Bring Everything or Give Nothing

35 Responses

  1. deibrown says:

    Wohoo Tyler! Let’s do this MAN! I had lost 80lbs and then I regained 20 of those and have most recently been yo-yoing back and forth within those 20 lbs, when I still have at least another 60-80 lbs to lose. I cannot call it a plateau because I have been consciously choosing the behaviors that got me up to 311 lbs over the ones that have allowed me to lose some weight.

    I am a lady so weight lifting/building muscles does not appeal to me, but I have noticed a significant amount of flab sag already and I am extrememly concerned. So like you, while I appreciate wearing a smaller size and looking better while clothed, I want to my naked body to reflect all the hard work and discipline I must show every day to maintain the fat loss. Of course, the health benefits are there whether one looks better naked or not, but I’d like to one day be able to look hot in a bathing suit…a one piece…I dare not even dream of a bikini, lol!

    My goal is to incorporate 20 minutes of strength training into my workout routine twice a week. And to complete the PeachTree Road Race 10k in under 1 hour 20 minutes!

    Let’s go!

  2. Jason says:


    Weren’t you just against the all or nothing idea a few months ago? Saying you need a balanced life and diet to maintain it? Not trying to be negative here, I just had said I couldn’t continue to lose and perform at a higher level while indulging in my favorite foods.


  3. Jaclyn says:

    Tyler the Tank,
    So back in August when I decided to train for my first marathon, I thought that somehow it would magically zap my body into the ideal physique. I was wrong. Ive been training close to a year now and last month decided to incorporate more than just running. Ive been regular for about a month training 4 days a week in addition to my running schedule. Ive had to change my diet again, as the carbs for running were interfering with my weight goals. Its incredibly frustrating, and I miss my sweets, but like you I have a goal. So, bottom line is, Imma bring it.

  4. greg says:

    The journey is a continuous process of discovery and reeducation. The thing I keep shaking my head over is how “eat less, move more” is deceptively simple and not the whole story. There’s a whole set of interactions here and no one thing can be taken in isolation. It’s not just eating less, it’s eating more of the right things. It’s not just moving more, it’s doing effective exercise. And either one of those alone won’t get you where you want to be. But weight training needs mixed in as well. And what constitutes the right things? We think cutting fats is the right answer but the truth is that you have to cut the wrong fats and maybe even increase the right fats. And worst of all, individual metabolism means a plan that works perfectly for one person might need significant tweaking before it works for a different person.

    Over the last year, what would say are your biggest lessons learned? Which positions have you held that you’ve found need reevaluation?

  5. Tim Parker says:

    Weight lifting is not just for muscle heads. I’m not a rabid fan of it, but for true tone, and to help lose the weight, it is another facet. Muscle still needs to be there, and built up. As for the worry of being she-hulk when you lift, that requires an extremely specialized form of lifting, after you’ve cut everything.

    Ladies do well for weight training too.

  6. Maria says:

    You say…….I’m not happy with my body. I’m not. It may sound ungrateful after accomplishing something so many others would like to already, but I worked hard to lose this weight and wasn’t handed anything

    What do you mean you haven’t been handed anything?. I find this really sad. You were handed a lot. A stronger heart, a easier life, more energy, and a vbetter working body. I find what you are saying very discouraging . Focus on what you were handed . As a nutrition and exercise Dr. I know that you can’t lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. NOw it is time for you to be happy with what you have. Get the muscle that you want and accept the fact that you may just have some lose skin unless you get it removed. YOu are still so young that you have a very good chance of that skin getting tighter. You have done an amazing job of losing all this weight. I feel that you were handed a second chance at life. Focus on that and be more than blessed with what you were given.

  7. Tyler, I think I agree with you on this post, but how to you think about sustainability? We all talk about this as a lifestyle change, something you do for the rest of your life. How do you reconcile that with max effort all the time?

  8. sara says:

    Yes Sir!

  9. Tyler says:

    Hi Maria! No, you misunderstood what I was trying to say — I wasn’t handed anything, I earned it. You’re right, I do now have a healthier heart, a second chance at life, etc. But it wasn’t just give to me because I was lucky, I earned it.

  10. Tyler says:

    Sustainability is simply a question of motivation. I’m motivated to do something radical, to build muscles and change my entire physique — it’s max effort for the next year to reach a goal, much like someone would go to school for 8+ years to become a doctor or a lawyer.

    It’s a goal. I want it. With your help, I’ll achieve it.

  11. Tyler says:

    You do need a balanced life to maintain it. I don’t plan to start living in the gym 3 hours a day or start eating salads all the live long day — I’m eating foods high in protein that I love like peanuts, peanut butter, turkey, tuna, etc.

    Besides, I’m not recommending everyone do this. This is my goal, my life, something I’m going to achieve. Sure, if I wanted to just hover around 200 pounds I could still eat cheeseburgers, fries, etc., in moderation and be fine.

    But I want more.

  12. Tara says:

    Tyler not only am I going to bring everything but I’m going to do it with a smile on my face!

    This is going to be an AWESOME adventure!!

  13. Tyler says:

    Good luck!

    And as Tim said, weight lifting isn’t just for muscle heads. Muscles burn more weight than fat and being a woman, you could live weights all day long and you wouldn’t be able to build big muscles — just tone.

    Lifting weights is for everybody! But don’t worry, this blog isn’t turning into a blog for bodybuilders or anything — I still have a lot of fat to lose and will concentrate on it for a while to come.

  14. Tyler says:

    Exactly. Would you be perfectly happy and healthy eating sweets on occasion and living a moderate lifestyle? Absolutely!

    But — you have a goal. My goal is to look completely different in 2011. I’m going to do what it takes to reach it.

  15. Tyler says:


  16. Tyler says:

    While it MAY not be the whole story, you can’t make the issue more complex or nobody will start with the basics (eat less and move more). If you make it seem like rocket science, nobody will start the simple steps needed. It’s a progression. If someone were to ask me today how to get start losing 50 pounds, 100 pounds, etc., I’d say to eat less and move more.

    But you’re right, once you get down to looking at the research and the science behind losing weight it’s more complex. It does all start, however, with eat less and move more and that should always be encouraged anyway. Our portion sizes are too big and we’re just too friggin sedentary for our own goods.

    My biggest lessons learned is that everybody has advice and everybody has an opinion. Usually, they’re contradicting. It is important to find the way to lose weigh that works for you.

    I can’t think of any reevaluations needed. Eat less, move more, I’ll suggest it to folks until I die.

  17. Michelle says:

    Hi Tyler,

    Try almost butter instead of peanut butter, it’s healthier and a better protein source than peanuts.

  18. Michelle says:


    Going back to last year’s post.. the deflated skin you have, are you more considering a tummy tuck if muscle building doesn’t do the results you wish? I remember you saying this may be an option in the future.


  19. Michelle says:

    Correction: Almond Butter..

    It’s Monday.

  20. TheDivorcedGuy says:

    Tyler, congrats on your progress.

    This is the first time I have commented on your blog, but thought now that you are getting into the weight training, I would drop a not and say hello.

    As you can tell from my name, I went through a divorce. When I met my ex, I was 308 pounds, and before we split, was down to 221. Well, let’s just say I got off track, and went back up to 265, but have lost 12 pounds in the last 5 weeks.

    Anyway, my workout plan is different from yours, as I have been incorporated weight training all along the way. I was a gym nut for a while about a year ago, but moved, bought a house, and so on, and lost track of everything.

    A friend of mine works out with atheletes, and gave me a program that is easy to follow. I break my weights down into days, with one on chest, then back, then legs, then shoulders, then arms. I do 160 reps per muscle group, broken down into 4 exercises at 5 sets of 8. Then I do cardio, with a minimum of 20 minutes, but generally more like 35-40.

    The added muscle mass will burn more calories standing, and you will drop the fat while your muscles build. The offset of that is that while you may drop the fat, you may not actually drop any weight.

    But for some reason, I don’t think you would mind that at this point

    Best of luck to you

  21. R.H says:

    I’ve been sick the past few days so it’s hard to get back on the track of eating healthy and working out. Thanks for the reminder of giving it all. Losing this weight means a lot to me, and I should be giving it my all. A buddy of mine is actually helping me now with cardio and weights so I’m getting more accountability that way!!

  22. Tim Parker says:

    In a way, you are not moving too radical anyway. Your body has accustomed to a different way of eating than it ever has. Now you are coming into perfecting the balance that is needed for what you want. You had to start changing your diet, for the better and eat less. Now with the knowledge you have in terms of percentages and what not, and knowing where you want to be, you can focus in on that.

    The diet itself won’t be changed as much, just as the ratios are. The problem with the crash diets is that it is too much of a body shock. Can’t handle all the sudden changes. It’s not quite the same as where you are at now.

  23. kate says:

    You know that’s actually the P90X tagline? I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO TRY ANYMORE. Kidding.

    I think a lot of people mistake doing all they can with doing all they see others do. I’m glad you focus on doing all YOU can do and take time to evaluate that. Knowing the reality of your locus of control’s important. I know I have a perfectionism problem that I have to check myself on sometimes. Walking that line between done as best to satisfaction and destroying everything looking for perfect can be a killer. But hey you came this far, the easy part’s next right? 🙂

  24. greg says:

    There’s also the psychological component. You said earlier that people told you that you should be losing more slowly but you were adamant about getting some real progress under your belt so you could maintain psychological momentum. Heck, that’s the whole point of this site. “If I were to have a box of cookies, who would know? Everyone who reads the site on weigh-in day.” You might be able to look yourself in the mirror after those cookies but not your reading public! If you can’t keep your head in the game, all the advice in the world is useless.

    I took a look at my driver’s license photo today. It’s from a few years ago. I looked like Baron Vladimir Harkonnen there. My face looks so much better now.

    By the way, you made a crack about salads. If you know how to put the right stuff on them, they can be pretty amazing. For anyone taking the plunge, it takes some time to retrain the taste buds that are used to flavor overload. Once you get the yummy evil stuff out of your system, you’ll start to taste food more. While I wouldn’t want to live on salad every meal for the rest of my life, you can put together some pretty amazing meals.

  25. greg says:

    It takes more effort to attain something than maintain it. It takes more effort to get the weight off than keep it off. Of course, if no lifestyle change went along with the diet, if you go back to the old ways the moment you hit goal, then you’ll eat yourself back up to your fat pants.

    Of course, if Tyler wants to start competing in amateur sporting events, that’s a different level of commitment. If he wants to do endurance bike racing or marathons and the like, he’ll be putting in as much effort for that as for losing the weight but it can be a part of his life rather than taking it over. It may be that he needs this sort of involvement to keep his mind engaged and working towards something, that not having a goal and program in mind would enable laziness and backsliding.

    Moderation is a good thing but you also have to be careful to not moderate to the point of no longer doing it! Sapping commitment and backsliding are the biggest enemies of the formerly hefty. Those bad habits can slide right back in, just like the alcoholic picking up the bottle after ten years, just like the ex-smoker picking up that cigarette.

  26. TwMi says:

    You are so right about this approach! I agree 100pct. That is my attitude as well, either your committed or your not- you are most definitely committed.

  27. I’m bringing it with you. And I don’t think you sound ungrateful for how far you’ve come. I don’t think you’d trade where you are now for where you started from, right? It’s not ungrateful to want to continually improve your body, your life, your mind, etc. THAT is just life. Can’t wait to see what’s in store!

  28. I, too, eventually want Hulk Hogan anacondas, but for now, gotta keep cutting the weight first.

  29. Maria says:

    Oh I get what you are saying. Sorry about the misunderstanding. I am so glad that you replied back. You are for surely right you earned it and every bit of it.

  30. Ven says:

    That is so incredibly inspiring. I’m succumbing an awful lot to weekend indulgences when I’m out with friends; you make me want to be stricter with myself. Hurgh!

  31. Sean says:

    As you are working on your new diet I have a few suggestions. I found it hard to get my protein levels to where I wanted so here is some foods that I found that I can deal with.
    *1% cottage cheese (add pineapple).
    *Special K w/ protein is one of the lowest calories per cup cereal
    *8th continent light vanilla soy milk – actual prefer this to req milk now
    *dynamize protein powder – lowest fat highest protein
    *96% lean beef tacos with 80 calorie burrito shells – add lettuce for more volume
    *Egg beaters – add 2 oz of lean 5% fat ham
    *tyson bagged precooked chicken – makes a quick sandwich
    *35 calorie nickles whole wheat bread – use as a low calorie bun for ham or 96%
    *Sauerkraut has almost no calories

    Oh and stay away from protein bars – they are glorified candy bars and I am stupid addicted to them – trying to quit.

    Good luck with stage 2!!

  32. Alan says:

    Thanks Tyler. I know you’ll do it.

  33. Nathan says:

    Step it up a notch!
    Try a 4 hour bike ride at a nice pace – on a real road bike.

    Go Go Go!!!

  34. Erika says:

    “I worked to lose the first 144 pounds and I’ll have to work even harder to earn anything that comes after it.”

    This is – verbatim – exactly where I am with this. After the first 145, I started coasting.. sure enough, I began believing my own hype and actually began slowing down in my progress and eventually, my efforts.

    It’s amazing how much of the outside world you have to shut out in order to focus, get your head in the game and KEEP it there. Just stay focused and ALWAYS stay conscious, and I’m positive you’ll get there. 🙂

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