For John Gramlich, obesity snuck up on him so slowly he hardly noticed until he could no longer fit into his clothes. Rather than go shopping, he made his body fit his old size.


• Age: 26
• Height: 6’2”
• Weight: 327lb

• Age: 26
• Weight: 217lb

Dramatic Gains

I decided to transform when I realized that I had gained over 100 pounds in less than a year and could not fit into any clothes in my closet. My weight gain was affecting absolutely every area of my life and I was completely miserable. I knew right then I had to get a grip and get healthy before I was past the point of no return.

Average Difficulties

I’ll be completely honest, what challenge didn’t I face? From self-doubt, to late-night cravings and snacks – the overall process of the transformation was seemingly impossible, as it probably seems for most when starting out. However, I embraced the mantra of patience, patience and more patience. I kept reminding myself that I was looking for a true lifestyle change, not simply a quick fix. Overall, I was beyond frustrated that I couldn’t do seemingly simple things like run 100 meters without feeling out of breath. It was like a constant reminder that I had let myself get to this point and that was really hard to get over.

Narrowing Choices

When I first started I tried everything. I had a personal trainer, joined a Globo gym and a CrossFit gym then a bootcamp. Figured I’d learn really quickly what I liked and didn’t like and ended up sticking with CrossFit. I didn’t take a lot of supplements to be honest. I definitely used a protein powder to supplement the protein intake I needed for my daily macros, but outside of that, I didn’t initially take a lot of supplements. Currently, I start each day with a breakfast smoothie that has all that nasty stuff that’s good for you but no one wants to take. This includes stuff such as bone broth, fiber, greens, apple cider vinegar, a little bit of protein and vitamin C. I throw all of it in a blender with water and ice and chug. Is it gross? Yes. But can I feel the difference when I drink it? Oh yeah, it’s wonderful! Got the recipe from a friend and have worked that into my daily morning routine.

My Diet Strategy

Diet-wise I keep it relatively simple: have someone smarter than you set your macros and stick to them. For me, I had a friend set my macros and then I used Trifecta’s a la carte menu to keep me on track with hitting daily nutrient goals. It’s incredibly repetitive and took some time to identify the recipes that I could replicate enough without getting bored with what I was eating. That said, the patience and discipline definitely paid off!

Advice To Others

1. Build your own army. Identify people in your life that will advocate for you and support you in your goals regardless of the situation. And on the flip side, if they don’t have your back or won’t support you 100% in this journey, don’t include them. Not saying that they can’t be your friend or you need to cut them out of your life, no. However, don’t let them pop your health and wellness bubble. You are starting this change for you, and no one else. You’re working towards the best version of yourself, and anyone that’s going to be negative or not supportive in your journey, well, you just don’t need to exhaust energy trying to convince them of why you are bettering your life.

2. Stay patient. Be real about it: you will stumble, you will have days and time spans where you fail, and miserably you will fail. Remember, it’s a lifestyle change you’re working towards, not simply a quick fix to look good at that wedding or that next vacation. You’re changing your life: mental, physical, overall perspective, relationship with nutrition – everything. Your body will shape-up to reflect the status of your mind, so stay patient and share your struggle. Don’t just keep it to yourself.

Future Plans

Stay healthy! I’m not really a big competitor or an athlete so my biggest goal has always been to just look good with my shirt off (selfish, I know). I just want to continue to enjoy exercising as a way to stay healthy, forming relationships and building community. The more people that buy in to the healthy lifestyle, the better.

Quick Hacks

1. When it comes to late-night cravings, you’re probably thirsty, not hungry. Don’t let the cravings sneak up on you. Drink some water, or make a protein shake.

2. Listen to your body. Remember, there’s a difference between something being difficult and something that feels painful. Identify that difference and if it hurts, stop.

3. Meal prep with friends. Makes it so much easier, plus if you’re like me and a terrible cook, odds are they have some recipes that will help keep you on track and not simply get you to Tuesday before the Oreos and pizza start rolling in.

4. Try different exercise routines! Don’t simply just start running, or taking CrossFit, or weightlifting, doing yoga or whatever it may be. Try them all! Allow yourself the flexibility to find what works for you and what you enjoy. Remember, by starting this journey, you’re already steps ahead of where you were. Don’t stress about finding the perfect training regime. Rather, find what works for you and gets you excited to work towards that healthier You 2.0!

Performance Milestones

Bench press: 315lb
Deadlift: 540lb
Squat: 500lb
Clean & Jerk: 320lb
Snatch: 270lb

My Weekly Training Plan

Monday: CrossFit
Tuesday: Get outside! Walk with the dog, roller blade, play spike ball, go for a jog, nothing too serious
Wednesday: CrossFit
Thursday: Off
Friday: CrossFit
Saturday: Either group/partner CrossFit workout or some sort of strength training, ie squat, bench, deadlift.
Sunday: Off