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How ESPN writer Bill Barnwell lost 125 pounds in 2015, explained in his Medium post

How ESPN writer Bill Barnwell lost 125 pounds last year Boing Boing


Bill Barnwell Medium post: 

https:[email protected][email protected]ffcc5

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Boing Boing summarizes:

Bill Barnwell topped the scales at 334.7 pounds on January 1, 2105. This year, he's a little over 200. In this essay he writes about his depression, body image, compulsive eating, and what he did about it. Barnwell describes his compulsive eating as "the fear of missing out."

you beat me to posting this. 

Was there any particular part of this post you liked?

Or just that it's Bill Barnwell?

Good quote from Bill Barnwell's Medium post:

My compulsive eating had little to do with hunger and was almost never enjoyable. Instead, it was like trying to chase a vague, indefinable comfort, some satisfaction that never arrived — or even could arrive. It was the fear of missing out, but for food and constantly. I would struggle to pick between two fast food places and just stop at each of their drive-thrus, hiding the soda cup and the wrappers from the first one so the second cashier wouldn’t see, because being caught in my embarrassing act was somehow more shamefug than the actual behavior I was committing. The idea of just waiting for another day just wasn’t realistic to me; I absolutely, compulsively had to get that sandwich from Wendy’s. The act of ordering the food, of making the conscious choice to indulge, was far more important than eating the stupid thing.

My favorite part of Bill's Medium post:

As I think about what I did to actually get in shape, the actual physical choices I made are a lot less important than they might seem. I knew that a healthy adult male ate about 2,000 calories per day, so I aimed for that figure, eventually settling into a range where I tried to eat between 1,800 and 2,400 calories each day. And I began going to the gym six days a week, almost exclusively using the elliptical machine, since I didn’t think my joints could take much of a pounding after they had spent the last decade in energy saver mode.

Although I’ve adapted and expanded my knowledge and obviously developed a more robust game plan, those two simple concepts are at the core of what I’ve done all year. It was more important to show up every day and emulate that terrifyingly militaristic Tom Brady commercial than it was to worry about interval training and macronutrient ratios.

Instead, other aspects of my rebuild were far more meaningful and seem wholly more important to reiterate here as advice. That starts with a point I wish I had figured out much earlier: you simply have to build a plan which works for you in lieu of copying somebody else’s. You can read a million stories of how people lost weight and drastically improved their self-image, but unless you can apply the principles of what they did to something that actually fits you, it’s almost always going to fail.

I've heard many success stories in which the key was essentially giving oneself grace for getting off plan (as opposed to beating yourself up, or declaring the day/week/month a total loss and spiraling downward).  The tortoise is an excellent role model: slow and steady.  Another key seems to be making good habits to substitute for poor habits/patterns, a la Duhigg (as well summarized here by Eric Barker: ).

Those rules of thumb are good:

1. Don't beat yourself up if you screw up. Just get back on good habit. 

2. Slow and steady. This is a change for life, not a temporary change. 

3. Substituting a bad habit for a good one takes time. See the first two rules of thumb. 

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