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I’m an Irish journalist who has worked for a major newspaper in the American West as well as Irish radio and a number of national titles here in Dublin. This blog charts my attempt to change my skinny frame into a more athletic body.

Bottom line: It’s as hard for me to put on weight as it is for others to lose it.

I enrolled in Precision Nutrition’s Scrawny to Brawny year-long program to that end. I’m part of the May 2012 cohort.

It’s easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m also a paying customer like anyone else who signs up to the program.

Here’s a link to my first article for The Salt Lake Tribune. It gives an overall summary of what I’m hoping to achieve and why I’m doing this. This blog is for more regular updates between articles.

Once the program is over, I aim to continue living a “bigger” life both inside and outside of the gym, with other major projects that I’ve always wanted to tackle. And I’ll be blogging about those too.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tim Vincent #

    Dear Brian,
    If you have been working out and getting some exercise and the doctor says that you are healthly, then probably you should be more accepting of yourself.

    Whatever the project, we are always more efficient and successsful when someone else assists, shows some interest and gives support. Having worked with health and genetics as a researcher, I have a suggestion to make, for your year-long project. Enlist the partnership of one other male, who is at least 30 lbs overweight, to work with you. At least three times a week the two of you will need to go walking together, swimming or spend time at the gym. Your goal is to see if additional muscle might be added. The same will true for you partner, but his will also be to loose a visible amount of weight. Get weighed weekly, take measurements monthly and record them. You will learn from each other, even if you approach weight issues from different viewpoints.

    If you are really determined, you might also lead a group of people who live near you who are also serious about loosing some weight. You could encourage them physically and emotionally. People who have always been at their ideal weight can also be included; people who just want to keep in shape and can provide encouragement. This is not a contest like the television show, but rather providing support for each other to achieve overall success. Please give this some serious thought.

    I would hope that simply eating vast amounts of unhealthy calories to gain weight will not be your goal, but staying healthy. If 133 lbs is where you body wants to remain, then be content with that and move on to more productive projects and interests in life. It you want to appear from attractive, a nice smile will be more impressive than a 30-lb spare roll around your middle.

    I hope you are pleased with your results a year from now!
    Best regards,

    April 20, 2012
  2. Hi Tim. Thanks for your comment. You’ll be glad to know I had already taken a lot of what you said on board.

    First off, though, it’s human nature not to be accepting of yourself or your situation. That can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances or issue at hand.

    Separately one of the good things about what I’m doing is that the process will teach me healthy lifestyle and nutrition habits that Precision Nutrition hopes will last a lifetime. And they preach this to all their clients, including those looking to lose the pounds through their Lean Eating program.

    Like I said in the first post, I’m not getting paid by these guys. But I do believe in what they do. I mean, why sign up for something with a cynical attitude. And I know Berardi also gives back through a charity he has set up. So I guess what I’m saying is that their approach is quite holistic, for want of a better word.

    During the S2B program, they encourage you to find a training partner and they also get you to weigh yourself weekly and take measurements as well as posting progress pictures every month.

    And the diet is anything but unhealthy calories. We have to prepare everything ourselves and effectively shun anything processed.

    I realise that gym workouts aren’t just a means to an end. I actually went from 116lbs to 154lbs between 1998 and 2002. But I wasn’t eating nearly as healthy as I’m eating now, although I was working hard in the gym. So I know my body can take the extra weight.

    When I started going to the gym regularly I made a promise to myself that I would literally make it the habit of a lifetime. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would and the extra weight also boosted my overall confidence.

    I’ve since found that the gym has helped me heal my body of some aches and pains etc.

    So there’s a whole cornucopia of reasons for doing this beyond physical appearance.

    If I’m honest, I’m not sure I’ll have enough time this year to lead a group of people like you suggest. But I’m hoping this blog may inspire people towards such an endeavour. But who knows, maybe a year from now I’ll take up on that suggestion.

    Thanks for your best wishes.

    April 22, 2012
  3. P.S. Tim, do you mind me asking where you’re posting from? (I had two hits from Belgium the other day and I’m wondering if you’re one of those).

    April 22, 2012
  4. Gretchen Dukes #

    Hey Brian —

    I heard you on the radio this evening (very early Tuesday morning in Dublin). You were on RTE2 — it’s still leaves me a bit awe-struck that I can be listening to Irish radio in Roswell, Georgia. But to hear someone I actually know call in, that was really quite amazing.

    Good luck on your “voyage” — I won’t use the “j” word. I began a similar one myself 2 years ago, lost 30 lbs training for a marathon. It’s not easy eating healthy, is it?!? After a “long run” day, I’d have to eat an extra 1500-2000 calories, all healthy stuff. Not easy at all, so I completely empathize.

    Hope all is well with you — good to hear you on the radio!

    Happy Holidays, early.



    November 6, 2012
  5. Hey Gretch,
    thanks for dropping a line, I was actually asked to come on the show because they’re following my progress since I was last on (in studio) back in June. I did a story for the Irish Independent (See “i Saw Your Spread” in blog) which the Tubridy Show saw and then they asked me to come in to them. As you, it’s very difficult, a total mind f— in fact. But it’s well worth it. Hope you and yours are all doing well.

    November 7, 2012

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