How I lost 20 kg

I’m 30 years old. I’m a handsome, slim, pink-eyed boy. I weigh 125 kg. I can hardly climb the stairs.

My stomach hangs to my feet. If I sit on a chair for a long time, my legs will leak. The wife is in agony and sleeps with earplugs: the snore is impossible. And I forgot when I had a good night’s sleep. But I’m awake. I’m hanging in there. Sometimes I wear a corset. At work, it’s a success. Everybody loves it. My wife’s beauty. It’s a nice car, it’s got its apartment. What else do you want? And then, bah! I can’t tie my shoelaces!

How did it start?

I was born in 1979, and I was fed heavily. The time was like this. All the best is for the children. A calorie bun and a bottle of kefir. Then the ’90s. Snickers, beer, juices from powders. Like most kids in the ’70s and ’80s, I grew up in American movies and had the same dream. Pictures of a successful white-collar life are expensive cigarettes, a beer with colleagues every day, cognac and whiskey on Fridays. I don’t talk about kebabs and hamburgers at all: it’s already a ritual.

Bottom line… 2009, and I can’t tie my shoelaces. I can’t, that’s it! I bent over, I almost passed out. That’s how I realized it was time to end this life. That’s enough!

To say I haven’t tried to lose weight before is to say nothing. Yes, I have. Many times. And I’ve been hungry. And I drank tea pills until I realized they worked as a laxative. I’ve read a dozen books. He even put enemas, God forgives me. Nothing was working.

But at some point, I realized the problem wasn’t dieting. Something I’m doing isn’t right. So I decided for good: you shouldn’t be on a diet, you should change your lifestyle.

Why do I drink a lot, eat fat and fry? Why do I eat at night? I didn’t find the answer. But I’ve found out what I want. To be healthy and beautiful is one time. To live long and set an example for your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren is two. And in the end, to tie your shoelaces without losing consciousness. And I decided: I’ll be skinny, tall and slender, better and blue-eyed blonde, but about this later.

So, I lost weight

First of all, I realized that the biggest problems we create for ourselves. My strongest enemy is myself. And the most interesting thing is that our lifestyle, our habits, and our desires determine our condition. They program us.

I quit smoking. For no reason at all. In one day. I had to give up smoking company. Then there was a problem with alcohol. I had to limit its consumption, too. Then I went to the gym for the first time. I had been there for three years before. I think my manager at the gym was very surprised when he saw me. He probably didn’t even count on it. I can imagine how many people there are like me: those who bought a season ticket but never went to the gym. I used to pedal my bike mostly. Somewhere around an hour a day. I did it hard, six times a week. I’ve watched all the shows in that time.

I also had to make changes in diet. Mandatory breakfast, dinner no later than 6 pm. And most importantly, I had to change the schedule. I used to have a hard time getting up for work because I went to bed very late. I used to have a very late and very tight dinner, too. In the end, I woke up unsleepy and hungry in the morning. It is now I understand that the body must rest at night. And the stomach is no exception. And then it was a discovery for me.

With great difficulty in the first month, I lost ten pounds. It was a success. I was rejoicing like a child. It was noticed by my loved ones. At work, I became a hero. I came for advice: “How did you do that?”, “What did you do?”, “How about a beer and wings? You’ll tell me at the same time.”

Then I noticed a very interesting fact: I started to learn the taste of food again. The apples became sweet, not sour, the meat tasted good and without ketchup. And broccoli, it turns out, you can eat it, too. In the evening, I was already exhausted due to the early rise. That’s what saved me from going out tonight with my colleagues. Most of the invitations I refused were precise because of fatigue. It had nothing to do with willpower.

Over the next eight months, I was busy eating. I ate all the same food, only stretched out for six meals. For example, at lunchtime, it’s just soup and salad, and at four o’clock in the afternoon, it’s the main course. I cleaned up all the sugar.

In those eight months, my weight came close to 89 pounds. I had to change my wardrobe a few times. I’m getting younger. The downside is, I got cold. With the fat, the muscle mass went away as well. I didn’t like myself. The pressure dropped. As the doctor later explained, it was because my body was used to pumping more blood.

Disruption and epiphany

The weight of 89 pounds was held for about a year. I relaxed. The sport has gone into the background. Almost properly organized nutrition and a young body probably still supported me for a while. And then there was this vacation…

I’m so screwed. In four months, I’ve added 20 kilos. It was a tinplate. I ate as if I’d been hungry forever. It was like a fog. There’s a new wardrobe again, and I’m on the verge of depression. And then I finally realized the meaning of “We are what we eat.” You can’t treat weight loss as a treatment process. Either you’re smart or you’re beautiful, it’s up to you. It’s like an epiphany.

Food is just fuel. And the better this fuel is, the longer your motor will serve you.

Moreover, the harm that we do to ourselves with alcohol does not justify the pleasure that we supposedly get from drinking it.

Well, here’s what happened next. I took care of myself finally. No one believed in me anymore. And there was only one person left I could trust. And who saw me as the spark that burned in my eyes. That man was me. If I don’t make myself what I want to be, no one will do it for me.

So, I’ve changed my mind about the overweight problem. I’m not losing any weight. I’m just living differently now. My morning starts at 5:00. While I’m making breakfast, I have time to read a book. By 7:00 a.m., I’m already at the gym. I go to bed at 9:00 in the evening. My kids started to follow my example and now they’re training too. I have a lot of free time, and I spend it with my family. No dilemma where to go and what to eat: we choose either street sports or sports sections.

Today, my weight is 105 kg. And I can say that this is my comfortable weight: I do not snore and can tie my shoelaces!


You must be wondering how I do it. I’ll give you five rules that help me in life.

1. Order of the day.

Almost everything depends on the organization of your day: how you will work and how you will rest. You need to know your reserves and capabilities.

For me, as it turns out, the best time to start the day is five o’clock in the morning. Why five? Very simple: it’s directly related to sports. I have to make breakfast and eat at least an hour and a half before practice. And since my workout starts at seven, there are no options. I have two hours of free time, and I spend it reading.

I read in the morning. I’ve set myself the goal of reading two books a month. And now I’m practicing not only the body but the brain as well. In the evening, I get tired, and I don’t always have time. And in the morning I know exactly what I can read while the whole town is sleeping and while I’m making breakfast.

I do all the intellectual work in the morning. All the routine I leave to the other half. I make appointments and only agree to them before lunch because I know that afterward, I will not be able to think productively.

I go to bed at nine o’clock in the evening to sleep for at least seven and a half hours. I am sure that sleep is a very powerful tool and must be used as much as possible.

2. Nutrition

As I said, I’ve arranged six meals. I don’t eat fried. With the purchase of a steamer and a cartoon oven, cooking stopped being a bother. I don’t eat very fatty meat. I don’t eat sugar or milk, I don’t eat flour products at all. Everything about carbohydrates is in the first half of the day. I noticed that young children’s nutrition is organized according to this principle. So why should I change something at a mature age?


 • 5:30 a.m. A light breakfast. Nuts or some porridge on the water.

 • 9:00 a.m. Main breakfast. Omelette and vegetable salad.

 • 10:30 a.m. Fruit.

 • 00:30 p.m. Lunch. Vegetable soup plus meat or poultry with a vegetable side dish. Anything about meat must be well cooked or chopped. You have to love your stomach and help it. If you don’t want to chop meat, then chew it very carefully.

 • 04:00 p.m. Midday. You can have a vegetable casserole, baked apples, vinaigrette.

 • 06:00 p.m. Dinner. Fish and stewed vegetables.

Make sure you drink more water. Make it a rule to drink a glass of water – preferably warm – before each meal.

I rarely eat in street restaurants or cafes. I’ve concluded that they can’t offer me the food I need. Over time, I started eating a lot more vegetables. I cook at home and try to take food thermoses with me. At first, it was difficult, but over time I got used to it. Especially as I cook, no restaurant can.

Although my diet may seem very difficult for you, I assure you that it is not. I am not obsessed with eating and I eat a piece of cake on my birthday.

The main thing is not to make unnecessary products a must in your daily diet and not to keep garbage in the fridge.

3. Sports

Five times a week from seven to eight in the morning. Try to keep your workout no longer than 40 minutes. That’s enough to lose weight and keep yourself in shape. After training you should not drag your legs, you should easily leave the hall because you still have all day to work. And leave the strength training or a two-kilometer swim on the day off.

Believe me, 40 minutes a day for a certain muscle group is enough. And make sure you rest. Take breaks. The main thing is to be in shape at all times and be confident in your abilities.

4. Comfortable weight

Comfort weight is a very entertaining thing. The fact is, 50 kilos may look different. So don’t look at the scale. Don’t look at the reference weight like in books. Everyone has one.

Better pay attention to your shortness of breath if you’ve had it before. The size of your clothes. How you’re feeling. In the mood. Pay attention to yourself.

5. Love yourself and your loved ones

Spend more time with your children, husbands, wives, and parents. You need to be healthy first.

It took me a long time to figure out how to spend time with your children in a way that is beneficial to them and healthy. Many parents pay for their children or give their children to teachers, tutors, TVs, smartphones and tablets. Even though these are peculiarities of the modern world, I did not want to put up with it. So here’s what I came up with.

Every weekend in spring, summer and early autumn, we ride bikes as a family. Right in the middle of town. We cook food, put it in food thermoses, and go. I have three wonderful kids, and they are very excited about our trips. The vivacity and exercise are off the charts. Plus, we’re sightseeing.

After 36 years in Moscow, I was surprised to realize that I do not know my city at all. At the same time on vacation, I always enjoy sightseeing. So why not start with your hometown and combine an excursion with rest and sports?

It’s just one of the activities. We also work out on the street, play football and tennis and generally do everything good for body and soul. And that’s my biggest achievement. My loved ones give me energy and inspiration.

I know that my example shows them that if you want something, you can do it.


It’s not the end of history, it’s just the beginning. Be prepared for positive changes in your body and well-being. It won’t be quick, but it’ll be very entertaining. You will rediscover yourself and your possibilities. Maybe someone will find my story and my advice useful. I hope my example will help you look at yourself from a different perspective and believe in yourself.

Rest assured, you can do it. I could do it!

Author: Andrei Ehrlich


About the Author: Thomas Mitchell

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