This Stay-at-Home Dad Put Numbers to Work to Lose 110 Pounds

Meet John Jarrett, a 48-year-old stay-at-home dad in Springfield, Oregon. Pictured below with him is his primary project these days: his toddler, Gunner. But John is also an outdoorsman, grillmaster, a former machinist and a “Dr. Who” fanatic — all things that play to his analytical and number-driven mind. But this photo doesn’t reveal the number that really had John obsessed just one year ago: 300. He’s gone north of there on the scale on two separate occasions. This is his story, of beating that number and finding a healthier lifestyle, as told through his Instagram account.


A post shared by John Jarrett (@gunnerjohn) on Feb 9, 2017 at 4:32pm PST

Last March, John weighed in at 305 pounds for the second time in his life. The first time, in 2010, he did an 11-month program that helped him lose the weight and make changes to his lifestyle. But it didn’t take. “I settled down, got married and got lazy being a stay-at-home dad,” he admits. “I knew it was time to start over.”

Happy New Years

A post shared by John Jarrett (@gunnerjohn) on Jan 2, 2016 at 7:31am PST

John knew he had it in him. The first time, he found a good, balanced formula: “Eating clean, exercising properly and no crazy fads.” What he had to put aside was his love of barbecue. He’s professionally trained in the art of the grill and has three enormous Traeger grills on his patio, with beef brisket and pork shoulder in regular rotation. Moderating that wouldn’t be easy.

John had tried a number of different wearables and devices to help him track his food and exercise, but he didn’t like that most were incompatible. On a whim — and inspired by his casual acquaintance with Under Armour athlete Cameron Hanes, a fellow outdoorsman — he bought a pair of UA Geminis and began using the UA Record app. “I liked the way it was laid out in quadrants,” he explains. “It reminded me of the four food groups, and it was easy to understand.”

Good morning everyone. March 10th (6 months ago today) I decided I was tired of being overweight. I weighed a wonderful 304.5 lbs. Instead of a picture of a sweaty me after my morning walk I decided to post instead a screenshot of my UA Record. Right in the middle is this mornings weigh in. This has and will continue to be an amazing experience. I remember at the beginning making a smart ass comment that I could cut 100 lbs in 6 months. No trainers were used in these 6 months and no magic pills. It was all proper diet, low calorie intake, self control, daily doubles of high speed walking up and down Thurston Road and some obsessive desire to get healthy. It’s been fun and hard all at the same time. I still have a little more to cut and then I’ll start the maintenance phase and toning of myself. I need to thank my incredible wife Misty for putting up with this almost possessed journey but I want to be around a long time for her and our son Gunner. Like I’ve said in other posts about this journey that I’ve not used any magic super diet pills or crazy mystery shakes. Just diet, vitamins and healthy choices. Yes the first 3 weeks sucked but once I made it through that phase the rest was all goal oriented. The Under Armour products that I’ve been using have been one of the greatest discoveries I’ve ever made. From their shoes and clothing to the technology in the UA Health Box, they have been fantastic. Yes I jumped ship from our Oregon fitness shoe monster but their stuff didn’t fit me anymore and hurt me rather than helped. I still use their trackers but not their equipment anymore. The next pics I’ll post are when I hit my goal weight and I’ll show the change with clothes from the beginning and current clothing now. Going from 3XL to L is quite a change. Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support and those that honked or waved and they drove past me on Thurston Rd. #weightloss #weightlossjourney #uarecord #uarunning #uafitness #underarmour #uahealthbox #healthbox #hardworkpaysoff #sweatandblood #nothrive #nonike #homeworkout #thurstonrd #fastwalking #xxxltol

A post shared by John Jarrett (@gunnerjohn) on Sep 10, 2016 at 6:42am PDT

The next step was changing his diet. He would eat a protein shake in the morning with a scoop of peanut butter powder and a banana on the side. For lunch, three sticks of celery with peanut butter, and more fruit. For dinner, he would eat a chicken salad. It wasn’t easy, but his motivation was simple: He wanted to stay healthy for his family — and be able to chase his son.

Next came exercise. He mapped out a 2.5-mile loop in his neighborhood that was mostly on flat ground and set out to walk every day. It wasn’t easy at first. “When I was 300 pounds, I was probably pushing 16–17 minutes per mile,” he admits.

But it got easier as he kept at it, and his diet improved. He increased his speed to a power walk and started throwing in hard jogs and even some sprints. He even wore out those Geminis. “It’s fun to power walk past a jogger now,” he laughs.

By maintaining his regimen and tracking everything through Record, MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun — his food intake, his steps, his exercise, even his sleep — he saw the pounds start coming off. As late fall rolled around, John was down more than 100 pounds and had gone from a size 3XL shirt to a large.

Good morning everyone. Forgot to make my 8 month progress posting yesterday. What a fantastic journey this is. I’m 111 lbs down from my start March 10th and couldn’t feel better!! The miles and miles walked and low calorie days have been crazy but I’m used to it and crave it now! The use of amazing fitness technology from Under Armour has been such a dream. From the Gemini shoes and My Fitness Pal to the fabulous Healthbox package with the Under Armour Record app. These are easy to use and fun pieces of tech that motivate and assist me. Like I’ve said in previous posts, I’m doing this without the help of gyms, trainers or box programs and supplements. My biggest support comes from my family and friends. My amazing wife Misty has put up with my obsessive fitness behavior and I thank her for support. To everyone that has beeped their horns and waved as I walk back and forth on Thurston Rd… thank you for your support too. I love the look on people’s faces that haven’t seen months when they realize just how much difference this program has made. I hope I can motivate at least a couple people to do something good for themselves and make their life healthier. You’ll feel awesome, you’ll know you will be around longer for your family and you won’t stop smiling! Have a great day and an amazing life! #bigweightloss #bigweightlossresults #uarecord #underarmour #underarmourrecord #underarmourfitness #underarmourgemini #myfitnesspal #uarunning #loseonehundredpounds #nothrive #noadvocare #noherbalife #cleanfitness #nogym #allonmyown #thankyouunderarmour

A post shared by John Jarrett (@gunnerjohn) on Nov 11, 2016 at 7:27am PST

Key to his success has been moderation — and some incredible discipline. John still grills constantly, but he doesn’t always partake. “I can have [beef] once a month, pulled pork maybe once or twice a month.” he says. “I don’t like the term ‘cheat,’ but you gotta have a little pleasure here and there.”

Merry Christmas Brisket #traegergrills #oregonbbq #christmasbbq #brisket #brisketknife

A post shared by John Jarrett (@gunnerjohn) on Dec 25, 2016 at 6:12pm PST

What John has yet to achieve is his goal weight of 190. He’s been stuck in the 193–198 range since the holidays, and he’s OK with that. “It’s been gray and rainy here, so no matter how hard I push, it’s not changing. If I push hard in cold weather, it’s going to hurt — joints, ligaments and muscles don’t want to work hard in cold weather.”

But he’s sticking with it, and believes “once April rolls around, I’ll hit my 190 in a heartbeat.” In the meantime, he can really enjoy his smaller frame. That includes being able to dress as his favorite “Dr. Who” character — War Doctor — at a local comic convention.

And when it comes down to it, he wants to be a good role model for Gunner. “Some people hate doing the research and just want instant gratification,” he says. “That’s setting you up for failure.” Here’s to your success, John.

Family in the snow. Happy New Year

A post shared by John Jarrett (@gunnerjohn) on Jan 1, 2017 at 1:32pm PST


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