At the Start
Over my life my weight has gone up and down quite a few times and the only sustainable way I have found to keep the weight off is by eating a plant-based diet combined with at least a relatively small amount of exercise.
I was overweight as a little kid in elementary and part of middle school. That all changed when I joined the track team and I got into great shape in my teenage years.
Halfway through college I started exercising less and eating more and my weight started to rise dramatically. A few years after graduation I was weighing at least 333 pounds. That was the highest number I saw on the scale and at that point I quit weighing myself. Even though I am 6' 5" that's still a lot of weight and it wasn't exactly a ton of muscle
I was at (or approaching) 350 pounds at my very heaviest.
A Little Progress and the Calm Before the Storm
Eventually I knew I had to do something because my asthma and allergies were still off the charts and my blood pressure was sky high. My first step was to stop eating fried foods and that had an impact. I then started to replace other fatty and unhealthy foods with better ones.
I started seeing tremendous results when l I started eating a lot better and moving around more. I ended up losing over 100 pounds in a little over a year with a better diet and exercise.
Even though my asthma and allergies were gone, I was about to have a huge medical problem. I had taken prescribed inhalers and other medicines for around 25 years and that had led to avascular necrosis.
Long story short, the medication had blocked the blood flow through my hip joints and without adequate oxygen and nutrients the bone started to die and collapse on itself. What doctors first thought was a bulging disk turned out to be the need to have both of my hips replaced at a young age.
Recovery and Becoming a Personal Trainer & Nutrition Specialist
I joked that (since I lived in south Florida at the time) I was finally able to blend in with the rest of the people in Florida because I have artificial hips! The recovery took a few months and I was able to bounce back better than before. I had not only lost over 100 pounds through diet and exercise but I had also come back after two major joint replacements.
This made me want to help other people and hopefully inspire them to become healthier and happier themselves so I became a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I trained clients and taught group fitness classes at two major, national gyms.
My desire to help people is the entire reason for spreading the word about health and fitness. I want everyone to feel better and live better if they want to.
I would sometimes exercise for 3 hours a day but I knew that it wouldn't be sustainable for a variety of reasons. As my exercising fell off a bit, my weight started creeping up. Although it wasn't anything even remotely close to the amount I had gained before, I still felt that I needed to adjust things and make my nutrition habits even better than they were.
Becoming Vegan and Keeping the Weight Off
As of the time of writing this, I stopped eating beef, pork, and chicken around 5 years ago and have not eaten fish, eggs, or dairy for about a year. To maintain my weight I eat a plant-based diet and exercise a few times a week by walking, doing some resistance training, or biking a little bit (needing nothing even close to the 3 hours I used to spend working out!).
This approach has finally allowed me to keep over 100 pounds off and to feel great while having lots of energy in the process.
The main reasons I choose to be vegan are to act ethically, to save as many animals as I can, to help the environment, to maintain a healthy weight, and for the overall health benefits.
I am aiming to use my platforms to help people who want to live healthier lives and improve themselves.
My goal is to provide useful tips, recipes, and advice while making The Purple Dog Vegan blog, social media pages, and YouTube channel positive and encouraging places where you can learn, share, and have fun.