The Dieter: Brian Valentin’s Story

I’m Brian Valentin, owner of  I have a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and an M.S. in Guidance and Counseling

I am a thirty-five year old husband and father of three.  For the entirety of my adult life I’ve been overweight – at 5’9″ my heaviest weight was about 215.  This was after high school and I was trying to get into the Air Force but was told I was too heavy to meet the height/weight/bodyfat standards – I needed to lose thirty-five pounds to get down to a maximum allowable weight.

I started exercising (but only very little) and heard of this stuff called “RippedFuel” – so I decided to try it.  The weight fell off. Within four months I had gotten down to about 185 and was given the go ahead to join the Air Force.  Of course, RippedFuel was the infamous Ephedra/Caffeine/Aspirin stack but for me it worked and worked remarkably well.  Once out of basic training and back to my regular lifestyle the weight crept up.  I never went back as high as 215 but I also could never get below 195 without seriously depriving myself.  I should also point out that during this time I was getting my bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology!

From this point on I would go on diets, lose a few pounds and fall off the diet and gain my weight back.  Sometimes I would work out, sometimes not.  I wasn’t what you would call “fat” – more like chubby.  But when I looked in the mirror I saw an obese person with way too much extra bodyfat all over.  I kind of started to believe that maybe I’m “genetically” disposed to being chubby.  My father is thin and so is my oldest brother but me and my other brother are chubby – I just assumed that I was this way.  I never stopped trying to fix my diet and eat a conventional healthy diet (i.e., whole grains, low fat, etc…)

It wasn’t until this past December that I realized I could actually eat better, lose weight, and most importantly not be deprived.  It started out with me reading “The 4-Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss – the big thing in the book was the “slow carb” diet. This is not Atkins or no-carb. It allows beans, meats, veggies.  This diet allowed me to eat plenty, feel full, have energy and most importantly lose weight.  I lost fifteen pounds in the first thirty days – but I started noticing I was having trouble with beans.  The more I read and learned, the more I decided that a “paleo” diet lifestyle was for me.  Paleo is meats, healthy fats, veggies, fruits – but no legumes/beans, or starches/grains.  This goes against conventional wisdom – but for me, conventional wisdom was keeping me fat.

Six months later I’m down approximately thirty pounds from where I started (196 in Dec.) – and I feel much better about myself.  I feel more confident and I walk with better posture.  I have more energy to workout and play with my kids.  I’ve created a blog ( that gives me the ability to keep me focused and tell/help others who are interested in this lifestyle. 

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Copyright Ark Stories 2011


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