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How Anthony Lost 160 Pounds By Eating More

Written by Ali Donahue
How Anthony Lost 160 Pounds By Eating More

Quick Take

After a lifetime of trying diets that just didn't work, Anthony Masiello went on to lose 160 pounds and keep it off. Anthony shared with us his approach to weight loss so you can do what he did to reach your health goals.

On this page

Anthony's wake up call to lose the weight

[WATCH VIDEO] Anthony's Weight Loss Journey

Read the video transcript

Why he wanted to lose the weight

How his shift in mindset helped him finally lose weight

What Anthony did to lose the weight for good

How he eats more and weighs less

How Anthony handled resistance to his new way of life

How he lost that first 90 pounds (without exercise)

How he changed his habits

Anthony's advice for getting started with weight loss

More about Anthony

A wake up call to lose the weight

In 2006, 33 year old Anthony Masiello got a wake up call. His application for a 20 year life insurance policy was denied.

Morbidly obese and plagued with multiple health issues, the news hit Anthony hard. He had a new young family and the insurance company basically said, “We’re betting you won’t make it another 20 years.”

Anthony with Baby
The wake up call turned into a life-changing decision to do something about his weight that he had never done before. Overweight for most of his life, Anthony had  tried hundreds of times to lose weight. He wondered what can I do differently this time?

By chance he came across the work of Dr. Joel Furhman and began the journey to restore his health and lose the weight. 

Over the next 20 months Anthony went on to lose 160 pounds and keep the weight off for over a decade. In the process, he reversed a series of medical conditions and completely transformed his life.

His approach to food, losing weight, and exercise is a refreshing shift from the usual “Eat Less, Exercise More" approach. 

Anthony shared with us his unique approach to weight loss, how and why it works, and how you can do what he has done to lose the weight for good.

Watch the video

Read the Anthony Masiello Interview

Meg: Hi, this is Meg with MamaSezz, co-founder of MamaSezz. And we are here today with somebody who I have a huge amount of respect for, who has done something that really like 2% of the people in the country can do. And so I'm going to let him tell his story and teach us what he did and inspire you probably as much as he's inspired me. This is Anthony Masiello and he is here with us today. Welcome. Thank you for coming aboard, Anthony.

Anthony: Thank you so much, Meg. It's nice to be chatting with you again. And thank you for the kind introduction. I mean, it is true what you said, but I never think of it that way because I just feel like an everyday person and I do share my story with the hopes that it will help others. But the best part for me is that I know that anyone can do this. And yeah, that's why I feel like it's so important to share.

Meg: I love-- That's one of the things I really really was drawn to you by is that you have a kind of very matter of fact way about what you've done. And so just for people who don't know, is that you lost pretty much an extraordinary amount of weight. You had, I'll let you tell your story, but a lifelong weight condition and you had a moment in your life where you turned it around. And so if you could tell us a little bit of the background of your story up until the point where you said things have got to change.

Anthony: Yeah, so you're right. I grew up overweight. I probably wasn't-- Well, I grew up probably obese but on the narrow side of obese, between overweight and obese. But still, in the 80s, it was enough to make me different from most of the other people. There weren't very many overweight kids in my elementary school. There were not very many overweight kids in my high school and doing the things I was doing. And I just emphasized that to say that it became part of my identity or maybe not even to other people, but it was how I identified myself. I always thought of myself as the big guy, or as the heavy kid. And I mentioned that because it shaped a lot of the decisions and the choices that I made. I was hesitant to approach girls in high school because of that. Because I thought, “Oh, well why would they want to go out with me, I'm the heavy kid.”

" I was hesitant to approach girls in high school because of that. Because I thought, Oh, well why would they want to go out with me, I'm the heavy kid.”

That kind of stuff. And then as you fast forward over time, went through high school, went through college I did eventually have some girlfriends, and I met my wife while we were in college. And still though, weight was always in the back of my mind. I tried to lose weight, and I would do something and it would last for a little while, and then the weight would always come back. And it usually came back more. I usually gained more weight than I lost as I would do that. And then by the time I was married, and this is about now, if we fast forward to October 2005, I got married in 2000. So, I had been married five years, my wife and I had had one child.

Anthony's wake up call to lose the weight for good [3:47]

And while she was pregnant with our second son, I went for a 20 year term life insurance policy to make sure that the family was protected in case anything happened to me that they would be able to take care of themselves and I was flat out denied.

I was denied a 20 year term life insurance policy at age 33 and that was scary. But because I wasn't necessarily-- I didn't have one medical condition that was easily diagnosed or something like that, I had a series of conditions. But I understood how the insurance company work. They plug in all the information and then all my health history and all my information and then they get out an answer that says is this a good bet or not, essentially, and to hear that they weren't.

So, the reasons why you know where I was at that point, I was 360 pounds. I had a 54 inch waist. My BMI was 44. My cholesterol was high and I had been declining medication for cholesterol for a long time. My blood pressure was high, but I was on medication because my doctor was no longer trusting that I was going to try to do something about that with lifestyle, and I had sleep apnea. I had migraine headaches, and I had eczema on my fingers, I had psoriasis on the back of my neck.

"I was 360 pounds. I had a 54 inch waist. My BMI was 44."

So, I had all of these things that any one of them alone doesn't sound like a terrible thing. But by the time you add all of these things up, I think it painted a pretty clear picture of where my life was headed, and this state of my health. And that was enough to turn off the insurance company. 

And when I broke it down like that, it was enough to really scare me and to make me know that I had to do something. And yet the best thing it did was make me take a look at how I was actually living my life. And what are the things that what, how is this also affecting me on a daily basis. Because the medical things at the end of the day, those are our numbers, they’re numbers that I look like. And it's kind of easy to take a position of, oh, that doesn't really matter, or they don't really know what they're talking about, or that's just a factor, that's not the whole me.

But there were undeniable things in my life that were going on, like, the fact that I couldn't sit-- Well, I could barely fit into a seat on an airplane. I would travel for work and I would walk down the aisle by myself and anyone with a seat next to them empty would be watching me. At least I felt like they were watching me because they didn't want me to sit next to them because I didn't fit, I overflowed the seat, it’s uncomfortable.

And then even when I did find my seat and I would hover above it, and them kind of drop and wedge myself in there, then I had to get the flight attendants attention, so I could ask for an extender just so I can buckle up because they can take off until everyone's buckled up.

And it's embarrassing enough, but it's super embarrassing if you wait until the flight attendant comes around to check everyone's seatbelt, and then says, “Oh, wait, we need an extender.” And she calls up to another flight attendant or he or, you know.

Meg: But everybody hears, right.

Anthony: Exactly. Like “Oh, this guy, he can't even fit into the seat belt.” So, there were things like that.

And then there were things about how I was going to be able to experience things with my family and my kids. And what kind of husband was I going to be for my partner who I love, this person I chose to spend my entire life with. And was I going to be able to be an active father? Was I going to be able to parent with her effectively? Or was she gonna have to take care of the kids and me?

So, all of those things, like started spinning around in my head because I was denied that life insurance policy, and it really left me no choice. I just knew that I had to make a change.

Meg: So, you had tried I imagine in your life to lose weight.

Anthony: Yes.

Meg: Probably tried all kinds of things. And like a lot of people you are earnest, motivated, probably successful in many other parts of your life.

Anthony: Exactly. Yeah. 

How his shift in mindset helped him finally lose weight [8:21]

Meg: And then in this one area, despite what feels to me is like a heartbreaking sense of shame and pressure and uncomfortableness and emotional, physical, all kinds of uncomfortableness still, weren’t able to go ahead and lose the weight. So, it tells me this is not a motivation issue because you have many other parts of your life that you're very motivated. So, something happened, some sort of decision happened, and you did something differently. So, can you talk about like was it a moment, or was it a kind of cumulative?

Anthony: I think it was cumulative. So, when I was younger, I wanted to lose weight because I wanted to look differently. I mean I didn't have health problems yet other than I was overweight, so I would do things. And then even as a late teen, like those were still my motivators. I still didn't know what my blood pressure was. I didn't know what my cholesterol was. These weren't things that were even on my radar. I wasn't thinking about taking care of other people. I was thinking about how am I going to have the most fun possible. And I always thought it would be more fun if I wasn't overweight because maybe I would be more confident when we went swimming, and I had to take my shirt off in front of people, things like that. But those motivators are challenging because it doesn't put you in a position where you're forced to change.

So, there's a couple things. The results are delayed, like it takes a long time to lose weight, and it takes a long time to feel the benefits of losing weight. When I eat a doughnut or a cupcake, you feel that benefit right away. Right? It's instant gratification. So, I think that's one thing that makes it hard.

But the best thing, the thing that was different for me this time was, I felt-- two things. I felt like first of all, all my problems, my health issues were my fault. And I find that incredibly empowering, right, because if I did this to myself, then I can undo it for myself. That's what I thought.

"I felt like first of all, all my problems, my health issues were my fault. And I find that incredibly empowering, right, because if I did this to myself, then I can undo it for myself. That's what I thought."

And the second thing is, is I decided that I'm not going to live my life this way. I know in life we get-- I truly believe, I forget who told me this, but I learned this as a teenager, we get what we settle for. And I believe that and I embraced that at that moment. And I said, “Look, well, I'm not willing to settle for this.” And it's the exact same thing like what you mentioned, it was true with career and with home and with family and everything else, I knew that I could work hard and get what I wanted. And why couldn't I do it this way?

So, what I did was I made a decision that this is no longer acceptable, that I have to figure it out. I made it just as important as paying my mortgage. There was no option, there was no way I was ever going to be able to go a month without paying my mortgage. Or maybe I could go one month or two months, but eventually that catches up with you, right?

So, I did the same thing. I said, there's no way that I'm not gonna figure this out. I'm gonna figure out how to lose this weight and get healthy. And then that was the key part for me here. Like now, I didn't just want to lose the weight. I had this other thing, I wanted to be healthy and I wanted it for myself, and I wanted it for these two children that were actually, one wasn't even born yet. And my other who wasn't even two years old. I needed to do it.

"I wanted to be healthy and I wanted it for myself, and I wanted it for these two children that were actually, one wasn't even born yet. And my other who wasn't even two years old. I needed to do it."

So, it was bigger than me, it was for my whole entire family. And it was not optional, and it was for health. So, I was figuring out how to get healthy.

What Anthony did to lose the weight for good [11:59]

Meg: I think you struck a chord that I think sometimes isn't emphasized enough, that kind of internal click of a decision that isn't kind of like it would be nice, or yeah, and. It was and as-- And you're right. People will pay their mortgage before they'll take care of themselves, and you just said it right up there. They're both this important and if I look at them this way, that's a little nugget that we're really going to pull out here because I think it's something that can really help people.

So, you had this feeling and then you made a decision, then what did you do next to actually lose the weight?

Anthony: So, clearly, I did not know how to lose weight and I did not know how to get healthy. But one of the things that I had tried and I started in 1994, so all this is happening in 2005. So, 11 years earlier, I had become vegetarian. And I became vegetarian because again, I thought that that would help me to become healthy and to lose weight, and it did for a couple of years.

And then slowly I found Ben and Jerry's, and I started eating more pizza and then they started came out with more vegetarian products. So, now I'm eating fried chicken sandwiches that happened to be vegetarian. These Morningstar products were in every grocery store, and I was eating these veggie burgers. Before that, I was eating like vegetable stir fry. So, I found all of these things that let me live within my rule. My rule was no meat and still developed very unhealthy kind of person. But the point is I didn't want to-- So, I didn't know how to lose weight, I was already a vegetarian, and I didn't want to start eating meat.

So, everything at the time was talking about Atkins in the early, very early 2000s, the late 90s. So, so I didn't want to go that way. So, I just said, okay, well, it was the end of the year. I set a new year's resolution. I said, okay, no more sweets, no more soda, and I’m going to keep myself hungry. I'm going to eat less. Right, just restrict what I eat. And I set a goal to lose 50 pounds for that year, for the year of 2006. And I stopped eating sweets, I still have not had a cookie, a piece of cake or a cupcake, not even a vegan one since 2005.

Like, I'll make things here out of oats and bananas and maybe a couple of dates and I'll have that stuff but still like I haven't had a vegan dessert at a restaurant or at one of these bakeries that are now around and all that since then. I haven't had any soda.

Meg: Is sugar an issue for you? Was it something you needed to like have a decision made around sugar and just abstain? Was that something that was a trigger for you? Or did you just feel better without it?

Anthony: Yeah, I just knew it was something I didn't need and for me snacking was an issue. So, it helps me at least if I was going to snack and I wasn't eating sweets, it wouldn't be cookies or M&M, or cupcakes. Like if there were cupcakes there I wouldn't eat four of them. So, that's what I thought was gonna help me.

But I did that and I stuck with it for three months and I didn't lose a pound by March of 2006. So, looking back, what that tells me is it was a little bit of an easy way out to choose those things to give up. Because if I didn't lose weight, then that means I probably wasn't eating very much of those things anyway. Right?

Meg: Right. Interesting.

Anthony: It wasn't a very big change, because if it was a big change, I would have seen some results for it. Right? But I was hungry for three months and I didn't lose any weight. But luckily, I was still so determined that I just kept searching and that's when I found Dr. Fuhrman’s book, Eat to Live on Amazon. And it was the perfect thing for me in that moment because on the cover of the book, it says “Fast and sustained weight loss.” I was like, “Oh, well, that's what I want, fast and sustained weight loss."

And then I read the reviews and people didn't really talk about weight loss. People talk about getting healthy. And then this concept came in, I think it was in the comments or maybe it's also in the book. But if you get healthy, you'll naturally lose the weight, like losing the weight became a side effect of getting healthy. And that's when I realized when I was reading those comments, I said, “Well I don't really want to lose this weight, I really want to be healthy. I want to have confidence to know that I'm going to be an active part of my kids' lives for a long time.” Right? So, I was like, “Oh.”

So, I bought the book. I started immediately. And I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning. I would say I transitioned to what he calls the Nutritarian diet, what we now call a whole food plant based diet.

But I transitioned aggressively and I just want to be clear on that one because a lot of people say, “Oh, well, I'll just start eating more fruits and vegetables.” I mean, that's what I told myself.

"I didn't make it about what to give up. I made it about what to eat. I said, I have to eat vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds, and I have to eat more of those and less of everything else like that. That was my approach in the beginning. "

So, I looked for opportunities. How am I going to eat more fruits and vegetables? And I never used to eat breakfast, other than like maybe coffee with cream and sugar. So, I said, okay, I'm going to have fruit for breakfast, because that's an opportunity to eat fruit. And then, but I didn't say no pizza, because I'm in New Jersey, and if I would have said no pizza, then I would have made it a few weeks because I was determined. But eventually I would have probably slipped and had a slice of pizza. And then I would have felt all those feelings of failure and not having been strong enough or not having been successful on this plan. And that doesn't usually lead to long term success either. That usually leads to “Oh, well, this didn't work. I guess I'll have to look and find something else.”

So, I concentrated on eating more. But that doesn't mean I continue to eat pizza for two years. I was aggressive at crowding out all that other stuff and my salads got bigger and my portions of everything else got smaller. And I would say by six months, then I was completely transitioned over. And I was very focused on eating almost exclusively vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds.

How he eats more and weighs less [18:41]

Meg: I think that is a really helpful way to look at change to feed the things, no pun intended, that you want to have grow and to just let the other stuff kind of wither away.

And so many people ask, “Well, can you eat this or can't you eat that?”

Plant-based means I can eat anything I want and I have so many choices. I have an abundance of choices and that's how we think about it. And it's I don't feel deprived and I think that’s when you're trying to do something is sometimes difficult as losing weight to be able to say you have an abundance of food to eat.

And I love just kind of crowding out your plate with put all the good stuff in, and then the other stuff just kind of withers away.

Anthony: Exactly. And it was all stuff that I enjoyed. And now I look forward to seasonal fruits and different dishes that we make. And so by making that hard decision in the beginning, I forced myself to figure out all of these things that I'm going to do this, right. Then I'm forced to find okay, well, what food do I like that fits in here, and how can I eat more vegetables?

Those are much more fun things to think about, than how can I stop eating sugar or how can I stop eating sweets? Or how can I stop eating all of my favorite foods? Like, it's just more fun, it's less stressful, it's better. It makes it more of like, you can treat it almost like an adventure. Like, hey, how am I going to eat two big salads today? What am I gonna have with it?

So, yeah. So, it worked. By the end of that first year of 2006, I had lost a total of 90 pounds. So, I blew away my goal. I blew away my dollar 50 pounds.

Yeah. And I was off my medication. My doctor was just thrilled to see me. She still has me coming in regularly just to keep checkups on everything. So, she was like, tracking things as we went, she was thrilled for me. She kept asking me what I was doing. And I just continued, and I was motivated, and I just kept going right into the next year. And I ended up losing a total of 160 pounds in just 20 months.

How Anthony handled resistance to his new way of life [21:00]

Meg: Wow. And did you feel in that time-- What did you do, or did you have moments of resistance of frustration when things just didn't go right, when the plan didn't work? Did you face that and if you did, what did you do with that?

Anthony: Yeah. I had those in the beginning, but I was determined by the life that I didn't want, right? Like, I knew what I was trying to get away from in the beginning. But by the time I probably lost my first 40 pounds, I was just excited. And I was excited to just try to figure out how I was going to continue to lose weight at this rate.

And it turned out to be, the answer to that was keep doing exactly what you're doing. And I lost eight pounds a month for 20 months. I mean, that's just how it went and then my weight loss stopped.

"And I felt better than I ever had in my life. I had more energy than ever. I slept better. The sleep apnea, all that stuff, like everything went away."

And then my motivation shifted from what I was moving away from to well, how amazing is this? And I just want to keep it, I just want more of it and I just want to keep it and then I started doing things that I had never done before in my life.

How he lost that first 90 pounds (without exercise) [22:11]

Anthony: My wife has always been a runner. The year we got married, she ran her first marathon and I was there watching her. It was the Marine Corps Marathon, we were living in Bethesda, Maryland at the time. And it was very easy to see her at like four or five different places there because they run up one side of the mall, then they run back down the other side. So, all I had to do was cross. And I was used to being there holding her stuff for, her switching glove, you know, whatever. And all these races that she would go to, I would be like her little her support crew. But after that first year, by the end of 2006, I decided that I wanted to start running. I was down that first 90 pounds and I said, well, I'm going to do-- I have all this energy, I want to do something with it. So, two points there.

So, first of all, I lost the first 90 pounds without doing any exercise.

Meg: Which again, I think is a real misnomer people have that you have to hit the exercise and gym really hard. And I tend to think that sometimes that can get in the way. And that if you’re eating a whole food plant based diet, your weight’s going to-- it kind of just drops off and you don't have to put that extra burden of adding exercise if it hasn't been a part of your normal routine. 

Anthony: Yeah, I agree with you 100%. And I learned the hard way several times. But the other thing it does, if you're overweight and you exercise, two things, first of all, you get hungry, but you still have bad habits. So, when you're hungry and you have bad habits, then it's stressful to make the right choice and it's easy to make the wrong choices in those moments. So, I feel like that works against people who try to start losing weight, for example, by exercising as their first thing.

The second thing that exercise does, wait. When you never exercise and you move, and then you go to the gym in the morning, and even if you walk on the treadmill for a half hour, and then that plate of cookies comes around after lunchtime or somebody’s sharing snack, they say “Well, why not? I worked out this morning. Why can't I have a cookie? I should be able to have a cookie." But we can't out eat. I mean, we can't out exercise those kinds of foods. It's so easy to consume 300 calories and it's really hard to work off 300 calories.

Meg: It is. It is. 

Anthony: Yeah, I think that's a good point because now I still enjoy running but I run because I love it, not because I'm expecting it to change something for me. 

Meg: That’s great. That’s beautiful.

Anthony: Yeah. Yeah. So, I started running, I got back into riding off road motorcycles and then through the years now we do all of these things with our kids. When we go on a vacation, we go running around. If we're in a new city we go running around the next morning and we can check everything out on the street. Or we went to visit Louisiana and some friends took us on a whole running tour early in the morning before the streets are crowded of all of downtown Louisiana. And when we go to Colorado, we go on mountain trails together.

So, it's really the way that I want to live my life and really just enjoying all of these things. I feel sometimes like I'm making up for lost time. So many things that were really hard for me when I was younger, but I still did. And then things I didn't do as a young adult because they just weren't-- they would not have been fun or they would not have been enjoyable, and they might have been too difficult physically for me to even do at that time.

Meg: So, when you-- You said you lost all this weight and then you hit about 200 pounds and then you stop losing weight. Did you change or did your body just say we're good? 

Anthony: It just stopped. Yeah, it just said, we're good. And I continued to eat the same because I didn't know, I didn't have a goal weight. I didn't know how much I needed to lose. But that combination of running and eating right, I continue to lose eight pounds a month, my rate of weight loss did not increase. I probably ate more but by that time I was eating more, probably more baby carrots, and maybe an extra apple or two a day like it was fine.

So, I continued to lose eight pounds a month, and then it was September of 2007, and the weight loss just stopped. And then I just continued and I had all new habits. I had all new routines, I had all new recipes and restaurants and everything I did was just my new normal.

And I just continued to live the same way and my weight now hasn't fluctuated more than 10 pounds or so from that over the past 13 years, 12 years now. So, it just stays there. I continued to do the same thing and my weight stays flat.

"My weight now hasn't fluctuated more than 10 pounds or so from that over the past 13 years,"

And that's foreign to me because my clothes, I'm not used to buy new clothes because I want clothes to look different. I'm used to buying new clothes because I need new clothes because my old ones don't fit anymore. So, I end up wearing things for years and my wife's like, “You really need to get rid of that shirt.” I’m like “Why? It doesn’t even have any holes in it?” So, I'm learning that stuff over time. But that's just how foreign it is to me. I never had experienced things like that before. I never had an old pair of jeans because jeans would only fit me for one year.

How he changed his habits [27:50]

Meg: Right. Done. You said something really interesting. I don't know if you know you said it, but that all of your habits were different. And I think that's another piece of this that happened kind of, I don't want to say effortlessly, but it wasn't something that, doesn't sound like you focused on let me change every single one of my habits. But by shifting to doing more of what you wanted and less of what you didn't want new habits took root, and then you kind of watered them by doing it over and over until you didn't have to think about it. And I think that's another piece that can be really helpful for people to know that that's actually what's happening is you’re changing--

Anthony: Right. That's how it starts to feel effortless. Because it's my habit, that's what I do. When I wake up, I go for a piece of fruit. Like they're not decisions that I make like, that's what I have for breakfast. It's easy like that. And in looking back now, and telling my stories and talking my story and talking to people about it, I realized that it's a good thing that it took me 20 months to lose all my weight. Because if I would have finished in two or three, I probably would not have had strong new habits by that. But the fact that it took me almost two years, then by the time I was done losing weight, like I mean, people still said to me, “Oh, well you've lost your weight now. You don't need to lose any weight, now you can have cake again.” But I had no desire to have cake again, right? I had no desire to have a cookie. Like it's not that I'm exercising willpower everyday by avoiding these things. It's just that it's not on my-- It's not even in my world anymore. I just don't eat that stuff.

Meg: I think that's one of the most hopeful messages for people to hear that it isn't something you're going to struggle with the rest of your life. If you can surrender to a decision that I'm going to do it differently and then learn how, and then you're free. And you sound like free, that you're not waking up every day worried or in conflict with food. You have a banquet, and an abundance of food, which is beautiful.

Anthony: Exactly. Yeah, you're exactly right. You said it very well. Yeah, there's plenty of food things that I eat and I don't worry about anything. It's not a struggle. And I know how foreign that is for people to hear. So, I respect how difficult it is to start change. But the thing I want to make sure people know is the change is the hard part, and consistency is what helps with change. But eating this way, eating a whole food plant based diet is not hard, right? You know that. It's not hard. It's only hard. While you're switching to it. Once you've switched to it, and you figure it out, it's just as easy as anything else.

Meg: Right, exactly. Once you know what can go in the center of your plate other than chicken--

Anthony: Yes, exactly. Yes, that's true.

Anthony's advice for getting started [31:10]

Meg: What would you say to somebody because we have hundreds of thousands of people who will have the opportunity to see this who say, it just doesn't work for me, or they're at that point, pre-decision of what can help somebody get that step so where they can start to begin a life towards real freedom instead of maintaining a weight or maintaining food at bay like what you're talking about.

 Anthony: Yeah. And it's hard because it is a little bit different for everyone. I mean, everyone can be motivated by different things, and driven by different things, and people are going to have different kinds of preferences.

But what I think is in common, and it's one of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford, and he says, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you're right.” So, to me, that means you really just get your head set on that you can do this, and that you can figure it out and that it will work for you.

And then you have to go out there and do the hard part, which is figuring out every little obstacle as you approach it. But once you do that, that's where the growth happens. I can’t make it any easier for somebody, right. But by figuring out how to work through your challenges, that's how you get to where you can continue long term. So, it's just about that upfront commitment, and then figure it out as you go.

How you can lose weight for good, too [32:24]

Meg: I think you said something too that is really important. And hopefully people will hear it, is that if you do this it will work. There isn't a maybe on that. If you do, and allow yourself that generosity to figure it out of time and energy to figure it out, and to know that it's going to feel a little uncomfortable, accept that. Change is uncomfortable.

Anthony: Yeah. You said the word surrender and that's exactly what I did. I look at how many copies of that book, Eat to Live had been sold, right? Because now, it was on the bestseller list for a long, long time before there were a lot of other books out. And the only difference in me and anyone else that bought it is that I did exactly what it said for a long time.

Meg: You followed the directions right.

Anthony: That's it. And the difference between me and someone else who's starting today, the only difference is our start date. We can all share the same path. It all comes together over time. It's just really that just figuring out how to make it work.

How long does it really take to lose weight? [33:31]

Meg: Thank you. And I also love that you say 20 months was a good amount of time because weight loss can feel so urgent, overcome anything that kind of has an addictive quality, it can feel like I want to be better all the way better. I want to be 20 years sober today. I want to be in for five years today. But to allow yourself that time, then the richness can happen. And the experiences that are really I think, in those first two years, so powerful, and it doesn't happen in three months. And if you can give yourself that kind of time, I mean, the rewards are well you are living and walking and running proof of the rewards of just a really beautiful and limitless life.

Anthony: Thank you. And you're right, like I wouldn't give up the life that I had today for anything that I could put in my mouth. It's just true. It just takes time to get to that point where you feel that excited about or I guess that satisfied by other areas in life and all the other things that we create for ourselves.

Meg: So, one last question. What are you doing today in your life? Is your work life a part of, did these two come together? Or do you have-- is it just you just do your food piece and then your work is separate?

Anthony: Yeah, for-- Well, it didn't take long before I wanted to figure out how to help other people. And I was working in pharmaceutical research. So, my day job was helping to find new drugs and therapies to help people with disease, right. And then what I started doing was volunteering by sharing my story and by talking with people in the evenings and on the weekends. And I did that for a long time and then I was looking for a way to do it full time. But it was challenging. And finally, last year, I took the leap and I left my job and now I'm doing health coaching and some online education and working on other projects to help people who are also more interested in making this transition. So, I did go and I earned a national board certification in health and wellness coaching. And I'm excited to apply that with my clients now and help them to also experience these things. I mean, I feel like you can't experience this for yourself and then not just want to spread the word. And I like coaching for doing that because it's an opportunity for me to help people to do what they decided that they want to do, rather than in being directive. I'm not a very confrontational person, I'm not going to go out and get in people's faces and saying, hey, you need to do this. But as soon as someone extends a hand-- [crosstalk] Yeah. But as soon as someone reaches out for help, like, I'm absolutely there to help to pick them up and to walk with them or get them through their transition, and help them to feel amazing about themselves too. So, yeah, it's great.

Meg: Well, I can’t think of a better guy. I can't think of a better guy than you. And so I'm more than happy to spread that word, and the opportunity for people because it's something that so many people struggle with. And you were a young man when the light bulb went off for you, which is wonderful. Maybe you didn't feel young at that point, but you caught it-- [crosstalk]

Anthony: Now, yeah.

Meg: Even younger, I get it. It's great. So, we would love to help you pass that message along. And I just want to thank you so much for the work that you do, and the example and the joy that you bring to this whole field. And we look-- I look forward to meeting you in person again. I love seeing you at events.

Anthony: Thank you. Yeah, and it's really nice too and I appreciate all of the work that you do. I mean, really so many people struggle with time and not being able to find food and the work that you're doing with MamaSezz, and having these delicious, amazing meals. As you know, I've told you before we ordered them for my family, and especially, it's like, my wife and I are going out of town and we're having my mom come and watch the kids like we can-- we really order that stuff and we just have it around and it makes it-- it really eases our minds. So, we don't have to worry, “I wonder what the kids are eating.” Like we know what they're eating. So, I really appreciate your contribution to this because it helps a lot. I feel like we all have a piece to this puzzle and together, working together, we can make a picture out of it and it's nice, really helpful for everyone.

Meg: Well said. Well said. And thank you so much.

Anthony: You're welcome.

More about Anthony Masiello

Anthony Masiello is a Nationally Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC), who holds certifications in Lifestyle Medicine, Plant-Based Nutrition, Positive Psychology, and Food Addiction, and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

After 20 years in traditional healthcare, Anthony now works as a health coach, educator, consultant, and speaker, helping individuals and organizations make changes focused on the prevention and reversal of disease through lifestyle intervention.

His story has been featured on the Megyn Kelly Today show, on PBS, in The Huffington Post, in the bestselling book Eat to Live, and by Forks Over Knives, Runners World, Plant Pure, and numerous radio shows, podcasts, and articles.


Find out more about Anthony here:

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