Well hello there from Chicago. I've been in the city now for about 4 years, and came right out of grad school for work. I'm a 28 year old guy, already pretty healthy (by CW), and really looking forward to see where this takes me. Reading most of the stories I see posted most people are trying to lose a lot of weight. I'm, I guess, a little different.

I've always been skinny... when I graduated high school I was 5'11 1/2 and 125lbs. Because of this I didn't care what I ate, and as a result ballooned to my heaviest of ~160lbs. Granted, I know this is a target weight for many people, but you could tell by just looking at me that I was unhealthy. Skinny arms and legs with a belly. When I moved to Chicago I started to eat a little better, using CW to drop to 145lbs. I fluctuated between 145 and 155 for a couple years, but never saw much improvement after that initial drop. It's not like I'm looking to lose more, I'm looking to trim up belly fat and gain a little muscle, while improving overall health. A guy started working in our office that pointed me to this site, and it has really opened my eyes into what really is healthy for your body. I started last week and have been slowing reducing my carb intake day by day. Today is the first day that I think I've following an MDA approved meal plan, and I feel great about it. About to finish my last bite of a 21 day dry aged grass fed ribeye (my treat to myself) and have 0 regrets. Even just lowering my carb intake the last week has trimmed my belly fat.

On top of my bio I'd really like to share a success story of a friend for anyone out there that would like to have some additional motivation. I've known a guy for a long time, and when I met him he weight between 450 and 500lbs. This is not an exaggeration. He was young, 19 at the time, and one of the most engaging, talkative, and fun people I've ever met. He was the only person in our group of friends that was overweight to that degree, and you could tell he was uncomfortable sometimes. I got a call from him one day saying that he'd had enough, and was going to get rid of it. We all encouraged him, helped him, and did our best to give him the advice that we all thought was best (CW - but it was better than he was before). 2 years later, after adhering to a strict diet, and working out no less than 5 days a week, he is between 200 - 250lbs and has had his first surgery to remove excess skin around his belly. I don't know that I've ever been more proud and happy for someone. I know what a strong and supportive community can do, and I hope this one is the same. To all those people who are hesitant to do something drastic to really improve your life - know that it's possible. I've seen it first hand and believe you can do it.

Sorry for the length! If you made it through, thanks for reading, and always feel free to friend me on here.