Success Story: Greg Bauer
After getting huge to play college football, this former lineman graduated and let his muscle turn to fat—until he decided that being big in life really meant being truly happy
Hometown: Macomb, Mich.
Weight Before: 320 lbs
Weight After: 185 lbs
When Greg Bauer played O-line for Division II power Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals, he ate. A lot. Between meals, he'd even hit burger joints and pizza shops. "I could knock off a large like nothing," he says. Bauer knew his eating habits weren't healthy, but he didn't care. He was strong enough to bench 225 pounds 28 times, a standard test in the NFL combine, and size was his ticket to a higher education. "My being 300-something pounds got me a full ride scholarship," he says. "It paid for my bachelor's degree."
It's a good thing: Like most college players, Bauer didn't get a call from the NFL. Instead he took a job as a production manager at Chrysler, and a few months away from the gym quickly grew to a few years. Bauer became lethargic, napped often, and his knees and ankles ached from old football injuries and his girth. He still ate like a college kid, so as his muscles shriveled, his belly kept growing.
Then in September 2008, Bauer was at his sister's house celebrating her birthday and noticed a jogger running by. "I was fascinated by how happy he looked," Bauer says. "He was having fun. Then I wondered, why aren't I?"
Bauer knew things had to change. He started by tossing all the junk food from his kitchen, restocking it with lean meats, healthy grains, and vegetables. Then he hit the gym, subbing the powerlifting he used to do for lighter weights, higher reps, and quick rest periods, plus shooting hoops for cardio.
Bauer lost 70 pounds in three months; by the summer of '09, he was down to 185. He traded his 42-inch waist jeans for 32s; the soreness in his joints was gone, and he loved what he saw in the mirror. "My whole life I wanted a six-pack," he says. "That's exactly what I have now."
In short, Bauer was happy. Finally. Today he does daily cardio, alternating between long or short runs, and still lifts five times a week. Each day starts with 50 pushups and ends with 50 more. "I look at my old football pictures and I don't recognize myself," he says. "I don't ever want to be big again."
Greg's Tip: Can the Soda
"I used to drink six or seven a day," he says. Diet soda is obviously a better option, but not when you're thirsty. Drink water instead. Soda should only be an occasional treat.