How One Man Learned to ‘Enjoy’ Slow and Steady Weight Loss and Dropped 85 Pounds

Athletes compete during the run portion of the IRONMAN World Championships brought to you by Amazon on October 13, 2018 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
 Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN

In a perfect world, we’d all eat healthy, exercise often, drink seldom. But most of us get thrown off course. For advice on getting in a new groove, we asked a Men’s Journal reader, 30-year-old Palmer Sperry from Stamford, Connecticut, how he shed major weight and learned to love exercise.

 

 

FRESHMAN 30

My weight wasn’t an issue growing up. But when I went away to college, eating whatever I wanted, I put on weight—20 or 30 pounds the first year. Two years later, I began working in a butcher’s shop in my spare time. I hit my heaviest: 235 pounds. I didn’t notice until I saw pictures from my sister’s wedding. It was eye-opening, and I had to make changes.

TRIAL AND ERROR

I wanted to lose weight fast, so I tried a lot of diets—low-carb and severe calorie restriction. I’d lose a little but eventually put it back on—and more. It took me a long time to realize I needed a lifestyle change. I started going to the gym, which made me hungry. A trainer recommended I try SlimFast shakes, before or after my workout. It really helped reduce my appetite, plus they have enough protein to support cardio and weight training. It also curbed my snacking. The weight began dropping—40 pounds the first year. Now, three years later, I’ve lost a total of 85 pounds.

THE LONG HAUL

I’m training for a marathon, so I run 20 to 25 miles a week, lift weights, and work with a trainer. My eating is pretty strict, except for the weekend. I drink once a week, eat pizza, go out with the family. You have to enjoy the process. There are no quick fixes. It takes hard work, and you’ve got to stick with it.