Zach Johnson – Lifestyle Transformation
Zach Johnson has turned his life around having lost 125 lbs. in about 15 months. Zach has amazingly been able to achieve a lot of his weight loss on his own. But once the scale plateaued at 60 lbs. weight loss, Zach went in search of help to find a nutrition lifestyle that was more successful and sustainable. That’s when Zach found Own Your Eating. Read on to find out how Zach’s gone on to lose 65 more pounds in 6 months since joining our Lifestyle program!
When did you start Flexible Eating & how did you get started?
I started Flexible Eating on March 22, 2018. The first thing I did was buy the book! Once I read it, I subscribed to the Lifestyle Basic Membership and chose the Balanced Like a Boss (80/20) Meal Plan.
What prompted you to get started?
I heard Jason on the CrossFit podcast, and what he said made so much sense to me. I was about 4 months into what seemed like a never-ending weight loss plateau while following a very strict Whole30/Paleo eating style. I also was somewhat fatigued of being so heavily restricted…I understand why it’s Whole “30” and not Whole Forever! As someone who had struggled with weight most of my teenage years and adult life, I needed to find a lifestyle that gave me the freedom to make consistently good choices, but not to allow a “cheat” to derail my entire day/week/month/etc. I needed a lifestyle that helped remove the “well, I’ll get back on the wagon next Monday” option…which is what Flexible Eating has done for me.
How much weight have you lost?
Total, I’ve lost 125 pounds since May 22, 2017. I lost 60 pounds on Whole30/Paleo, and since joining the Own Your Eating Lifestyle program I have lost an additional 65 pounds.
What other changes have you noticed in your body or in general?
First and most importantly (for me), my confidence has hugely improved. I work in the public and am very involved in various civic organizations in my hometown, and I had realized that my weight was really stopping me from enjoying experiences that I otherwise could have. I just felt like I was “too big” to fit comfortably in the world. Thoughts like, “Can I fit in that chair?”, “Can I keep up with these people?”, “Is there any point in dressing nice when I’ll be a sweaty mess by the time I work the room?”, etc. would creep into my head on a daily basis and wear my self-confidence down.
I have gone from a (very tight) size 44 pants to a comfortable 34…and I can shop for clothes anywhere now, instead of having to order online and hope that it would fit! I am seeing steady gains in the gym, crushing PRs…In September 2018 I ran my first complete mile in 8:58 with no walking–a year before that I could barely run 200m. My endurance, and having the energy to sustain a long workout, has been hugely improved by following Flexible Eating–I feel like I’m finally giving my body what it needs.
I no longer walk into the gym and feel like being invisible. I don’t hide away from partner workouts.
I feel like I have something to contribute to the culture in my box, CrossFit Winnsboro, and feel immensely proud of the hard work that I’ve put in.
What has been your biggest obstacle that you have overcome or are working on?
My biggest obstacles are all mental. Some days I look in the mirror and still see the “fat guy,” or I see old pictures and feel ashamed that I allowed things to get to that point. I also struggle, as I think many people do who have lost significant amounts of weight, with the fear that all my hard work will be undone. I just take it one day at a time, and work hard at making the next right choice. I weigh and measure my foods, even when I don’t feel like it. I show up at the gym, even when I don’t feel like it. By doing that, I affirm to myself that I am worth the effort.
What’s the one thing you previously would have deprived yourself of on a diet that you now get to enjoy guilt-free?
CHEESECAKE! In all reality, just being able to enjoy carbs in general in a smart and sensible way is such a relief. That’s what I always tell people:
Flexible Eating gives you the FREEDOM to make good choices without deprivation.
What’s one piece of advice you would give someone that is just getting started?
Just start. It is so easy to get bogged down in the math, and the meal prep, and never get started…so just start. A few people in my box wanted to get started, and I advised them to spend a few days just measuring and tracking without changing anything, to give them an idea of what macros they might be deficient in, if they’re eating too many/not enough calories, and then once they are in a routine of tracking, make the tweaks and go for the macro goals. Oh, and definitely, DEFINITELY, pay for MyFitnessPal premium. Being able to customize the macro goals and all the other features that come with premium makes your life so much easier. It’s worth the $49 per year!