What it feels like to lose 200 pounds

As of last Thursday, we, as a couple, have lost 200 pounds. This number is so staggering to me that I feel the need to put it into context. It’s 30 pounds more than I weigh right now and it’s about as much as Stacy weighs. It’s like a whole other person just walked out our door, never to be seen again. It has seriously changed everything about us.

As I’ve said previously, I went from being tiny to being fat pretty quickly and never stayed at a healthy size very long. When I met Stacy in January 2002, I weighed 260 pounds and she probably weighed 290 or more. We may be the only two people to ever have a decade long relationship that didn’t find each other attractive at first sight (just at first sight; Stacy and I fell deeply in love in a very short time and never had any issue with finding each other attractive after our first meeting). Finding us together, more in love than ever and feeling and looking this good, at age 30 is honestly incredibly surprising and breathtakingly amazing.

One of the lowest points in our lives together was a visit in 2004 to Hershey Park. Stacy and I both love roller coasters but had never gone to an amusement park together. We were excited to go until our first coaster where Stacy could not pull the shoulder harness down. The attendant gave her a dirty look as he pushed as hard as he could to get the first notch to latch. Stacy was humiliated, cried for days and swore off amusement parks forever that night.

A few weeks ago, however, as a Father’s Day gift Stacy purchased us tickets to a theme park, we got a sitter and made a triumphant return to King’s Dominion together without the kids. On our first coaster, I pulled down my harness and then listened to Stacy whisper “One, two, three, four, five…” as she clicked down her own harness. We had a blast that day and vowed to return as often as we could.  We also plan to do other activities our weight has previously inhibited: hot air ballon rides, kayaking, and whatever else comes our way!

I’ve always wanted to be strong. After all, I spent a good portion of my life watching pro wrestling and seeing people lift other human beings over their heads. Unfortunately, if your wife weighs 300 pounds, you will likely not ever be able to lift her. When Stacy hit 225 pounds, I realized that my hour was close at hand. I kept sneaking up behind her and doing a short bear hug lift to see how her weight felt.  It is finally here, now that she’s 200 pounds: I can pick her up. The first time I scooped her up as though we were going to walk through a ceremonious threshold, it was such an exciting and absurd moment that we couldn’t help but laugh.

Stacy and I share moments of closeness and intimacy now that we weren’t really able to before.  Neither of us wanted to talk about our deepest, darkest secrets of fear and self-loathing.  We both knew the other’s insecurities, but we didn’t make the other feel badly by bringing them up for discussion all the time.  Now, our pillow talk is how amazing it is that Stacy didn’t just “tuck” Finian into his loft bed by kissing his cheek, but that she actually climbed into his bed, layed with him and didn’t have to worry about breaking it.  Stacy likes to point out how our visit to her mother’s house, with 2 big furry dogs, didn’t make me so much as sneeze – let alone require medication from a severe allergic reaction.  Or sometimes, we like to just marvel at how the other’s muscles are starting to pop out.

I see such a change in everything we do. Yesterday, Stacy was pushing Wesley in a stroller at the nature center and racing Finian up a “racing hill.” I was struck by the change. Stacy did not run when we first met. She barely wanted to walk places. And there she was, racing our 3 year old and making him giggle and scream with glee. Later we went to the playground and I was able to hang upside down on the rings and do pull ups, while Finian begged me to show him how he could do it too.

Life has changed for us in amazing ways.  We’re not just more healthy and able, but we’ve been injected with a lust for life that’s intoxicating.  We both just want to live and be happy.  Do we get frustrated when we want to eat out at a restaurant and have to have a 10 minute debate about what might be OK on that side of town?  Sure.  But, is it worth feeling strong, healthy, happy, completely in love, intimate and the best people and parents we know how? Absolutely.

You Might Also Like

  • Robyn

    You are an amazing couple and such good examples for your boys. (I love that your middle son is wearing your oldest son’s shirt in the most recent picture — reminds me of my boy’s hand-me-downs!). There’s no better support system than your spouse. I really admire that you have focused on all that you’ve gained and not what you’ve given up. Congratulations to you both!

    • Robyn, how funny – I didn’t even notice the repeat shirt until you pointed it out!  I truly agree about a spousal support system.  Sometimes we get asked how to do it without your spouse, and although I started and then Matt followed, I don’t know that I could’ve been as successful and happy without him getting on-board early on. And yes, we do feel so positive now! Thank you!

  • Wow! That’s a great story and such fantastic role models for your kids. Many, long, happy years to you all. 

    • Jason, that’s exactly what it’s all about – thanks, you too!

  • I don’t even know you and I am so proud of you both! You’re amazing and so motivating. Keep it up! 😀

    • How fun you guys blog together!  Thank you so much!

  • Ladams

    What an inspiration the pair of you are!!!!!!  Kudos to you both!

    • Thanks so much, Stacy started this blog in hopes to inspire others and it’s wonderful to hear that we’re doing that.

  • C1sarena

    Way to go!!

  • Very awesome! Congrats and keep it up!

  • Anonymous

    This is amazing!!! I’m totally linking your story for my patients. Thanks for the great story and inspiration.

    • Wow, thanks!  We have a lot of information about the health transformations we saw in the About Us section as well!

  • wow, you both are an inspiration. i’m so happy to have met you. you are such good people and i look forward to getting to know you better!

    • Courtney, we’re happy to have met you too!  Looking forward to letting the boys play Legos together and grilling out soon 🙂

  • This totally just made me cry. As a severely overweight woman, just at the start of my journey (17.8 pounds down, about 180 to go), I love reading success stories because it fills me with such hope. And the obvious love you have for each other and your joy for life is completely awe-inspiring. I can’t wait to feel like that. BTW, my husband, as well, is joining me on this journey and he has lost 30.1 pounds so far. I just posted our progress pictures on our blog last night-I am surprised how much we have both changed in just one month. Would love to have you check it out and offer some inspiration to my readers. Thanks so much for sharing your journy so transparently.


    • That’s just so wonderful to hear, thank you!  And congrats to you – I hope my comment gets you motiviated to try Paleo.  It really is so much easier once you’re over the “carb flu” search on the site for guests posts by Patti and Kerry for their words too – it’s not just me!

  • THANK YOU and CONGRATS. You both are amazing! What a journey to be on together. I appreciate so very, very much that you’ve posted this for us to read. Good luck with the rest of your beautiful lives!

  • Erin

    Amazing transformation! I just found your blog this AM. Congrats to you both!

  • Audrey

    WOW! Totally mind-blowing! You guys have achieved so much and have opened up so many great experiences for each other because of your commitment. Congratulations for all of your hard work paying off!

    • Audrey, thanks!  It has been a wonderful experience and has absolutely brought us closer to gether and offered wonderful opportunities.  Postivitey attracts positivity, for sure!

  • Natalie

    You guys are an inspiration, keep up the good work! Being healthy enough to not only take the kids to play but play with them is awesome.

  • Pingback: Paleo Success Stories « Paleolution()

  • Pingback: A new look for a new approach | Paleo Parents()

  • I love this.

  • Joshua

    Very Inspiring.  We hope to do this too!!!  Thanx for posting your personal feelings that most of us have trouble talking about

    • Joshua, we hope you do too.  Stick around and make yourself known so we can watch your journey – and try to find a local primal/paleo/low-carb meet-up group to find a support system, it really helps!

  • Stacey counting the clicks of the harness on the roller coaster seat made me cry….. so porud of your progress and prseverance. Im looking forward to sharin my story as the months roll on. Im so grateful for your site guys. Keep it up!

    • Thanks! I’ll look out for yours, as well. Good luck!

  • Pingback: HOW I LOST 80 POUNDS!!! My weight loss secrets (2009)()

  • Pingback: Primal Thoughts « The Unexpected Story()

  • Pingback: Seven Posts | Paleo Parents()

  • Pingback: Inspiration 2 | Primal Cooking Diary()

  • Pingback: Book Review: Eat Like a Dinosaur (With Bonus Contest!) | The Paleo Periodical()

  • What a fantastic story!  Congratulations to you both.  I must admit that I blubbed like a baby at the theme park bit.  I would LOVE to ride a rollercoaster but have always cried off saying that I was “too scared”. What I really meant was, “I’m too fat.”  Your transformation is really inspiring and one day I will get on that ride!  

    I’m really looking forward to getting a copy of your book.  I’m waiting not-so-patiently for AmazonUK to deliver my pre-order.  My husband and I have been primal since October–I’ve lost 40lb!–but I’ve struggled with switching my little monster over.  I was bullied as a child and I’m probably overly sensitive to doing anything to make him “different”.  So lunchbox ideas and suggestions for filling up a paleo kid on a growth spurt are eagerly awaited.

    •  It was one of the greatest moments of our lives. Having a goal like this was a great inspiration for us. You’ve already made tremendous progress, so I’m sure you’ll make it there as well.

      I hope the book arrives soon and is everything you want.

  • Pingback: How We Blog | Paleo Parents()

  • Pingback: Egg Drop Soup | Paleo Parents()

  • Pingback: Recipe for Healthy Gluten-Free Diet: Paleo recipe for Zusketti Pasta with Bacon and Tomatoes()

  • I just want to say thank you for sharing your story. My boyfriend is down 22 pounds after six months of Paleo. He’s still working to break the 350 pound barrier. He’s had hip replacement surgery in both hips and has been extremely limited in what he can do. His cardiologist has allowed him to stop using a diuretic and said that he may be able to drop the blood pressure meds, if it continues to stay low. I’m very hopeful that he’ll continue to make progress, as I work to refine our diet.

    I’m stalled out after losing about 15 pounds. That’s normal for me and I’m trying to figure out ways to cut back even more. I find it very hard to give up honey altogether but have limited myself to a teaspoon in the morning in my tea. I know I’ll find a way to give it up at some point! It is so helpful to read about real folks and know that it’s possible to get your life back and be healthier. Thanks again!

  • Pingback: Defending Paleo (but not all of it | Paleo Parents()

  • SO COOL congrats you guys!!! Hubby and I are doing Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis and he has lost 70 pounds and I have lost 42.
    So happy for you two that you are able to be kids with your kids now. 🙂 I KNOW they are loving the change in you guys!

  • Eric

    thanks for writing this book – it’s just what our family needed! so, so very much appreciated.

  • Oh wow…I missed this post when I first found your website and it made me want to cry. From someone who has been out of the 300’s for one day of her eight year marriage, I totally grasp where Stacy and you are coming from. Keep up the amazing work!

  • Pingback: How to Not Sound Like a Crazy HIppy: Avoiding the Naturalistic Fallacy | Paleo Parents()

  • Pingback: What Losing 135lbs Looks Like | Paleo Parents()

  • Pingback: something beautiful i read | squishylips()

  • sarah

    I adore you guys so much. So much of your story is the same story for my husband and I. So far we have lost a combined 100lbs and counting. Stacey, I had the SAME exact experience at an amusement park. It was so anxiety inducing and it made me cry as well. I can’t wait to get closer to my goal and start going to amusement parks again. Thank you guys for constantly being inspiring and honest and open!

  • Jennifer H.

    Thank you so much for sharing so much with us. We recently stumbled upon your page when asking for advice on switching our family to a Paleo lifestyle. Our family has gone through a very difficult 5 years and within those years we faced diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroidtoxosis and FSGS, job loss and foreclosure. The one bright spot was the birth of our daughter and we are so thankful for her and for what she brings into our lives. It is for our family and our health we have decdied to make this change in lifestyle. We were able to save the home from foreclosure and now we are trying to save ourselves. We find your blog/site a wealth of information for us Paleo newbies as well as any average Joe looking for a healthy change. You guys are chocked full of inspiration and we are truly grateful for that!

    We are still adjusting and finding our way through new shopping experiences, prepping for the week and much more. We still stumble here and there with this new lifestyle, but I’m noticing it is a bit easier as we go. Reserved Eat Like A Dinosaur at the library and can say with certainity that is one added to my Amazon wishlist! Wondering what Beyond Bacon will bring!

    Thanks again to your family and congrats on your healthy success!!!!! Hoping we can repeat the process!

  • Renee

    You guys are amazing. This is such a wonderful post. I love watching your whole family delight in this lifestyle.

  • Caitlin Casey

    One of my favorite things about you two is that you don’t sugar coat anything. Whether you are talking about your own weight or Stacy’s, you are very honest and straightforward about the previous limits you both faced due to weight. I really feel like people are overall just too sensitive, and as someone that has been overweight my whole life, I appreciate two people that have gained and lost theirs through the paleo lifestyle. I am new to paleo and still struggle to stay on it when I have a husband that doesn’t really care and I travel a lot, but when I need inspiration I just come to this page because I can identify with both of you!! Thank you for all you do and for being a constant inspiration!!

  • Amazing story! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Pingback: What Would It Feel Like To ... - CrossFit Fire of the Gods()

  • Pingback: Real Life Paleo: The Reviews()

  • Pingback: Self Respect is the New Self Love - Paleo Parents()

  • Pingback: Weekend Wrap Up, 1/11: Stacy went WHERE and did WHAT in Costco? - Paleo Parents()