I’m John Bauer and the pictures above are from October 2015 on the left and July of 2009 on the right. If you would like to know more about the life journey that led to these two pictures, then read on.
I was active in high school and even enjoyed some weight lifting at the time. However once I hit college “life happened” and I began to lose my fitness and gain weight. I was blessed with a career as a land surveyor post-college which allowed me to keep a certain level of physical conditioning and fitness due to working outside, walking, carrying heavy equipment long distances, swinging sledge hammers and manhandling jack hammers and shovels. I still continued to “yo-yo” with my weight, constantly trying some new eating scheme, however until my later 30’s I was still in pretty good shape.
In my late 30’s I transitioned to the “desk job” side of the business due to increased workload. I still tried to do some exercise, race walking for 2 miles for instance, but the weight struggles only increased. At one point I spent a fair amount of time on Atkins Diet and got my weight back to 160, but decimated my muscle mass as a result. Of course, I eventually gained the weight (but not the muscle) all back and continued to experiment with diets to try and lose the weight.
At the age of 54 in 2009 I quit smoking after 41 years, and promptly ballooned to 225 pounds by Summer of 2010. I had physical issues such as back pain, man boobs, a beer belly which rivaled any, shoulder issues, and a generally poor state of health. In July 2010, I clicked on an Internet link which changed my life. After an entertaining (and intriguing) free video, I was offered the opportunity to buy a diet program for $47. I thought to myself “what do I have to lose, I would spend this on one restaurant meal” and I clicked the link and bought the program. This program opened up a whole new way of thinking for me, one I will refer to often here on this site as “Alternative Wellness” for short. Bottom line, I immersed myself in research on the web, started eating only “one ingredient” minimally processed whole foods, learned that mainstream diet advice had been sabotaging me for years, embraced healthy fats and eliminated unhealthy fats, virtually eliminated sugar and many starches from my diet, and best of all ate until I was satisfied 5 times a day! Later that summer I began with bodyweight exercises and cardio walking, transitioned from that to include resistance band workouts and High Intensity Interval cardio, and joined a gym one year later and began a serious weight training program, which I do to this day. In short, I just gave my body what it was designed for in terms of nutrition and exercise and let it correct itself over time.
I hit my lowest weight of 163 pounds in September of 2012, roughly 62 pounds lost in about 110 weeks. For us math geeks, that is an average weight loss of a little more than a half pound per week. When I started at 225 pounds I had a BMI of 32 (obese) and I did not measure body fat percentage (not even on my radar) but I estimate it to be between 32% and 34%. Today, I average about 184 pounds (I estimate I have gained about 13 pounds of muscle mass since early 2013) and my body fat percentage is somewhere around 16.5%. That is unfortunately up about 4 percentage points from my 12.5% body fat late in 2016. In the last year I suspect my metabolism has changed with age and I have had both a positive energy balance and some fat gain as a result. My current goal is to drop my body fat percentage back down below 14%.
I rarely have back pain or other physical issues, my lab tests are phenomenal in terms of inflammation, blood lipids, blood sugar levels and all other indicators, my blood pressure runs around 110/65, and I feel really vital in my day to day life.
There is nothing special about me – these results can be achieved by you as well. Follow the guidance on this website and you too will have “before and after” pictures to show the world.