My Weight Loss Journey

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Sven Svensson

Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Dec 5, 2021
Sonoma County, California
About 20+ years ago I lost the use of my right lung from a car accident. I was a normal weight until then. That accident began a weight gain journey that put me over 300lbs. At one official doctor’s scale I was at 305 but I was over that number for sure in the months before that weigh-in. In spite of “encouraging words” from my family I had pretty much given up on weight loss. I was never a fan of exercise or healthy eating. I like to eat pigs and cows and not the stuff they eat.

It’s too long to get into but I tried several different diets with limited success and lots of rebounds. I tried motivational books and videos always convinced my success was eventually going to be achieved. But I never found that inspiration.

A sober meeting with my pulmonologist explaining what “morbidly obese” meant was one of the things that got me started. Again, too much to get into but a little over a year ago I started eating one meal a day and counting calories. I’ve talked about it a little on this forum in the past. With my pulmonologist I set a goal of losing enough weight in a year to move me from “morbidly obese” to “normal.” This was going to be a big 60th birthday gift to myself.

Trying to keep this short I’ll jump to the end. I lost 130 lbs. I did it by eating 1500 calories or less every day. I hiked an average of 6.5 miles a day but I had to build up to that. And, when I was in a big plateau, I added swimming about 2100-2500 yards 4-6 times a week to my fitness routine.

I’ve talked about it in the past on this forum but I’ve never shown you pictures of the results. I know we don’t often show ourselves as I’d rather see brisket or anything Robert is cooking than some old guy sitting in a lawn chair sipping Marker’s Mark next to a smoker.

I’m doing this not for kudos but to encourage you. Maybe you made a resolution this year to finally drop some pounds and you’re loosing your mojo. I know it’s a cliche but seriously, if I can do this you can, too. There’s nothing special about me. I was freaking huge and always tired and I loved sitting. I had a million reasons to not start. Exercise and one functional lung don’t mix.

So here it goes. Sorry this isn’t brisket or bacon. Haha. Just some old guy.

Here I am enjoying an extra dirty martini. I’m over 300 lbs at this point.

I think I’m the one on the left but it’s hard to tell. We have the same number of chins.

And here I am in my wetsuit, something I never thought in a million years I would ever fit into. I swim outdoors in the winter and I hate the cold now, thus the wetsuit.

And here’s a comparison shot one of my daughters made using the martini man picture.

I still smoke and eat meat but a lot less. I’m an expert at chicken breasts and shrimp now. I give away a lot of stuff I make so I won’t eat it all. I have a newfound love of grilled veggies and salads. I also don’t drink my calories.

Questions? Ask away. I’m an open book. And now you’ve seen me in a wetsuit so there’s not much left to hide. I thought that was better than one of those shirtless shots in front of a gas station bathroom mirror.
I fully appreciate how hard that battle is. And it never ends. Quitting smoking cigarettes 25 years ago was a tough go, but it got easier every day until the cravings completely left. The battle with weight never goes away. It takes a complete change in life style.

Congrats on winning that war.
Strong work and congrats. The most effective thing(s) for my weight loss was cutting out most all sugar, greatly reducing carbs, and trying to cut out one meal per day. I always exercised and that alone did little for weight loss, just kept me from from gaining too fast. 1500 cals/day seems about right for a maintenance plan.
Congrats! Great work and it's paid off. As a fellow sufferer with a lifetime of weight issues. 2 years ago the Mrs. and I started Weight Watchers for the 3rd time in 25 years. Within 10 months I was down 55 lbs and she was down 40, I even got rid of my "Fat" clothes, I was so sure this time would be a keeper. Flash forward to now, I've gained back 45 and she gained back 35. Typical of both of both of us. We're both over 60 now, me 61, she 60. It's so difficult to get back on it as we are each others' worst enemies regarding food. The weight goes back on very fast. So we're rebooting and starting from scratch once again. I cannot walk as much as I should because of Arthritis in my hip and lower back. Oh we both still smoke Cigs as well. We both know how pathetic we are but hoping this reboot will work. You're an inspiration. I'll update as we go. Thank you for sharing this and hopefully motivating me to get back on it, and stay on it.
Fantastic Sven, I remember reading your other posts a while back about your routine.

Good for you to stick to it and just do it. And you are a better man for doing it , as I bet your family is much happier knowing you will be around for a long time because of you amazing weight loose. And probably a better mind set also.

Now on something you also said, you give a lot of the foods away
I give away a lot of stuff I make so I won’t eat it all.
Will add my address below, lol

Good on you and your family Sven

Strong work and congrats. The most effective thing(s) for my weight loss was cutting out most all sugar, greatly reducing carbs, and trying to cut out one meal per day. I always exercised and that alone did little for weight loss, just kept me from from gaining too fast. 1500 cals/day seems about right for a maintenance plan.

That's where I'm at. I'm not full blown keto, just low carb.

I do the intermittent fasting thing every other day by skipping breakfast. I tried it every day but had some trouble with dizziness when bending down and standing back up. I'm sure it was from low blood sugar and/or not enough food. It goes away when I eat three meals a day.

And weather permitting, I ride a bicycle. Best exercise I've found for my age. I started 8 years ago at age 62. Its easy on the joints and gives the heart a good work out.
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That's awesome Sven! That has to make you and your family proud! As well as being a great inspiration for others!

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Congrats! That's a lot of hard work! Ive always had to keep my weight down for the Marines and stay in good shape, but after my last weigh in and fitness test Ive gained a ton of weight. Ill have to be digging in deep soon myself to get back to "fighting weight"

Good inspiration, thank you for sharing! Well, I could have done without the wetsuit picture, LoL! But, it could have been worse!!
That's awesome and congratulations.
I just recently started one meal a day to lose some weight. At least 50 pounds.
Had a small stroke 2 years ago and had to quit 🚬. I replaced it by smoking on my grills which worked but I've packed on the pounds.
Can you tell me more about your chicken breast and shrimp? I've been using thighs cause my breast are not that good.
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What a transition! At the risk of repeating, but it's so true; you have achieved a major feat and are a true inspiration for others! Thank you so much for sharing.

I, too would like to hear more about your recipes and methods for cooking chicken and vegetables. When that is a major staple, I'm sure you have found ways to truly spice it up! - Kim
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