Pound Down

Here at last, my weight loss journey– all the ups and downs, the dieting and non-dieting, the progress and regressions.


I’ve been using this picture for the past couple of months. It gives a pretty decent overview of the pounds I’ve been able to shed, but it ain’t the COMPLETE story. So, in true Vietnamese fashion, let me rewind back to the beginning…

Blah, blah, blah, I got fat when I got into a relationship. Basically, I shot up to 185 pounds in college.

Cool posters, bro
Cool posters, bro

This is right before I left for Japan. While overseas, the relationship ended, and I got a big push from my BFF to start taking care of myself again.

And I dove DEEP. I cut back calories severely and buried myself in the gym (full body workouts 6 days a week). I did lose weight, but I dropped way lower than I intended: 30 pounds.

Skinny Fat at 155
Skinny Fat (155)

For the next move, I thought maybe I should move to my pre-girlfriend era weight. But this time, all muscle! I tried planning my workouts sharper– less time and more efficient. I stayed pretty lean, but something was still off…

Seriously, what's up with this flab? I ate like 7 pieces of fruit everyday!
Seriously, what’s up with this flab? I ate like 7 pieces of fruit everyday!

I ate healthy, but I wasn’t getting the proper nutrition for muscle growth. I thought protein powder was steroids.

For the three years I was in Japan, I hung around this type of body composition. It wasn’t until I was back in the states that I made the best progress with my workouts and diet. I started tracking my food seriously for the first time.

And even though I was cutting, I still saw strength gains. I set new PRs for all my lifts.

I ended up looking like this
I ended up looking like this (171)

At least, that’s how I wish it would’ve been at the end.

The truth is, those photos were about 2 weeks before the end of my first cut. Even though I kept up with my diet, at the end of the program I looked like this:

Disappointing… (170)

Up til now, I haven’t shown these pictures to anybody. I was so excited to show my progress, but at the end I felt embarrassed. To me, I suddenly looked no better than I did when I first got fat. No amount of lighting or effects could change it.

Coming off my diet, I felt bitter. But it gave me more incentive to hop on board for another challenge.

For giggles, I tried to see if I could gain 10 extra pounds in a week to make my before pictures extra awful.

Did it work?
Did it work? (181)

To be honest, I am sticking out my stomach quite a bit. Also, I’d like to bring up a great video from Furious Pete about before and after shots. If only I thought of this beforehand– instead, I actually hit the 181 mark thanks to lots of pizza and soda.

In my last cut, I did a great job of watching my carb intake, but not so much with the fat. I really tried to address that in this go.

I did have another scare– I bloated up again. It was so confusing and demoralizing but I didn’t want to fall off– even if I felt disappointed. I prepped myself just in case this cut would turn out like last time.

I made a video.

And I’m glad I made that–I needed that reminder. Even with the setbacks, I’m still moving forward.

Thanks, Coach!

Published by Jon Dao

Formerly, the Conversation Coach

10 thoughts on “Pound Down

  1. Now this post is kind of the answer to your post on what defines sexy and what is not ha ha. Great job by the way! It’s all about the mind-body-spirit triangle, when all 3 are taken care of – that is sexy!

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