From the time I can remember I have been overweight and from the time I was old enough to care about my weight I have struggled to control it. I grew up in a small farming town in Southern Ohio (not far from West Virginia) and my mother cooked the “Old fashioned way”, which meant she cooked with grease and fat. Sure I had heard of calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat in health class, but all I really knew about them was that they all tasted delicious!
The fat jokes started at an early age for me and I became self conscious about my appearance. I wore “husky” sized jeans, I was the kid at the pool wearing his shirt, on the rare occasion I even went to the pool. Any activity that may have involved being shirtless literally terrified me. I had anxiety before gym class because I knew I had to change in front of people, I never ever showered after football practice or games I just rode home in my sweaty yet comforting clothes. In the fall of my 8th grade year I remember going to get a physical for football and I weighed in at 208 pounds and I graduated high school around 250 pounds. I was active, I played sports, I worked on the farm and I worked for my father’s construction company on breaks from school. I went to college and my weight shot up again to around 270 pounds. I yo-yo dieted my way through college dropping to around 220 pounds a few times, but during graduate school I shot up again to 280 pounds. I finished college and lost weight getting back to 220 pounds. Yet again life’s stresses got me down and I went back to 280 pounds. At this point I had almost given up. Nothing I did was a long term fix and I always went back to my comfort zone when things got tough-Food. I lost around 50 pounds on my own before I heard about Natty Nutrition from a friend of mine who was a competitive lifter/body builder. He said he had used a couple prep companies and this one was the best. So I thought why not, what do I have to lose (besides weight).
I sent an email to Natty Nutrition in June of 2014, not really knowing what to expect. I had never had any “diet” coaching before, other than what I had read on my own. I got an email back from Stephaney Theobald and she asked me a lot of questions about what I was eating currently, my body type, my workouts and my goals. I asked questions and she answered them with detail, so I thought I’d give it a try. Then came the dreaded request……to send pictures without a shirt, ugh. But, I knew it was for the good of the cause and for once I wasn’t made fun of without a shirt. She had immediately earned my trust and I had made up my mind that I would do EVERYTHING she asked of me.
I had a short term goal for September 13, my wedding. I didn’t want to be the fat guy in all the pictures with my beautiful wife. I made a lot or progress in those 3 months and I was happy with where I was at the time of my wedding, but I wasn’t done yet.
I worked with Stephaney for a year, I had ups and downs. I learned how to prep food ahead of time so I didn’t have to “think” about what to eat. I went through a major surgery and wasn’t able to work out for a couple months, but she kept a close eye on my meal plans and made changes when needed. To my surprise my weight didn’t change even though I was relatively inactive, I think she’s onto something here! My friends and family think I’m wacko, because I take my own food to events like camping, family reunions, community fairs, etc. I’ve learned that food is about fuel and not so much about socialization and mindless eating. I could still go to an event and not worry about eating something I shouldn’t or them not having something I could eat. Stephaney taught me how to be prepared and that was what I had always been missing.
I’ve had a stressful year since starting with Stephaney. I got married in September, surgery in December, went through the process of construction of and moving into a new home and the birth of my first child in May. All the while I kept my goals of healthy living in sight and continuing to progress the whole time.
I cannot thank Stephaney and Natty Nutrition enough for the help and guidance I have received. I would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone. I currently weigh around 190 pounds, but the most important part is that I FEEL good. I’m not exhausted all the time from hauling around extra body weight and I’m eating foods that my body needs. I’m confident at my current level and for the very First time in my life I can honestly say I don’t care if I lose another pound. I have new reasons to be healthy and happy now, and those reasons are my wife and my son.