Health, Hamburgers, and Heart Attacks: My Diet and How I Lost 60 Pounds / by MEAT ME

I've delayed putting this post together for awhile now, but felt as though the sooner I did it, the odds of helping/motivating those of you that might be struggling with your own weight problems and resulting health issues/concerns, will increase exponentially.

Let me first start out by saying that, NO ONE hates to hear the words "Health, Hamburgers and Heart Attacks" lined up together in the same sentence, more than I. However,  as many know all too well, the only real certainty in life,  is death. It doesn't matter if you love lettuce and broccoli, or the 100% Bacon Burger at "Slater’s 50/50," or the Triple Bypass Burger at "The Heart Attack Grill" in Sin City, at some inevitable point in time, we're all going to kick the bucket.

In fact, just last weekend quite tragically, John Alleman, the spokesperson for the aforementioned Las Vegas establishment, "Heart Attack Grill," passed away at the much too early age of 52. Though he was never officially on their payroll, almost everyday, he could be found coaxing customers into the restaurant and immensely enjoying the delectable food they offer. He frequently appeared on the menu  and promotional T-shirts, becoming somewhat of a representational icon, showcasing what was truly great about the eatery.

In the vein of promotional enthusiasm, I, like Mr. Alleman, have done similar things with places like "Currywurst" on Fairfax. One day last sumer, they were giving away 100 sausages to the first 100 people that followed them on Twitter. Out of support, respect, and my borderline problematic obsessive love of sausages in general, I went down to "Currywurst" that day dressed in my sunday best; and by "sunday best," I of course mean, a hot dog suit and a sign that read: “FREE SAUSAGES." I wasn't doing it for the classiness said ensemble radiates, or the hoards of ladies it attracts either. No, I did it for my love, my deep deep (borderline problematic) LOVE of Sausages! And of course, in gratitude and support for the owner, Kai Lobech, whose wonderfully delicious food struggles to survive in the heart of a Jewish neighborhood. Proof that the commercial relators in Los Angeles are assholes, but... that's another blog post altogether.

At the time of the sausage give-a-way, I weighed in at a waif like 238 pounds. Now, for someone 5’11” my ideal weight should be in the 168 to 188 pound range to be considered "healthy" as a 32 year old male. With the constant consumption of unhealthy meals I was eating for my blog, paired with simply not giving-a-shit, my self-esteem and drive were taking a major nose dive. Not to mention, I also have a heart condition known as "Atrial Fibrillation"(an electrical issue, not plumbing). Atrial Fibrillation causes my heart to race irregularly, from 180 to 230 beats per minute, when placed under any kind of strenuous activity. I can't die from this directly, but if I stay in “A-fib” longer that 24 to 48 hours, I run the risk of forming a blood clot in the left atrium of my heart, and if that sucker travels to my brain, stroking out is usually the end result. That, I can die from. Don't worry though, I'm on constant blood pressure medication, mild blood thinners, as well as a beta-blocker to help prevent and treat my Atrial Fibrillation.

Now, as I'm sure you can imagine, being in a state of less than optimal health like I was last year, doesn't exactly help my situation. The horrible eating habits I had acquired made me feel completely hung-over after large meals, and on a general whole, feeling like shit most of the time. Enough was enough, I was tired of waking up and feeling awful everyday, so I went to see my cardiologist, get some test done, and try to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. While getting a treadmill stress test, echocardiogram, and EKG, I also was told by my family, that every male on my Mother's side has died before the age of 33; always due to some type of heart complication. The last male to pass on, was 5 years ago and he died at 23.

That's when it all hit me: “I'm the ONLY remaining male on my Mother’s side of the family, and I need to make a choice as to whether I'm going to continue down this destructive eating path I'm on while resigning myself to the family curse, or am I going to step it up, change the game, and be the one who out lives them all?"

In September 2012, with the desire to change course boiling in my blood, I buckled down, and reconfigured my diet immediately. No more giant meals that left me immobile after completion. No more eating an entire pint of "Ben and Jerry’s" before bed. I had been wasting money every month on a membership to 24-hour fitness that I rarely used, and made the executive decision that needed to change as well. During this time, I also decided to take on the responsibility of being the live-in caretaker for my 83-year-old Grandmother (some of you know her as Olga or Baka). This was a new start, and I wasn't going to let anything stop me from being the best that I could be. At this shaky and uncertain moment of transition, I realized, there are guarantees in life. I would I never be at the wonderful and hopeful age of 32 again, and not only did I WANT to make the most of it, I NEEDED to make the most of it. I owed that to my friends, my family, and most importantly, I owed it to myself.

I broke my daily diet down to:

Breakfast: (200 to 250 Calories)
Protein Drink
Banana or Apple

Snack (180 Calories)
Nature Valley Bar
Granola Bar

Lunch (200 Calories)
Tuna Sandwich *tuna out of a can, with mustard on wheat bread
Soup *anything under 200 calories
Salad *dressing on the side dip the tip of your fork in the dressing before each bite

Snack (200 Calories)
Yogurt *fat free
Granola Bar

Dinner (200 to 350 Calories)
Turkey Patty *I get these frozen at Costco with a wheat bun
Hamburger Patty *I get these frozen at Costco with a wheat bun

Vegetables *quarter to a half a cup of frozen eat with breakfast, lunch or dinner

Snack/Dessert (100 Calories) *eat no later than 12 hours before the time you will wake up
Popcorn *100 Calorie Packets
Peanuts * 1 Cup of Shelled Peanuts
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bars *Weight Watchers Brand only 80 Calories

Vice: 1 to 3 Diet Cokes before 4pm (basically for me to avoid any heart issues I couldn’t have caffeine in my system while I was working out)

***CHEAT MEAL: Make sure you have a fucking cheat meal on either Saturday or Sunday (whatever day it’s up to you). I am not going to lie I had times where I would sit at a BJ’s and eat the Ahi Tuna Tar Tar appetizer, half an everything pizza, and a pazooki for dessert. That is almost 2,000 calories in one meal. I DO NOT recommend this but if you are like me and you are trying to break a food addiction this is one way to wean yourself.

For Exercise: 

For the first month I only did 4 days a week.
For the second and third month I tried really hard to get in 5 days a week.
For the forth month till now I only do 3 to 4 days a week.
*If I couldn’t get to the classes even sticking in 30 mins of running or playing Dance Connection or Zumba on XBOX will make a difference, than just doing nothing at all.

Monday: Turbo Kick @ 7pm or Zumba @ 8pm
Tuesday: Bodypump @ 5pm AND Zumba @ 7pm *I didn’t start doing back-to-back classes until after the first 35 days.
Wednesday: Zumba @ 7pm
Thursday: Bodypump @ 6pm AND Zumba @ 7pm
Friday: Zumba 6pm
*This worked for me, I hate being on a treadmill cause I get bored as fuck an time goes by slow as shit, these classes seem to blow by so fast. Each one was always different and I found the instructors VERY motivating.

What Worked For ME!!!

In the first 30 days I lost 18 pounds. *1 month
In the next 30 days I lost 30 pounds. *2 months
In the first 90 days I lost 50 pounds. *3 months
In the last 90 days I only lost 10 more pounds. *6 months = 60 pounds total.
- Everyone is different; you will each lose weight at your own rate.

CAUTION: I was told that losing weight this fast was not healthy, but when you stick to the diet and the workout routine; the rate at which you lose weight is what your body wants to do (I don’t get how you control it). To each their own…

Things To Keep In Mind!!!

• Learn to eat until you are not hungry any more, DO NOT eat until you are full. Eating till you are not hungry is NORMAL, eating till you are full is your body setting off an alarm tell you, YOU”RE AN IDIOT for eating so much and it’s going to make you carry the extra food it has to process.

• Your stomach is roughly the size of your own fist, so your meals shouldn’t be any larger than your fist.

• You will feel like shit/death for the first 30 days of working out. I thought I was going to die trying to keep up. It wasn’t until day 30-35 that working out actually made me feel amazing and happy. You are never too old to do these classes. I am fighting with 80 year old Asian men in these classes for floor space. Don’t be embarrassed being a noob in these classes we all had our first day. Plus everyone is looking at the instructor and not you. Trust me (My first day I had a long beard, head band and Kermit the frog shirt on), they don’t give  a shit about you.

• You are going to plateau!!! You are going to work the shit out of yourself and be at the same fucking weight for 3 weeks. Do something to shock your body. It has gotten used to your new routine and is now holding on to your fat cause it thinks you’re a camel and going on a long journey. If you work out in the evening wake up early one day and double your work out time, or go on a 2 to 3 hour hike. Change it up and in the next day or so you will see 8 to 10 pounds vanish like your scale was broken.

•This is not an ALL or NOTHING game. Baby steps mother fucker. If you miss a day or 2, or 3, or a week: make it up the following week or don’t. Go at your own pace. It’s not a race. I personally just got tired of my hip fat running into my back fat. You can do what ever you want. There is no guilt in weight loss you are doing this for yourself.

• EAT MEAT at least once a day. I did, there are no carbs in MEAT. Have a different piece of meat everyday. I am not talking about pulled pork sandwiches on a French Roll dumbass. I am talking Rib Eyes, NY Strips, Chicken, Turkey, and Pork Loins. You can eat BBQ for your once-a-week cheat meal, but during the week you can eat all the lightly seasoned MEAT you want.

This was not easy by any means, but once you start seeing results and feeling good about yourself it will become even easier. After the first 25 to 30 pounds people will notice the HOT n’ SEXY you that was underneath all of that fat. They will compliment you and they will encourage you to keep going. Your family and friends will give you more love and attention. People you don’t know on the street will start checking you out and hitting on you. You will get more ATTENTION than you could have ever imagined, you might even get free stuff.

I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. My diet is actually very high in fiber and my cause some people constipation and in some extreme cases hemorrhoids. This diet worked for me, and all my blood work has come back perfect. Sooooo snack on that for lunch.

Good Luck Fatty’s
Sean Rice (former fatty)