Chuck the Chunk: My Love Affair with Two Men from Vermont

September 1, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

I will not be wearing this shirt for weigh-in photos again.

So here we are at the one-month mark of Chuck the Chunk ā€” and I’m proud to say I’ve lost nine pounds! I’ve shed more weight in less time in the past, but I’m really trying my darndest to apply a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race technique. Drastic measures yield more dramatic results, but they rarely ever stick.

Speaking of slow and steady, I recently had a follow-up visit at a weight loss program I participated in a few years ago. While I’m certainly not near where I’d like to be, the doctor looked back on my records and informed me that it was exactly five years from when I first participated in the program, and I’d been able to keep more than half the weight off that I’d lost. He said that put me in the smallest percentile of weight-loss retention, higher even than most people who’d had bariatric surgery (e.g., gastric bypass, lap-band). So yay me!

But I had my share of bad days…days when I wanted to go back to my longstanding, self-abusing love affair with two men named Ben and Jerry.


Last Wednesday was particularly rough, with compounded stresses both work- and JJ-related. I was so tempted to “treat” myself to some Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie FroYo. But in a moment of resolve, I told Papa that under no circumstances was he to let me get any. I then hopped online and joined a group of dads on Twitter chatting about healthy eating. It was a great way to vent about my frustrations and share my successes. The day ended, and I didn’t indulge. If I want to treat myself, that’s fine ā€” but I too often fall into using B&J (and other food) to cheer myself up or reward myself.

It’s going to be a long, slow breakup, and I hope we can one day still be friends. But for now I have to be strong. As a famous reality show host once said, “If you can’t love yourself, how the HELL you gonna love somebody else?”

Can I get an AMEN up in here? See you in two weeks.



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16 responses to “Chuck the Chunk: My Love Affair with Two Men from Vermont”

  1. Don Jackson says:

    Great job and I hope your break-up goes well… šŸ™‚

    • Brent Almond says:

      Thanks! I just hope they can handle the fact that I’ve rebounded from them with yogurt! šŸ™‚

  2. Bryan says:

    Yet another way you and I relate. Love you putting your truth out there. That’s a big part of the process. I have some GREAT resources for cooking super healthy comfort food if you’re interested. šŸ™‚ Diet is more than 80% of the battle. Which is hard during stressful periods, I got your back.

    • Brent Almond says:


      Thanks for the encouragement! But it’s not my truth I mind putting out there ā€” it’s the photos! But it IS motivating me to keep at it.

      Yeah, please send me the healthy food stuff!


  3. Jonathan says:

    I think that finding healthy snack food / comfort food is a bit of a challenge. I’ve been doing the ‘chuck the chunk’ as well and trying not to keep ice cream in the freezer as just have it occasionally when I’m eating out. Greek yoghurt may not be the same sort of indulgent luxury as ice cream, but it’s quite nice with blueberries, cashews and pumpkin seeds all the same. I’m guessing that’s not going to come anywhere close to Ben & Jerry’s though!

    • Brent Almond says:

      I’ve always heard that anything in moderation is okay. But if you’ve been mainlining it like I have for months, then cold turkey is helpful. I have been enjoying Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt, but really it just boils down to breaking the cycle/habit/whatever of eating a pint of ice cream while planted in front of the tube every night. I’ve found I don’t do that when I find other things to do (like blog!)

      Keep it up!

  4. Marcie says:

    Way to go Brent! I praise you for putting it all out there with pics too! I can’t do it. Wish I could! Slow and steady is totally the way to go, although It does feel easier sometimes when you are dropping 3+ lbs a week because you have all that momentum. But then the plateaus are nasty. I am doing slow and steady, and only losing like 6 lbs a month! But it is steady so trying to concentrate on that.
    Good luck my friend! Frozen grapes and a couple pieces of dark chocolate are a great dessert and not very naughty.


    • Brent Almond says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! It helps that I have friends putting up their pics too ā€” though yeah, I always cringe a little right before I hit “publish.” šŸ™‚

      And thanks for the dessert tip! I’m always up for chocolate! Good luck yourself!

  5. Noah Moore-Goad says:


    You can do this! You can break the chain and live more fully without the lure of Ben & Jerry. You got this!

    • Brent Almond says:

      Thanks Noah! My end goal is to be able to hang out with Ben & Jerry for reasonable amounts without “going all the way” and eating an entire pint. šŸ™‚

  6. Doug Upchurch says:

    AMEN!!! You got this, daddy!

  7. Kit says:

    It’s a mindset change to lose weight and keep it off. Tracking what you eat and counting the calories will help you see what your diet consists of. Once you establish what you currently eat, you can look at how much you need to reduce your intake by to lose the desired weight. One pound is 3,500 calories. 10 lbs. off per year is 35,000 less per month, or about 100 fewer calories per day. Subtract calories per day to increase how much you lose. Then add exercise to boost the weight loss. Adding in 200 calories burned a day will speed up the weight loss, especially if you don’t account for it in your calorie allotment.

    One key to that mindset change, is to think differently about food. It’s best to remove the food-as-reward idea. That reward is also a punishment because you reward yourself for being good, or getting through something, but sabotage your diet by eating the reward.

    It’s surprisingly easy to substitute fruit instead of ice cream and cookies and cake and pie. If it’s readily available, you can make the decision that a snack that fits your calorie plan can be a peach, or apple, or cherries, and you’ll do some good and much less damage.

    American culture is so steeped in mass quantities of food that it’s hard to change your viewpoint to see less as ok. A smaller meal isn’t wasting opportunity for getting your money’s worth. It’s the sensible approach to fueling your body. Stop buying into the more is better theme and you can see you might have overeaten because it’s what’s done, not because you needed it.

    And finally, most people eat way too fast. A typical meal should take 30 minutes to eat, or longer. I’ve seen people inhale their food in 5 minutes, and I had barely started eating at that point. Our bodies don’t respond to being full for 20 minutes. Filling up in record time isn’t an accomplishment; it’s a punishing way to treat your digestive track.

    Hope this all helps. šŸ™‚

    • Brent Almond says:

      Thanks for all your insight. I’ve been learning many of those things, especially regarding food as reward. As I said in my post, if I want the have the occasional treat, that’s fine. But not to do it every time I want to celebrate, feel depressed or have just had a shitty day.

      We’ve also been spending a lot less money. I don’t think we’ve ordered take-out more than once in the last month. And we used to get it 1-2 times a week!

      Thanks again ā€” I value your input!

  8. Holly says:

    You go, Brent! It is a lifelong struggle, isn’t it? Did you realize you’re inspiring us out here while you do this? Thank you!

    • Brent Almond says:

      Yeah, it sure is (lifelong struggle) ā€” and I’ve learned the same thing isn’t going to work forever, at least not for me. I need some new exercise, new way of being held accountable, new thing to eat to keep me interested. Must be my senior citizen ADD setting in!

      And thanks ā€” glad to know I’m able to inspire while I perspire. šŸ™‚ But seriously, thank you for saying so.


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