127 – Half Size Me: How Chef Isaac, Surrounded By Food Every Day, Lost Over 123 Pounds!

127-imageIn this episode of Half Size Me, Heather talks to Isaac about

  • what four areas, or buckets, he concentrated on for weight loss
  • how he experimented with his eating and found what works and doesn’t work for him
  • how he still lost weight, even though he’s a chef who is surrounded by food every day
  • and much more!

About Isaac: “Hello! My name is Isaac and I am 33 years old. I am a professional chef and have been in the food industry since I was 15 years old. That was also the time that I started to gain weight. Not sure how I gained weight. I was ordering 2-3 fluffy drinks, high in fat and calories, a day while working in the restaurant business and eating everything in sight but would not sit and eat. It was more like grazing…. all the time! No wonder I gained so much weight.

Ignorance is bliss!

I ended up going to pastry school and also culinary school where I ate my way through 6 years of delicious and tasty food, everyday, eating so many calories, not working out and getting bigger and bigger and becoming lazy all the time. I used to be thin… those days are long long gone!!

Before I moved out to the east coast from the west coast, I was working a full time job as a chef instructor, worked as a private chef, and  ran a honey farm, which required work 7 days a week and a lot of travel. Road food was for me…. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc. I would eat there breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I came out to the east coast in July 2011 and weighed 380 pounds. I was very obese, my health was suffering, I had a hard time spending a lot of time on my feet and being active was like a foreign word.

My drive out to NJ was 3,500 miles of travel by truck alone so needless to say I had a lot of time to think. On the road, I saw some touring bicycle riders. Riding a bicycle has always been a love of mine and I did it as transportation when I was 16 years old, riding to and from school and work. I loved it a lot but then life took over, college, restaurant business…. my stomach growing and heart was paying the price.

So when I pulled into NJ, found an apartment, got some furniture, I traveled up north and bought two bicycles. A rode bike and a mountain bike. Four days later in July I started riding my bicycle around the area I lived.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. My unhealthy heart was pounding and I was out of breath. I knew I must have done 20 miles that first bike ride only sadly I was wrong… it was only 2.1 miles. I was embarrassed as I knew I was so unhealthy. I have been killing myself for over 7 years by eating crap and not doing anything about it. GRRRRRR. I think my body was pissed off at me.

So little by little, I was mentored by another guy (Jim) who started riding when he was heavy and lost 100 pounds bicycle riding. I also found another guy, a chef in Florida, who lost 260 pounds. Getting hooked up to him (Tony) was great for me because, as a chef, we tend to overeat all the time and not even know it. So it was a real connect for me to meet Tony. He was a chef and was able to do this journey so I knew I was too.

So, from July 2011 to December 2011, I rode a lot on the weekends and dropped 30 pounds. I was getting a little lighter and feeling great, my heart was getting healthy and I was feeling stronger. Then in December 2011, I started bicycle commuting to work at WHQ. It was 22 miles round trip and now I ride to work 3-4 days a week. In 2012, I logged 5,855.5 miles and every pedal stroke I felt. This was a personal accomplishment for me.

I ride despite the weather. Some weeks, it was 3 degrees with wind chill and some weeks it would be raining while other weeks it could be sunny or windy and I still rode in. It really beats going to the gym and being outdoors is wonderful. Yes, there is a lot to learn about how to dress for the cold but once you dial that in, you’re good. I ride in the snow (yes, with studded bicycle tires), rain, sleet, heat, wind, etc. It’s all in the name of health and exercise.

I log all my food now, every day, every lick, taste and bite gets logged. This helps with learning patterns and dialing into your bodies’ habits. Amazing to see.

Went to the docs last week and all the numbers were great. I was especially happy about my cholesterol. Doc said heart and lungs were healthy. I contribute this to eating healthier, logging my food intake and doing something I love outdoors.

This has been a real journey for me so far.

People ask how I have done it. Pretty simple really: I focus on eating clean, exercising, and paying attention to myself on the inside and dealing with the issues I have internally. I do track my food, I exercise everyday in some form or fashion and I see a food psychologist. I also work with a dietician as well as a personal trainer. Sometimes it takes a little army to help you out.

As of 5-19-2014: I do use weight watchers as a tool. Love the community and accountability. I also use Half Size Me as well. I find a lot of inspiration from both tools. For exercise, I love cycling, walking is great, just starting kettle bells and have been hitting the gym both for personal training with HIIT and cardio work.

I came to the east coast weight 380 pounds and now I am 256.4 pounds for a total of 123.6 pounds lost. No clue what my goal weight is, maybe 205 but I have no clue. Still a lot of work to be done in those regards. Every day is a fight. Sometimes I win, sometimes it’s hard going but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.”


Overeaters Anonymous

Weight Watchers

Jillian Michaels

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About Half Size Me

The Half Size Me Show is a weekly podcast meant to inspire you and motivate you no matter where you are in your weight loss journey. If you’re just getting started losing weight, or if you’ve started and stopped so many times you’ve lost count, this is the show for you!

Hosted by Heather Robertson, who lost over 170 pounds by learning new eating habits, getting regular exercise, and, most importantly, changing her mindset. She shares her own lessons and struggles as well as how to handle to real challenge of any weight loss journey… weight maintenance.

So, join Heather every week as she shares information, inspiration, and interviews with women who’ve learned weight loss isn’t just about losing pounds, it’s about finding yourself.

Theme music, “Walk Alone” by Jim Armstrong courtesy of MusicAlley.com.

Disclaimer: Heather is not a doctor, nurse, or certified health professional and what works for her or her guests may, or may not, work for you. So, please be sure to talk with your doctor, dietician, or other certified health professional when seeking advice about your own weight loss or weight maintenance plan. All information included in The Half Size Me Podcast and on HalfSizeMe.com is for informational and inspirational purposes only.

For additional disclaimer information, please visit the About page.

To contact Heather about the show, please click here to use the contact form.

After losing 170 pounds by changing her mindset, developing healthier eating habits, and making exercise part of her lifestyle, Heather decided she wanted to help others who struggled along their weight loss journey. Along with her hubby, Joel, they founded HalfSizeMe.com and the extremely popular Half Size Me Show podcast.