Cleaning Up My Plate

Before after
Michael before he started “cleaning his plate.”

Hi, my name is Michael W. Smith.  I’ve had a problem with my weight, literally, for as long as I can remember.  I have a memory of a phone call with my very first girlfriend, you know, the one you “go steady with” when you’re in 4th grade?  It was sometime during 1978, we were talking on the phone and I said to her, “If you saw my stomach, you’d probably break up with me.”  Luckily she just laughed, probably not even understanding why I would say such a thing.  Because why is a 10-year-old even concerned with his weight?  Well, I was.  I was the kid that wore “husky” pants.  No, I wasn’t tremendously overweight, but I always felt my stomach was bigger than it should be.  In that day and age, kids got told, “Clean your plate!”  My problem was, I didn’t know how much to put on that plate, and my eyes were always bigger than my stomach!  It was not a good equation for success.

Here I am, 34 years later, and I still “clean my plate!”  Those words will forever be ingrained in my mind.  The difference now is, I made a change.  About a year ago I decided I wanted to get serious about my health and fitness.  I have four kids and two of them are boys, which most certainly will try to challenge me someday, and I wanted to be in good enough shape to keep up with them.  But at first, I went about it the wrong way…

Michael and his family.

I got back in the gym, started lifting weights again, and was running three miles a day.  I’ve always been a pretty decent runner, just never lost much weight with it.  I thought, like most people, to lose weight you had to reduce your calorie intake.  So that’s what I did.  I tried to eat less, skip meals when I could, and eat “healthy” the rest of the time.  Little did I know, I didn’t know anything!  When I thought I was eating “healthy,” I still consumed white bread, chips, cheese, pasta, rice, pizza, and fast food.  I thought by staying away from just candy and soda, eating 3 pieces of pizza instead of 6, and “starving” myself the other times, it would help me lose weight.  And of course, it did not.

I finally learned that the best foods to eat are those without labels on them.  Items from the produce section – lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts.  And I learned that it’s about “fueling” your body, not eating to get “full.”  I eat small meals now, five times a day now, about every three hours.  But I didn’t want to just lose weight, I wanted to be fit!  I’m a guy, I wanted a 6 pack!  I needed more than just healthy foods, I needed something that would help me build some lean muscle too.  So I went looking for additional protein for my nutrition plan.  That’s when I found Quest Nutrition protein bars.

I read a book once that basically told me sugar is the anti-food.  So I was looking for a protein bar that, of course, had lots of protein, but was also very low in sugar.  I looked at everything on the shelves I could find, and they all had crazy amounts of sugar in them.  And if they didn’t have sugar, they were loaded with sugar alcohol.  Then I found Quest.  These bars have about as much protein in them as any I’ve tried, less sugar than any I’ve tried, and the flavors that do have sugar alcohol in them, it’s limited, so it doesn’t affect my digestive system like other brands.  And they taste so good, I always feel like I’m cheating on my nutrition plan when I eat one. Before after

With the help of Quest Nutrition protein bars, I lost 31 pounds, cut my body fat in half from 26% to 13%, and I’m a 44 year old guy with a 6 pack!  I’ve become one of those people that say, “I’m literally in the best shape of my life!”  And I’ve just started this journey!!

I’m now a fitness coach.  Through my own private Facebook group, Real People Fitness, I’m helping other people get fit, lose weight, reach their goals, and live healthier, happier lives.  Because that’s what we are, real people, with real commitment, wanting real results.

You can find Michael at:
Twitter:  @moco143