16 Aug Interview With a 190 Pound Defensive Lineman
Interview With a 190 Pound Defensive Lineman
If you would have met Colin a few years back when I did, average looking is not how you would describe him. You see, Colin used to be a defensive lineman at a Division 1 college who weighed over 300 pounds.
Today, Colin works as a strength and conditioning coach and has since lost over 110 pounds. He has a much different take on dieting and weight loss than you hear from the “love yourself and change your life” crowd and so I decided to sit down with him to share his ideas and mindset with you.
I should warn you though, he doesn’t hold his punches and isn’t into making anyone feel good, even himself. Some people would even say his methods and ideas are unconventional but you can’t argue with results.
Jesse Irizarry: So why’d you even decide to lose so much weight after football?Colin Dugan: Honestly, I was tired of being big. People always want what they don’t have. If you’re short, you want to be tall. If you’re skinny you want to be big. I had always been the big guy and I had done all that I wanted to do that required me to be big. There was a lack of need to still be big.
I never imagined I would lose this much but after I got to my original goal of 240 pounds I just kept going.
JI: Did a psychological change in how you viewed yourself and the world around you come as a result of the physical change?
CD: My biggest psychological change was thinking about eating to live rather than living to eat. I didn’t have to eat nearly as many calories as I had been before and that’s definitely a different mindset.
I still have a fat guy mentality though.
After you lose the weight, your friends and family will tell you how much better you look but you’ll still notice every imperfection on your body. No matter who tells you how well you’ve done, there’s still a battle with yourself every day.
That’s what dieting is all about. It’s a battle between yourself and battle to become more disciplined. As a football player, all I cared about was being good at football. Being big and strong comes along with that. When I started losing weight my mindset changed and I wasn’t worried about losing strength but instead focused on the goal at hand — getting my weight down.
JI: How long did it take you to go from over 300 pounds to 190 pounds? Where there any setbacks along the way?
CD: The whole process took from January 2009 to November 2010. My weight had fluctuated all the while during this time. I would go through phases where I would start losing weight and then I would gain a little back. During this time I would take a break from focusing on my diet and then my body would change again; I would have renewed attitude and was able to start losing weight again.
The main times this happened was when I originally got down to 240 pounds. I took a break and then dropped down to 225 pounds. I took a break again and kept going.
The small retreats from dieting to indulge in some bad eating gave me more incentive to work hard and persist on because I would get sick of feeling bloated again, like I did when I was big. Despite the breaks I don’t feel like I had any major setbacks. I always said I can lose whatever I want to lose it’s just a matter or really wanting to get it done.
JI: What do you think is the biggest problem why so many people fail where you succeeded? What advice would you give them?
CD: Sticking to a diet, any diet. Most people I see start a diet and make a little progress and then think they can cheat on their diets. I’m all for cheat days but it becomes a problem when you’re not disciplined enough to stop cheating.
There will usually be a delayed weight gain effect to eating bad for a couple of days so people get comfortable in the fact that they’re not gaining weight again during these extended cheat days. Before you know it, they’re back where they were. These same people will say that a diet doesn’t work when in reality they just went back to doing what they were doing beforehand without giving it a real shot.
Things don’t happen overnight, especially if you’re cheating. I think that if you’re obese, serious about losing weight and your discipline isn’t the best, you need to opt to have zero cheat days for a while.
JI: Do you think your results can be typical if people follow your example?
CD: Being an athlete gave me an advantage. Because of my competitiveness, I wanted to see a lower number on that scale every week and would do anything to see it happen. I would add extra cardio in the night before a weigh in and small things like that. The average person whose been told all there life that “no one is perfect” has the wrong attitude. Sure, no one is perfect, but it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being competitive.
If you’re not competitive in your weight loss, you might as well stay fat. Why do you want to lose weight? What drives you? Are you single and want to get a hot girlfriend? I bet you can do better than what you’re doing right now.
JI: How did you kick-start your weight loss.
CD: For people who were significantly overweight, reducing carbs is a hard thing. I personally was used to eating a ton of carbs so I decided not to focus on reducing carbs but instead adopting a low fat diet. I ate things like chicken and rice. This allowed me to still get the satisfaction that I was used to having from carbs while still reducing calories. Although I would eventually abandon carbs, this tactic alone got me down below 270 pounds before I stalled out and had to try something new.
JI: What was your workout routine like when you made your biggest drop in weight?
CD: I was doing a combination of bodyweight circuits and barbell complexes and a little bit of traditional cardio on a couple of days. This allowed for accelerated fat loss especially in my midsection. None of my workouts lasted more than 20 minutes and I still gained muscle. I think it’s a colossal waste of time to work out longer than this when you’re aiming to lose weight. You can do everything you need in much less time and look better than everyone else if you understand it’s all about intensity.
JI: How big do you think diet plays in weight loss?
CD: Out of 100% I think diet alone is 90%. Depending on the diet you choose, you can lose more fat than muscle or vice versa. By manipulating factors in your diet, you can influence how much muscle you keep when you set out to lose weight. I think dieting is the lazy man’s way of losing weight because it’s much easier to withhold 500 calories from your diet than going to the gym and burning 500 calories.
JI: So here goes the question everyone’s been waiting for, what is the best diet in your opinion?
CD: The short answer is the one you can stick to. I personally like intermittent fasting done with the slow carb diet.
JI: Intermittent fasting is a pretty common term nowadays but readers may be slightly less aware of how you integrate the slow carb diet into it. Could you explain that?
CD: Well, first I want to make it clear how I use intermittent fasting. I go to the extreme and go 24 hours between each meal every week day instead of the two-three times a week that’s usually recommended. On weekends, I eat a little more of whatever I want, whenever I want. With the slow carb I don’t worry about how many carbs I’m eating but rather just make sure that my carbs come from beans or vegetables.
JI: What would you tell people who say they can’t afford to keep a diet?
CD: I’m the cheapest man I know in regard to dieting. Being poor helps you. If you don’t have a lot to spend on food you should eat less, plain and simple. Get past the culture that says you need to eat when you’re hungry. When I’m dieting and I feel hungry I embrace it because it means I’m burning fat and not in starvation mode like all of the fitness books tell you. Your body deosn’t go into starvation mode after 24 hours. If it did we would have become a fatter society a lot earlier in time. If you eat one meal a day like I do, you’d be surprised how inexpensive it is.
I used to eat rib eye steak and asparagus for dinner and it was just $8 a day. You don’t have to opt to eat steak like I did but there are definitely cheap options better than McDonalds.
JI: What are your goals now?
CD: I’ve reached a normal weight that I’d like to stay around but would like to lose more body fat. I don’t feel as pressured as I did though to lose more now because I look like a normal person ,which is exactly what I wanted.
JI: Alright, I have to ask. You once ate a packet of pre-sliced pepperoni every day for a while. What’s up with that?
CD: I ate that because it came out to be 6 meals each packet and because it was easy and made me eat less calories. Doesn’t matter what diet you do as long as you stick to it. Quit being a pussy, lose the weight and stop lying to yourself and everyone around you. No one believes your crap anyway.
JI: Thanks for your time Dugan.
Got a question for Dugan? Leave them in the comments and I’ll try to get him to answer you! No promises.