AJ's Weight Loss Journey

Feb 7, 2021

Who

He’s the man behind the camera at Community. He’s also a chef, food blogger, lover of food, and a personal trainer. But most of all, he’s an inspiration to many of us at Community because of how he managed to turn his health around during the early months of COVID!

Yes, while many of us fell off the health bandwagon this spring, Allan Hussey (AJ) doubled down on improving his health.

Out of high school AJ became a personal trainer and educated himself on basic nutrition. He was in great shape and a healthy weight. Then came a move to Calgary, an injury, surgery and getting married. He got ‘comfortable’ and the weight piled on. His blood pressure skyrocketed and before long he was on the maximum blood pressure medication. The doctor sat him down and said he had to change his lifestyle.

What did he do?

It started with some soul searching on YouTube. He was looking for a long-term weight loss approach. Being a dog lover, he related to how you would get your pet to lose weight: less food; more exercise.

But being a foodie he knew he’d have to make food decisions that were lower in calories. “How do I get a hamburger to be lower calorie – choose a salad over fries; lean to extra lean meat, over regular.” That type of thing.

Accountability

He did his own research by tracking everything he ate for a month and tallying up the calories consumed per day. He would also weigh himself daily.  Then it was trial and error. He continued to weigh himself every day just to keep himself on track. To remind himself of what his goal was.  He also meal planned by the day. He weighed all the meat, vegetables and starch.  

What He Ate

He quickly realized that if he dramatically increased his vegetable intake he could eat more, and more often. So, he decreased meat intake and rapidly increased vegetable intake, adding more legumes as well. He drank lots of water. Fruit and popcorn were his go-to on days where he wanted to eat more or satisfy cravings.

Cheat or treat days

He gave himself two treats per week at the beginning but found that as he started to be successful in shedding the weight he had less cravings for cheat foods.

When he did fall off the bandwagon, he didn’t beat himself up about it, but he did make sure he hopped right back on the healthy eating plan.

He planned in advance for times when he knew he’d consume more calories;  like when he finished his backyard patio and knew he’d be barbequing and having more beverages. He put himself on a maintenance plan of a few more calories and upped his exercise.

Exercise

AJ is a personal trainer so was very familiar with working out. He didn’t dive deep into some newplan. Instead he committed to doing some exercise every day. It might be weightlifting but it could also be a hike in the mountains or a bike to Banff. As the weight came off and his fitness level returned, he did more and enjoyed it a lot more!

What AJ gave up entirely

Drinking alcohol. It was empty calories so he cut it out entirely until summer. Then he planned it into his weekly calorie and exercise plan. He doesn’t have a sweet tooth, but chips are his weakness so he just made sure they weren’t in the house. Or he’d make them his planned treat.

Success: Today, AJ no longer takes blood pressure medication. He has lost 70lbs and he feels like a million bucks. He no longer has sleep apnea. He has sustained energy with no more mid-afternoon slumps.

At Community Natural Foods, we don’t often talk about weight loss in our content, but AJ’s story was so inspiring to his co-workers that we hoped it would inspire someone reading as well. Mostly because of the realistic approach he took. He ate well, planned ahead, didn’t expect perfection, and moved his body regularly. Congratulations AJ and thanks for sharing.

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