It’s been decades since I’ve been this lean.
As I write this, I’ve released 40 pounds I no longer need, and I’m feeling much more energetic.
I was a lanky kid growing up, in high school shooting nearly to my current 6”2, wearing 200 pounds quite comfortably. But I skipped right over the “freshman 15” my first year of college, equipped with a meal pass giving me access to unlimited mix-poured waffles, cereal, pizza, and ice cream. Oh, I ate salads too! But I headed straight to the freshman 50…and beyond. My metabolism, and my body’s “set point,” never recovered.
Throughout my 20s I felt increasingly uncomfortable in my own skin, peaking in my early 30s when a “third-life crisis” hit. By then, 284 pounds began to engulf me. I could sometimes shed about 10 pounds with some effort, and in 2022 managed to even let go of 10 beyond that. But releasing beyond the mid-260s felt like a pipe dream.
I tried everything: restrictive dieting, exercise, supplements, herbs, meditation, hypnosis. Nothing seemed to get me beyond that 10-20 pound window, and I’d often gain it right back.
But as of this writing, I’m sitting at 225 pounds, down from 265 in mid-February. And I’m just hitting my stride, confident that 200 (give or take, depending on how much muscle I’ve built) will be my “new normal” by this Fall. I’m seeing the 220s on the scale for the first time in college. Fitting back into some really sweet clothes I’d been saving in my closet for years, “just in case.”
How am I doing it? I turns out, all I needed was the right support.
It was mid-January of this year, around the time I would’ve likely already given up on ‘New Year’s Resolutions,’ had I made any. But having played that game so many times in the past and throwing my hands up in discouragement, I didn’t even bother.
But my doctor let me know my blood work came back…and I was pre-diabetic.
I was feeling sluggish. Moving slowly. Uncomfortable in my clothes.
I wasn’t at my heaviest, but I wanted to have more strength, energy, and mobility to continue meeting life full-on, into my 40s and decades beyond.
I was ready to try something different.
I’d been hearing about this group — in Asheville and nationwide — called PhD Weight Loss and Nutrition, via constant testimonial radio ads. I was impressed by what I heard — my local DJ released over 45 pounds of unwanted bodyfat and kept it off — but I felt skeptical. And so I did my due diligence, and saw nearly unanimous 5-star reviews among hundreds who’d gone through their program over the past decade, via TrustAnalytica, BirdEye, Google and others. As someone who’s worked adjacent to health and wellness providers for 20+ years, this level of client satisfaction felt unheard of to me.
So I reached out to PhD’s founder, Dr. Ashley Lucas, to see what they might be able to do for me. I learned they have an astounding 95% success rate helping clients meet their health and weight release goals, and an 85% success rate keeping folks there — because after the initial weight-release phase, they offer free coaching for life!
I was sold. When I went into their office to do their biometrics, I could see why I was feeling so tired: I’m carrying about 65 pounds more in fat mass than my body needs for fuel, and my metabolic age (how many calories my body burns at rest compared to the average Basal Metabolic Rate for people my age in the general population) was 58 years old!
Using a gentle and gradual-but-substantial approach to eating, the team of nutritionists and coaches at my local PhD office estimated that they could help me release an average of 1.5-3 pounds of fat per week, helping me reach around 200 pounds (give or take due to hopeful muscle gain) and a metabolic age of 33 by this fall!
So far, so effective. They’re showing me how to enjoy delicious food without falling into unconscious patterns that sap my energy. They’re also supplying me with a lot of the day-to-day food I need to actually make this transition. They give me weekly education on elements like macronutrients, proper rest cycles, and how to really read a sneaky nutrition label. Their flavor of nonjudgmental support ensures that I have just what I need to make long-term paradigm shifts, one day at a time. I have more to let go of, (in all sorts of areas), and it feels amazing to have knowledgeable companions who have been there.
Now here’s the deal: I believe there are many facets to optimal health, wellness, and energy levels, and every body is unique. Further, I feel gratitude for myself at every size I’ve been — I have nothing but love for beautiful bodies doing their thing, carrying us through this human experience. But if you’re feeling like I have at various points over the years, wanting to find a different, optimal equilibrium for you, I’d highly recommend doing a consultation with the awesome crew at PhD Weight Loss and Nutrition. They have a number of in-person offices across the country, and an at-home version of their process available globally.
Oh, and here’s what’s fun: I appeared in some commercials with them! A couple months into my process with them, they asked if I’d mind filming. I jumped at the chance — they’ve helped me so much, and if I can help others benefit too, I’m all-in.
It was fun; I’m strictly a B-Roll guy, no speaking roles. : ) But we filmed a typical check-in process for those who live near one of their five physical locations (that’s similar to their global at-home program): Coming in, connecting with my PhD Coach, doing a biometric scan, discussing any recent challenges while preparing for my week ahead, selecting my supporting food for the coming week, and (my favorite) hitting the vibrating plates!
While it was all for the sake of filming (I had my actual check-in later that week), PhD’s founder, Dr. Ashley Lucas, actually did review my plan for realsies while the camera was rolling. She encouraged me to eat more full-fat meals, and drink some full-strength broth in addition to what I’m currently enjoying. It’s one of things I’m loving most about working with her and her team: This approach to eating and living is not about deprivation, nor is it about food or body shame. It’s about recalibrating my ability to receive abundance and nourishment, both within and beyond the foods I invite into my life.
I doubt I’m going to win any Oscars (ha!), but you can watch one of the commercials I’m in here:
I’m really happy to team up with this crew — who can help virtually anyone looking to undergo their physical transformation, worldwide. You can go here or call them at (864) 644-1900 to have a no-obligation conversation with them to see if their approach might be right for you. If you’re curious to hear about my process and how you might receive similar support, feel free to comment below, or email me at mike [at] mikemorrell [dot] org. It isn’t for everyone, but I know I’m feeling so much better.
Here’s to making deep and lasting changes in our lives!