I have always struggled with a love of food, I love to eat, I love to cook, I love to drink and enjoy the good times and good feelings that come with it. Unfortunately that lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle in my early 20’s. I lived in a city without a car and walked everywhere, so I was very active just never exercising per say. I put on a few pounds here a few pounds there, slowly things started getting harder, moving was harder. Joints started to hurt after working for the day. Which led to me doing less, without adjusting my food intake, led to a vicious spiral down. Fast forward to my early thirties I was traveling for work 35-40 times a year living off hotel conference buffets and open bars. On February 7th 2014 I weighed myself on the scale and I hit 350lbs. It was horrifying. I remember the thought that went through my head was HOLY SHIT I NEED TO LOSE 50LBS to get to 300LBS!
I knew I needed to make a change and after that I did the usual few weeks of eating healthier and less, that resulted in a weight loss getting down to 330 but then I was stuck there. I had my physical with my Doctor and asked him about getting stomach surgery, he said why don’t we try appetite suppressants, Phentermine/topiramate, and they were great to be honest, they give you energy, and for the first time in my life I felt like I could do this! My doctor at the time said we should do this for three months. I got down to 320 or something like that but I didn’t do a good job using the appetite suppressants. I think the method that should be used with this is allow you time to build some good habits. It did also allow me to lose weight but I kept with the old lifestyle I just ate less. It allowed me to order the small size of anything for the first time in my life. After the few months of appetite suppressants ended I slowly went back to bad habits. I also think appetite suppressants can be a useful tool to kick start things but only with changes in lifestyle to go along with it.
So after that I enrolled in a weight loss program at a nearby hospital group. When I went to the consultation they mentioned that being on appetite suppressants for such a short time does not allow real habit change to form. So I went back on the appetite suppressants and got down to 250lbs! I attempted to hike the Long trail which is the length of Vermont. I made it about 5 days before I badly sprained my ankle and quit. I stopped the appetite suppressants before leaving on the hike. After the hike I was a little depressed only getting a short time into it. So I went from 250 up to 280 at one point. I finally determined that I would not take any more drugs and that I needed to develop good habits. This is where smart start fitness was born, I want to help people develop good habits that will help them in all aspects of their lives, work together to come up with ideas, and try new things.