was a structured plan. When I have a plan, I am great at sticking to it.

She suggested I give Weight Watchers a try. I had really never thought of this before, and I always saw it as a gimmick, but let me tell you that IT REALLY WORKS!!! Without sounding like a straight up commercial for the diet (or should I say, lifestyle), it works because it lets you eat what you want, but it teaches you to make choices. “Do I want another piece of bread, or would I rather have a beer? I don’t need both, so I have to choose.” In the beginning it was really tough for me, but I stuck it out. Once I lost that first 10 pounds I was so motivated to keep going…and going. When I incorporated exercising along with it, the weight started to melt away. 

Anne was worried for me and my health. My family has a history of the big C, and staying healthy and active is important. It’s also important for a marriage. When you’re healthier, you’re happier. You feel better about yourself and life in general. You wake up in the morning ready to make things happen. What I didn’t want was to become another stereotypical newlywed groom that put on 30 pounds in his first year of marriage.  Also, it’s nice to keep lookin’ good for my wife, because…well…she’s so purdy ;-)

                                    Today - 50 lbs lighter...again.

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