The other day, we had the pleasure of chatting with Sean Reveille (pictured at far left in July 2009 and at far right in February 2012), a Punk Rope customer who happens to be a fan of metal and rope jumping, and who recently lost 115 pounds by making some very sensible choices. We were inspired by Sean’s story and think you will be too.
1) Most Americans struggle with their weight. How did you drop 115 pounds?
I tried a lot of different things as far as exercise went, but for a long time I wasn’t consistent about any one thing. I tried various video-based programs as well as basic workout programs I got off the Internet. But the big thing I did was change my diet, which I did in phases. The first month, I stopped drinking everything but water. The second month, I started preparing my own meals at home rather than eating fast food. I didn’t do anything to drastically change my eating habits as far as WHAT I was eating, but I prepared it all at home using low-fat ingredients, and that made a big difference. Messing around in the kitchen, I came up with ways to cook things like burritos, burgers, and other foods I was already eating in a way that was diet-friendly. All grains became whole grains, eggs became egg whites, etc. Then during month 3 I began completely cutting the foods I knew to be bad for me. Honestly, I tried a lot of things and I wasn’t meticulously following any sort of exercise regimen until I had already lost a lot of the weight. But because I was strict about my nutrition, I could afford not to be serious about exercise, at least until I hit my plateau at about 250 lbs. One key thing to understand (and this is something I learned) is that no amount of exercise can make up for poor overall nutrition habits. A person who is strict about nutrition, but only exercises casually and not following any set program will get a lot closer to achieving their goals than one who works out like a beast but has poor overall nutrition habits.
2) Has it been difficult to maintain the weight loss?
I would say that keeping the weight off is easy. Once you’ve been doing it for a few months, the desire to go back to your old ways kind of stops, except for the odd treat meal, and that’s okay to indulge in. I know that, on the rare occasion we go out to eat (which is once a month, if even that) I throw the nutrition rulebook out the window. And that’s okay. It doesn’t get in the way of your progress when it is that rare. I’ve noticed that most people who give up do it early on, and they do it for one of two reasons:
a) They don’t understand how the dietary changes they’ve made along with the sudden introduction of exercise will affect their weight in the short term. They weigh themselves constantly, not understanding how, in the beginning, water retention and muscle gain will throw off the scale. And since the scale isn’t showing progress, they give up.
b) They don’t give it long enough to become a routine. As I said above, sticking to it and keeping the weight off is easy once it becomes routine, and that can take anywhere from 3 weeks to a couple of months depending on the person.
3) You mentioned being an outlier in 2 different communities, Florida and Pittsburgh. Why do you think people perceive you as an outsider?
I grew up in Boca Raton, FL, a very upscale beachfront city in South Florida. EVERYONE there is thin, and quite a few people have had some sort of cosmetic surgery. Being that I was overweight, I was an outsider. In 2002, I moved to Pittsburgh, PA, where obesity is more the standard thanks to lack of organized physical activities and local Polish-based cuisine. In the beginning, I fit right in. But after adopting a healthy lifestyle, I began to drift toward the opposite end of the spectrum.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our discussion with Sean, which will appear next week.