Real Weight Loss: Nick Mirrione
Name: Nick Mirrione
Weight lost: 300 pounds, down from a high of roughly 500 pounds
Nick Mirrione knew how to lose weight. He also knew, unfortunately, how to gain it back. Mirrione would lose 100 pounds or more over and over again, but each and every pound eventually crept back—until his daughter broke the cycle.
One Saturday, Mirrione and his daughter, then 9 years old, went to a nearby field to play soccer. After just a few minutes, however, Mirrione found himself dizzy, out of breath, and exhausted. “I was 38 years old, and I had to lean against a goal post to catch my breath because I was so dizzy from a few minutes of moving back and forth,” he remembers. “[My daughter] walked up to me and said, ‘Dad, if you don’t care about yourself, at least care about us. What happens to us if you die?'”
After that, Mirrione was inspired to have gastric bypass surgery, change his eating habits, and adopt an extensive fitness regimen. He eventually lost 300 pounds, and has kept it off for the last 15 years.
Mirrione chronicles that journey in his book, Who Is This Guy?, which came out in February. The book also explores what Mirrione calls the most important aspect of his weight loss: His struggle to understand the underlying issues that led to his overeating.
“One of the biggest parts of it is addressing the cause—what makes you do what you do, what makes you behave the way you behave?” he says. “You have to find out what is your root cause and address it.”
For the author, that was realizing that he struggles with ADHD, anxiety, and depression, in addition to food and sugar addiction. Only after that kind of introspection, Mirrione says, could he really start to make a substantive change.
“I didn’t know who the hell I was,” he says. “I’m still learning who I am, what makes me tick, why I behave the way I behave, how to deal with it, how to direct it, how to see it coming, how to handle it when it does come.”
Along with self-analysis and therapy, here’s how Mirrione is keeping the weight off.
Fifteen years after his surgery, Mirrione says he can now eat between 1,500 and 1,800 calories per day, focusing on protein and vegetables. He says he relies on eggs, white meat, white fish, beans, nuts, sweet potatoes, vegetables, and fruit. “I would document and record everything,” he says. “Still do, since the day of the surgery.”
Mirrione says exercise has become an addiction for him in the same way that eating used to be. He goes to the gym every weekday, running five miles and completing an hour of strength training at each visit. On Sundays, he says, his workout is even longer. “I get the same feel-good drug from the exercise that I used to get from the food,” he says.