One year ago today, I posted a blog about how I lost 117 lbs in one year. It was an emotional blog where I openly talked about my journey and some of my struggles with eating disorders.
1 Year Later. 117 Pounds Down.
Where do I even start? Let’s get the numbers out of the way. For reference, my height is 5'6–5'7. On September 20th…
When I posted that blog, part of me was hoping I could write a blog this year where I’d be another 40–50 lbs down, possibly with six-pack abs. That didn’t happen.
However, in that original blog, I mentioned how I had lost significant amounts of weight in the past, and it wouldn’t last long when I did. After the brief success and weight loss brought on by unhealthy methods, I typically would hit a point where I spiral and self-destruct, and not only do I gain the weight back — I gain it and then some. A year later, I’m proud to say I weigh the same as I did a year ago.
If you want to be an asshole, I weigh 230 currently, which is 5 lbs heavier than the 225 I was at a year ago, but my body fat percentage is down 3%, so we’ll call it even. In all honesty, I am thrilled to be the same weight because I went through multiple big life changes this past year, where I had to adjust to so many different things. I also had a really fucking awesome 2023, where I got to have fun, experience so many new things, got to work on cool stuff, and just enjoy life. If you want to read about my health journey and the big changes in my life over the last year, here we go:
Workout & Health Regimen
Let’s kick off with the fitness element. Part of my health journey the first year was being in the gym every single day, even on weekends. For year two and to this day, I still actively try to go to the gym daily. I try to do weights 3–4x a week and cardio daily. Some might say I should focus more on weights and less on cardio, but my endurance matters a lot to me and my health. Now, you might be wondering, how didn’t I lose weight while working out every day?
Well, it’s pretty simple. Some days, I phoned it in with 20–40 minutes of easy cardio. And then, I would go home, eat unhealthy food, and live a sedentary life.
At the same time, being active and getting my workout in is crucial, as the endorphins that come from it make my days better (shoutout to Elle Woods). Not to mention, weight isn’t everything. Even though I have some pounds that I want to drop, right now, I’m capable of running five miles and lifting heavy weights whenever. My health is not limiting my life, and that’s a blessing I will not take for granted.
Personally though, I NEED to work out because some days for my job, I’m legit sitting down at a computer for 14–16 hours. And I don’t regret that at all because…
I GOT AN AWESOME JOB
For people who don’t know, I’ve been working full-time freelance as a writer for The Dozen Trivia show with Barstool Sports for over a year. The show airs three episodes a week; it consists of Sports, Pop Culture, Food, and a bunch of other stuff, with so many big personalities competing on the show. It’s surreal that I get to have a hand in working on something that hundreds of thousands of people watch and care deeply about.
We had live shows in Boston, Arizona, and Chicago that sold out venues. I got to travel seriously for the first time in my life, go to these events, try some awesome regional foods, and see crowds of people reacting to questions I wrote. It felt unbelievable.The job is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’m incredibly grateful for every day, specifically to my boss, who gave me a chance.
If you’ve followed my blog for years, you know I’m someone who was constantly grinding and trying to create good content. Over those years, I struggled to make ends meet and was doing any odd jobs I could. Part of what made my 2022 health journey easier was that I didn’t have money to splurge on unhealthy food. With this new job, I finally got paid a living wage. Especially at the beginning, I used that living wage to buy all the food I couldn’t before.
Self-control is hard. I had to learn how to use my money better for my bank account and my body. A splurge here or there isn’t bad; you just can’t splurge every day.
I ALSO MOVED, NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE.
Right after I posted my blog last year, I moved to Riverside, California. I did not know anyone in the area, and it was really isolating at times. In those three months, I went on way too many Bumble dates because I needed to see a face that wasn’t my mom or my brother. One girl I went on a date with after only four messages, and then she told me her ex was in jail for having seven pounds of meth to distribute. Don’t worry, it was to distribute. I also fell into bad habits during this period, where I often ate fast food because I didn’t know what was good in the area. As mentioned above, I was getting paid enough I could buy myself whatever from the McDonald’s menu. I could afford the Grimace Shake, the Grimace Burger, and if I had tipped enough, I could’ve gotten a Grimace lap dance. There was also a Dairy Queen only three miles from my house, and I fucking love a Blizzard more than anything in this world.
There were other issues with Riverside as well. I’m a big movie guy, and there wasn’t a good theater nearby. My daily gym commute went from 5–10 minutes to being 40+ minutes back and forth, cutting into how much time I had for my workouts. It made getting into a daily routine even more challenging, which led to more bad diet choices — a slippery slope.
After visiting the Northeast in late November/early December, I decided I would move back to my original area and get my own place for the first time. I got an apartment in Covina, California, and it’s been a dream. The independence of living alone is fantastic. The apartment is in a good area where I’m a 2-minute drive from my gym, there are great places to eat nearby, a movie theater on the same street I live, and I can see friends and family more.
Also, I try my best to keep my apartment clean, my fridge organized, make sure there are always cold drinks on deck, and that my laundry smells terrific. Knowing that this is my home, I’ve taken a lot of pride and ownership in where I live, and it’s positively influenced my mental and physical health.
The moves were undeniably big transitions, and they definitely added extra obstacles that I had to learn to navigate/learn from. Even when living alone, at first, I was eating too many potato chips and chocolate-dipped pretzels that I was getting in bulk from Costco. I had to stop buying those and start making better choices. Nowadays, my fridge is stocked with protein and veggies. Although the protein & veggies in my fridge sometimes stayed there as I ate out.
I HAD FUN THIS SUMMER. I LIVED MY BEST LIFE.
Look, the Summer of 2023 was the first Summer of my adult life where I wasn’t broke, obese, or both. I didn’t get to experience college life. I spent way too many years depressed and reclusive. After the season finale of the show I worked on ended in June, I had the chance to take a breath and enjoy life… and I did precisely that.
I hung out with friends, went on dates, hit bars, did some traveling, tried to eat at as many cool places as possible, and, importantly, was down for whatever. Right before my Summer began, I weighed 228 and was on a trajectory to where I might be down to 205–210 by now. Yeah, no, your boy had some fun and did not regret it.
In Chicago, I had pizza every single day. I went to Arizona and had the greatest milkshake of my life. I visited the Joshua Tree area and had the most spectacular Brisket Sandwich with Mac and Cheese. And with the fellas for my birthday, I ate enough Korean BBQ to feed a small country.
I treated myself, yet two things always mattered, and it’s why I have zero regrets for the fun I had. First, I made sure to still be in the gym every single day (I never weighed above 245 this Summer), and the second thing is that when I did eat unhealthy, I had to make sure the food was damn good. If you’re going to treat yourself, TREAT YOURSELF. The Summer of 2023 was the Summer of Allan.
I need to acknowledge that as great as this year has been and as much fun as I had in the Summer, there were hardships and things that I did that I regret to this day. There were days I felt terrible at my job. Days where I felt like an awful friend. Days where I felt so fucking fat. And the worst, days where I had to watch a shitty episode of The Challenge Ride or Dies.
My upbringing and formative years were not great, to say the least. It made me inherently cynical and hilariously turned me into a decent Reality TV blogger because I can pick apart and make fun of the people on these shows with ease. It’s not difficult to dwell and live in negativity because it’s always there. Right now, in my personal life, I am working hard and focusing on enjoying the positives in life. To which there’s a lot. I’m very grateful to all my friends, supporters, and even the haters.
In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten back on track with a more disciplined diet and ramped up my workout intensity lately. I’m seeing more progress than ever in the mirror and feel positive momentum again for the first time in a while.
Other than that, I’m going to keep working hard on everything. I want to write as good of questions as possible for The Dozen. I’ve been posting more Challenge blogs again recently and want to keep creating good quality content. 2023 has been the best year of my life, and I attribute much of that to staying focused and committed — I believe if I keep working hard, good things will come, or at the very least, I’ll be prepared if something bad happens.
I hope I’ve lost some weight when I write this blog again next year. If I don’t, I won’t be mad because I’m in a good place right now.