Success Stories: Nicholas Henderson Dropped 47 pounds. Here’s How.

September 26, 2011 |  by  |  Success Stories

Before / After Stats

When is “Before”: Between June 2001 and January 2011
Age: 31
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 256.5 lb. (Dec. 2010) / I was 209 lb. today (Sept. 2011)

Occupation: entrepreneur
Hometown: Dallas, TX

I was just repulsed by the way I looked and felt… I knew I had to make a change.

Where are you from, and what do you do?

I am from Richardson Texas just north of Dallas. I’ve stayed close to home because I like it here, and I’m close with my family. I went to University of Texas at Dallas and studied Econ / Finance, and now I’m the VP of sales for a franchise of a small payroll / HR / benefits administration company. I also have a small investment business with my father.

What was your average day like “BEFORE?”

My lifestyle was very sedentary and lazy. I was eating terrible foods in large quantities. I was drinking alcohol frequently and in large quantities. My relationship with food was almost like a lust. I would only look at food and drink as an avenue to satisfy an urge to feel good. The problem with that model is that I was only thinking about the short term pleasure from the flavors of the terrible things i liked. It ended there for me. There were zero thoughts of what they were doing to the rest of my body. The foods and drinks I was so “horny” for were poisoning my body even as I was enjoying every minute of consuming them. It was and is a disastrous recipe that led me on a trajectory of obesity, irritability, fatigue, depression, laziness, and an overall dissatisfaction with myself on every level. How did i get there…?

When i was in college i was very active in intramural sports, working out, and I was in great shape. I was barely 20 years old, and thought i was invincible. I was eating and drinking pretty much anything i wanted and at any time. My metabolism was like a bulldozer, and it seemed like I could eat anything and my body composition remained consistent. I had six pack abs, defined arms and back. My legs were very strong. I was quick and agile.

Then on June 2, 2001 I was involved in a devastating car accident. I was t-boned in an intersection, my ford explorer rolled over twice and came to rest wrapped around the light pole. After being care flighted to the hospital, I regained consciousness in several hours. I had 4 herniated disks in my back and neck, a broken zygomatic arch (cheekbone), broken arm, fractured right femur, and a torn right quadricep. The next 15 months i spent healing, but i was forced to wear a cervical collar (neck brace), and limit standing or moving to less than an hour or two each day. That was the start to my downfall. I continued to eat the same way I did when i was on the move, only now my body was focused on healing. I began to notice minor changes over time and when I went to work I began to eat lunches out every day consisting of pasta, enchiladas’, burgers, fried foods, and after work, I’d go for drinks with colleagues a few nights a week. Then after years of this being my standard, i turned 30 and i was disgusted with myself.

What made you want to lose weight? What were the feelings and factors that drove you?

I was just repulsed by the way i looked and felt. I was so undisciplined, but it was finally enough. I knew i had to make a change.

What did you do, eat, etc differently?

A close friend of mine was a regular attendee to the local Crossfit box, and i had visited a few times, but never consistently. I heard that they were conducting a 45 day paleo challenge. I decided to make the commitment and take part in both the eating and working out for the suggested time. It started February 1st, and i have been eating paleo ever since religiously and working out at the box 5 days a week since then. I’ve lost nearly 50 lbs. and 8 inches in my waist. I have gained strength also, and i plan to continue on this trajectory forever.

What advice would you give to people who want to make a change in their lives like yours?

  • Start with attainable short term goals. (ie I will eat paleo 100% this week, and I will do 5 WOD’s this week) then build on them once attained.
  • Keep a food log of everything you eat and show it to someone who is were you want to be.
  • Focus on health and wellness. Eating nutrient dense foods and getting good sleep should be first priority.
  • Don’t give up if you slip up. Slip up doesn’t equal total failure.
  • Your age is just a number. Anyone can do a crossfit WOD, and everyone can choose what they feed their body. (my 61 year old father started paleo and crossfit the same day i did, and he’s still going and looking and feeling great too)

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Alumni Wellness is dedicated to maximizing health, fun and happiness for the long term. We experiment cooking with whole foods, discover exciting heart pumping activities, and play with cool gym and kitchen gadgets. You know… Fun stuff!

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