I'm Alan S. and this is my story
My first 35 years I was athletic (14 years of Soccer), worked physical jobs and while never really muscular, was not at all overweight. 2002 – 2004 I was suffering from an undiagnosed Pituitary Tumor (Prolactinoma). I could barely function, could not do much physically, actually had difficulty just moving at all due to muscle atrophy and joint stiffness. When a doctor finally diagnosed my tumor they found it was 4x too large to remove and was severely impacting my pituitary thereby affecting all my endocrine functions and my eyesight as it was pressing on my optic nerves. Everything thing was out of whack.
My Prolactin was > 700 ng/ML (normal for men is 2 – 18 and at a high pregnant women is 209 ng/ml). My Prolactin was almost 4x the max a pregnant woman should expect. My Testosterone was 34 (normal for men is 200 – 1100), not even 25% of the low end of normal My thyroid was below normal.
Over the 2 years of being undiagnosed and in the first 2-3 years of being treated with medication for the tumor, thyroid medication and testosterone gel my weight went from 160 – 240+ and my strength was about 1/2 of what it used to be.
While my prolactin was under control, my thyroid running at the low of minimum, Testosterone continues to bound from 150 – 215 at best. From 2007 – 2013 my weight stayed around 240 – 250. I went through phases of trying to lose with diet aid and cardio, but at best I would drop 10 – 20lbs and then put it right back on. I basically was giving up and figured this was my destiny to remain overweight.
In late July 2013 I was looking for some healthier recipes to try again to lose some weight and I came across recommendations that let me to “The Shredded Chef”. I started out with this recipe book making healthier dishes and doing some cardio. From July – Sept I lost about 10-12lbs as I had done many times before, but this time it would be different.
After reading the intro of The Shredded Chef I liked what you had to say about your theory of exercise and I was intrigued to read your other books. I purchased or download every one of your books (even the one geared toward women) and read them all, some of them 2 or 3 times to cement the ideas in my mind. The logic made sense, the plan seemed like it would fit into my life schedule (limited time) and while I was not sure I could do it, for the first time in my life I was looking at doing something new with resistance weight training.
I used the 1 Year Challenge and created tracking sheets for my progress in Excel and bought equipment suggestions to create a home gym (I would never have time to get to a gym and do the workouts and by working out at home I could get my wife to join in with me).
So I started the 1 year Challenge Sept 20th 2013 (see before photo). At this point my stats were:
Since weight lifting was new to me it was extremely helpful to have the links to the videos on bodybuilding.com to ensure my form was correct and safe. Over the next few month I worked my what through the first 2 phases and continued to expand my recipes using The Shredded Chef and Eat Green, Get Lean. Now I am in Phase 3, my weight amounts have steadily increased, my body is changing and for the first time in 12 years I am getting back in shape, feeling better and have much more energy than ever before. As of March 8th my stats were:
Weight: 190 (55lb loss)
Fat: 18.2% (12.8% loss)
You can see from my March 8th photo, I still have way to go and probably the hardest part of the change to deal with still. But I have made it further than ever before, my commitment is as strong as day one and I have a new passion for exercise (not a fan of the long cardio) and almost every aspect of this change is thanks to you and the information you are sharing with us all.
Your information has saved my life. It has given me back the life I once had and at 47 I am approaching the best shape I have even been (stronger than ever before) in my life.
Thank you again for all you do and for sharing your experience! I don’t think I could ever really thank you enough for what you have done for me.