About

Hello, I’m John Ellis. I lost 125 lbs over 18 months (2008-2010) without surgery. I simply changed my lifestyle and retrained my brain (and pancreas).  I changed my diet, went from “living to eat” to “eating to live”; and added regular exercise to my regimen.

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Bigger in 2007. Sleep apnea, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes - all gone now after losing 135 lbs. 2 lbs green veggies/day, steamed fish, brown rice. Weight training and aerobic exercise.

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It's nice to be able to shop in normal stores for fashionable styles. I could never do this when I was 337 lbs. I particularly like to buy used stuff on eBay that other people have outgrown.

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2006. Recovering from neck surgery for herniated disc. Life is much better now.

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I feel so much better and energetic these days! I was always lethargic at 300+ lbs.

JEE before after

Bigger in 2007. Sleep apnea, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes - all gone now after losing 135 lbs. 2 lbs green veggies/day, steamed fish, brown rice. Weight training and aerobic exercise.

HowILost100lbs-before-after-2
Bigger in 2007. Sleep apnea, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes - all gone now after losing 135 lbs. 2 lbs green veggies/day, steamed fish, brown rice. Weight training and aerobic exercise.It's nice to be able to shop in normal stores for fashionable styles. I could never do this when I was 337 lbs.
I particularly like to buy used stuff on eBay that other people have outgrown.JEE-Before-AfterJEE before after 2JEE before after 32006. Recovering from neck surgery for herniated disc. Life is much better now.JEE before after 4I feel so much better and energetic these days! I was always lethargic at 300+ lbs.Bigger in 2007. Sleep apnea, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes - all gone now after losing 135 lbs. 2 lbs green veggies/day, steamed fish, brown rice. Weight training and aerobic exercise.HowILost100lbs-before-after-2

How did I get to 330 lbs?

While I cared for patients with heart disease for many years as a cardiovascular anesthesiologist, I neglected my own health. As a medical school professor, I conducted and published research about heart disease and obesity, but I didn’t apply the lessons learned to my life and health. I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle. I did a lot of stressful eating at work as a physician. My diet consisted of a lot of junk, prepared, and processed foods. I used to love cheese and grapefruit juice so my diet was high in fat, salt and sugar. I exercised less and less – I loved to bicycle. All in all, I was leading a very unhealthy lifestyle.

What pushed me to change?

In December of 2007, I sat in a chair at a restaurant watching the ice skaters at Christmas. The chair broke, I fell to the floor, VERY embarrassed, but otherwise uninjured. It was a seminal moment to change. I also had a series of potentially life-threatening health problems – high blood pressure, sleep apnea, 2 neck operations – that motivated me to change.

What did I do?

I decided to enroll in a program. I spent 2 weeks at Structure House, a weight loss program that focuses on behavior modification for obese people. There I learnt what lifestyle changes I needed to make. It was a difficult first week as I was learning to completely restructure my life. Exercising, eating healthy, and mentally motivating myself were the 3 biggest things that I focused on. After the 2 weeks were up, I stuck with the changes. I lost 125 lbs after 18 months.

Results

I’m now at 205 lbs! I have successfully restructured my life around maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Everything is regular for me now: my meals are regularized, my exercise schedule is very consistent, and I get adequate sleep. Exercise has been especially important for me. It trains the brain (reduces hunger), and builds muscle that burns fat 24/7. Exercise also helps the muscles use insulin to utilize sugar better, and reduces the burden on the pancreas to produce insulin. I am in a much better space physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am more confident, happier and a lot more active.

What’s next?

I do the same things to maintain my weight as I did to lose it, so I hope to see myself in the same place. Always healthier by the day!

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11 Comments:

  1. Hello…..I am a 43 yr old businessman, and I would really like to lose the belly….it’s hard getting started and keeping at it, for I feel if I did, I would okay and lose the belly…that’s the only weight, my belly. I am 5’9” and 221 lbs…(44 to 46 jacket; 38 to 40 waist)…feel I need to be around 200 lb’s to be healthy…please help me.

  2. Using BMI calculator @ http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/, you’re obese; BMI = 32.6. Like 1/3 of Americans!

    Keep reading the blog for suggestions. I’d recommend Dr. Roizen and Oz’s book, or the Structure House book (see Dr. Ellis’ Amazon recs on the right-hand side of the screen). Commit to 30 min/day walking. Stop sodas, and replace with water. Prepare your own meals from “scratch” as much as possible. Get a weight-loss buddy. For other starting tips, see http://goo.gl/TsBm

    These are generic recommendations, and do not replace seeing your doctor, who can make recommendations in light of your particular situation and conditions.

  3. wow, i didn’t know you had a blog about this! i can’t wait to read it. i think you should have a full sized before and after photos in this section to really give people an idea of what losing 120 pounds looks like.

    btw, congratulations on the weight loss. i don’t know if i ever told you that before!!

  4. Congrats on the weight loss! I’ve just started trying to lose too. I have 144 pounds to lose, but I’m going to take it slow.

  5. John….I know I congratulated you on your WT Loss before, but I feel the need to say it again… I am really proud of you. I also love this website. I think that you need to start a Structured Living house here in Chicago, as thats been my biggest problem. Getting started and restructuring my life.

    Anyway… congrats… looks like GREAT things are going on with the Ellis family!

  6. Love your website. It has been motivating me to stay on track. I’ve lost 70 and have another 50 to go! It is hard when I associate good food from my neighborhood in my youth – like pizza, Carvel and Chan’s Chinese Food all that were all on one street in Jamaica — with being happy. But I am continuing to stick with it!

  7. Wow! Just found your blog on the Structure House website. Looking forward to reading all about your weight loss journey.

    Congratulations ~ you look amazing!

    Steph

  8. I a 54 years old and Iam extremely tired and fatigue. I have diabetes 2 and every time a take a shower my hair is falling. I have told that my thyroid is ok. But I ALSO UNABLE TO loose any weight at all. Iam 203 pounds.I just started to eat right and I am taking medicine for Diabetes and cholesterol and high blood pressure. But mu body always feel cold. Also I suffered from constipation.

    I walk 30 minutes every day.

    I am using natural vegetables and fruits.
    Can you please tell me what can I do.

    I am looking also to buy some vitamins. At nights I suffered of insomnia and some leg cramps.

  9. I think these are questions for your doctor. I can’t offer medical advice. On this blog, I share things that have worked for me to lose weight and keep it off. Thanks.

  10. John–Here’s a possible idea for a future blog entry – the trend of outrageous ballpark foods where teams seem to try to outdo one another with their over-the-top offerings, and the demand for these extreme foods (Arizona Diamondbacks ran out of their $25 18 inch corn dog). See http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/os-outrageous-ballpark-foods-pictures,0,4967455.photogallery and http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10716817/arizona-diamondbacks-running-supersized-corn-dogs
    Best,
    Dave

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