Hitting a big birthday like turning 30 can be a point of reflection for anyone. When Jonathan Loesche started to do some soul-searching ahead of his 30th birthday, he decided that he didn’t like the direction his life had taken him. Most importantly though he didn’t just let the idea hang around, he did something about it and booked in with a weight loss surgeon to discuss what his options were. Not only that he started to confront the demons in his head, which he says is where the real battle will always be.
Name: Jonathan Loesche
Weight at heaviest: 587 lbs (266.3kg)
Current weight: 260 lbs (117.9kg)
How long did it take you to lose the weight?
I had weight loss surgery in December 2018. I hit my current weight around Fall 2020 before settling into more of a maintenance mode as I started living life again.
What’s your history with weight loss? Have you always been bigger or did this creep up on you?
When I started my 2nd year in college, I had already started getting bigger due to depression and enjoying beer too much! One day I ended up totalling my car coming home from class. At that point I blew up from about 240 to over 325 lbs in one semester. After that, I just retreated from the world for the better part of decade just getting bigger.
What was your experience of being big like? What things did you hate about it?
There’s just so…so much I hated. At my heaviest I couldn’t bend over to tie my own shoes. I worked from home most days but would have massive anxiety trying on clothes in the morning wondering if they still fit or were too small.
I became ashamed to see friends & family if they hadn’t seen me in a while. One day I was in line at a restaurant & saw a good friend of mine from high school who I hadn’t seen in person in about two years came in. We made eye contact & I was relieved he didn’t recognize me, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with awkward small talk or play a million questions with what had happened in my life to get me like this.
What was the point that you decided to do something about your weight?
When I woke up on my 30th birthday & realised all the wasted potential I had in my life so far.
When you’d decided to lose weight, what prep did you do before starting to lose weight?
The first thing I did was to look up options for weight loss surgery and saw a couple of different doctors to see what my options were. On top of that I started going to therapy regularly. Most importantly though is that I quit drinking entirely. I’ll be four years sober in November.
Could you give an idea of daily meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks) before your weight loss?
Fast food, pizza, hot pockets, take out Chinese, ice cream, cookies… basically anything that was fried or had a bunch of sugar.
Could you give an idea of daily meals after your weight loss?
I’ve been eating as low carb as possible. Black coffee, water, pork rinds, lots of chicken Caesar salads, steak before it got to $20/lb!
What were the techniques that really helped with your weight loss?
Aside from the surgery, I started walking in my neighborhood before going on to park trails. About eight months after surgery I started going to CrossFit which I have continued until this day. Best of all, I stuck with therapy.
What did you learn along the way?
I’ve realised that I have an amazing support system of family & friends, who I couldn’t have done this without. I think through the therapy I’ve seen that life is worth living & that’s helped me to move on from being angry and bitter and wallowing in self pity.
What tips do you have for other men who want to lose weight?
The biggest thing I would say is to work on your mental health. Ultimately, life is going to come around to present more challenges. If you haven’t made peace with the various demons in your life and formulated better coping mechanisms, all the hard work can be for nothing because you’ll end up right back where you started.
If someone is reading this and they recognise themselves in you, what would you say directly to them?
Whatever you’re angry or sad about, it pales in comparison to life you could be leading. Realise that the meanest things being said about you are in your own head.
We’re so grateful to Jonathan for sharing his Amazing Loser story. It’s a true tale of overcoming adversity. We can all identify with that feeling that Jonathan had on the morning of his 30th birthday of looking at our lives and realising that they’re not going the way that we want them to. Jonathan had the strength to act – do you?