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Featured Chobaniac: Lex G.

When it comes to determination, motivation, and dedication, Chobani-lovers are the cream of the crop. We’ve received countless stories of weight loss transformations shared with us via Twitter, Facebook, and email. Every time we come across a new story, we get excited all over again that we work for a company that promotes health, wellness, and balanced living. C’mon, meet Lex!

I was very active in my 20’s and early 30’s.  I enjoyed running, biking, swimming and playing basketball and volleyball.  I didn’t really have to worry about what I consumed as I seemed to have all the time in the world to exercise it off.  All of that changed in 2002 at the age of 32 at the weight of 178 lbs.  I started my own company and got married in the same year.  My longer work days became even longer when we had our first child in 2004 with another following in 2006.  I found myself slowly putting on weight as I got less sleep, sat at a desk longer, had little time to exercise yet consuming all of the same foods and calories I had enjoyed for years.  By May 2011, I stepped onto the scale at 205 lbs.  In just nine years of marriage I had gained 27 lbs…but had certainly lost some muscle weight during that time so I had easily put on 30 lbs of fat. We came back from a trip to Hawaii that month and when I saw the photos, I was depressed to say the least.  I wasn’t sure what to do as I had very little time for training/exercise.

On June 4, 2011 – a few weeks after returning from Hawaii I found an interesting video online about a fitness trainer named Chris Krueger.  He had a video called “70 Day Transformation” where he lost about 40 lbs in 70 days and looked really amazing.  So I contacted him to learn more about what he did.  He told me it’s 90% diet and you didn’t really need to spend much time exercising.  He told me I could transform my body in 70 days too with only 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day!  Get this…for a one-time fee of $55 he gave me an exercise plan (really simple) and a diet plan (which was also pretty simple) that laid out exactly how many meals per day (6) I needed and what the macro-nutrient requirements were for each meal based on the weight I wanted to lose.  For me, it was six meals x 300 calories per meal.  Each meal was roughly 24g protein, 40g Carbs, and 6g fat.  This was definitely not a no carb diet which I liked.  It was very balanced.  And I’ve never paid another dime for another program. I owe Chris Krueger a lot! But on with the story….

I felt amazing after just one week.  I lost 10 lbs in the first three weeks as my body burned fat for the first time in many years.  But three weeks in, with the protein requirement for each meal being so high, I realized I was eating too much meat.  But what on earth could I eat that wasn’t meat that had the high protein content?  I searched around the internet and came across Greek yogurt!  Over the course of several weeks I had tried about every one out there and realized that they were definitely not equal.  As you know, some companies make Greek yogurt with hardly any protein!  How can they call it Greek yogurt if a cup of yogurt only has 6g protein?  With Chobani providing 24g of protein per cup, I ate mostly the low-fat plain Chobani Greek Yogurt.  Two of my six meals per day were 1 cup Chobani low-fat plain yogurt, 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries, or raspberries, or sliced peach (not canned, all fresh) and 1/4 cup low fat low calorie flax granola for crunch.  These meals were my mid-morning meal (2nd meal) and my last meal of the day (8PM).  My meal schedule usually began at 8AM with another meal following every 2 1/2 hours until six meals were consumed.  I drank about 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.  I did have a HUGE cheat meal on Sunday. Basically, After 3PM on Sunday I would eat everything I was craving that week…but not going crazy about it.  If I wanted NY Strip with loaded baked potato (topped with Chobani of course!) and Apple Pie for dessert, I’d go for it, but be back on the program on Monday.

When I was really rushed for time, I would substitute a Chobani for a meal (favorite flavors are blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and peach). What was also awesome about Chobani is that they are everywhere so when I would travel for business I could go into any supermarket and get myself a meal.  Perfect!

Exercise was basically 30 minutes of weight circuit training (break a sweat and don’t rest much) on Mon, Wed and Friday.  30 minutes of cardio on Tue, Thur, and Sat.  Nothing on Sunday but relaxing.

In 140 days, basically 2×70 day transformations, I had the following weight loss from my log:

June 4, 2011   205 lbs

July 10, 2011  190 lbs (yea, 15 lbs in just over a month!)

Aug 14, 2011   180 lbs

Oct 06, 2011   175 lbs

Oct 21, 2011   172 lbs

So, I dropped from 205 lbs to 172 lbs in less than 140 days.  I maintained that weight through the winter with good eating, lots of Chobani, and consistently sticking to my 30 minute workouts.  My family had a trip planned for Hawaii again to visit family and I wanted to keep this new weight off so I maintained the program until early May and then did a little extra cardio to drop to 168 lbs.

I’m happy to say that today after a summer of travel – including several weeks in Germany drinking beer and eating sausages, I’ve still kept the weight off and weigh about 173 lbs this morning.

What I’ve learned on my 1-year transformation is:

1) Diet is everything and you need protein every meal to keep the carb cravings away.  Carbs are ok in limited quantity and if you are doing a calorie restrictive diet you need protein and some fat to satiate you so that you don’t get cravings.

2) You don’t need much exercise time.  Do something for 30 minutes four or five day per week but do it hard.

3) People absolutely freak out when they see how you’ve transformed.  People will give you nicknames like Photoshop.  Prepare yourself for the wide eyes!

4) You actually have to keep your shirt on more than before because your friends hate it when you take your shirt off and stand next to them at pool parties.  (-:

5) Last but not least, you feel SO much younger when you’re not carting around 35 lbs.  If you look at my big chipmunk cheeks in the ‘before’ photos, you’d swear I was 50 years old (not 42).  Now I’m 43, and look and feel about 10 years younger than that.

I encourage everyone who wants to make their weight loss goal a reality and do it in a healthy well-balanced way to incorporate Greek yogurt into their diet…and nobody is putting out as quality a product as Chobani in my opinion.

Shoot an email to fans[at]chobani dot com if you’re interested in taking part in the “Featured Chobaniac” series. We’d love to share your story with friends far and wide!