The Last Decade…

Welcome back to A Day in Detroit! My name’s TJ. I’m a husband and father to 5, a Christian, Real Estate Broker, and Investor. I write about our adventures in real estate, and share personal growth and success stories in these posts as well. I write about house flipping, wholesaling and more. We’re always looking for new contractors! If you’re interested in working with us, please reach out on Instagram @wisepropertybuyers

My journey with physical fitness has been rife with ups and downs. I’m happy to be where I am today, and I’m grateful to be back on the right track. I’m grateful to be clean and sober as well. I’ve been between 199-300+ pounds in my adult life. When I met my wife Kristina in 2012, I weighed 200 pounds and in November 2022, I was back up to 290. That’s a great woman right there. She was still in love with me after I gained 100 pounds . 


Prior to now, the last time I felt really good about my physical fitness was 2015. I was on a mission that year personally and financially, and I was in fairly good shape. We sold 80 homes in 2015 & I was waking up at 5:30 every day to read, meditate, journal and exercise. I weighed 218 pounds at the end of 2015. 

I’m unsure about my weight between 2013-2015, but I know I had gotten myself back up a bit and that’s the reason why 2015 was such a powerful time. I was back on the mission to get and stay healthy. Unfortunately, a few months into 2016, I fell off the wagon. Gained back over 20 pounds by July 2016.

I don’t remember everything about my mental state at that time, but 2016 is when I found out my mom was going to die of pancreatic cancer. I didn’t see it then, but my life started going off the rails a bit. 

Summer 2017, I was weighing in at 260.  

Summer 2017

January 2018 I was 281. 

Jan 2018

Jan 2019 I was 267. 

Jan 2019

Feb 2020 I was 252. 

Feb 2020

Then I gained back 20 pounds . 

October 2020  – I shed some weight and was back to 247  I was looking good and feeling better!


So what did I do? I quit. I don’t know exactly what happened, but as some of you I had another major life event in 2020. It’s when I quit drugs. I was probably leaning into food a little harder. In the summer of 2021 I was back to 278. 

October 2021 I was 290. And I was still 290 a year later in November 2022. 

Me in 2021


The day I started writing this, I weighed in @ 230. I hadn’t been able to reduce my weight meaningfully since around thanksgiving, but for the entire month of January I was able to get to the gym instead of doing my 15 minute, at home workouts. Getting to the gym really helped me. 

Now today, I’m still in the 230’s. I’m lifting heavy weight at the gym and I’m running miles every day. 

With sobriety, anything is possible, that’s the #1 thing .

So how did I get myself from 290+ down to 230? I’m glad you asked. I shed 60 pounds over the course of 13 months by 

  1. Tracking all my food intake

When I started wanting to reconfigure my body again, I tracked everything that I ate. I didn’t restrict calories, I just tracked them. I used the free version of myfitnesspal to track. I was consuming around 4000 calories per day and rarely consumed less than 3000. 

  1. Restricting food intake

Eventually I decided to start restricting my food intake and capped myself at 3500 calories per day. To some that might sound funny but for someone accustomed to eating 4000 per day it was a start. I’ve stepped myself down over time and now I attempt to consume around 2000 calories Monday-Friday. I allow myself to consume 3000+ on the weekends. 

  1. Exercising often (5-7 days per week) 

Currently I’m exercising almost every day. I usually go to the gym and warm up with a 2-6 minute walk on the treadmill followed by a 6 minute run. Then I’ll hit the weights on most days. Some days I do long walks on incline from 5-15%, and that’s a big part of how I first started with the exercise again. I love incline walking. I actually tend to burn more calories on an incline walking than running. 

  1. Taking Wegovy

My doctor put me on a medication that I inject once per week called Wegovy. It’s a peptide. It slows down peristalsis, which curbs your hunger. Wegovy carries some risks, but so does obesity. Wegovy also isn’t cheap and if you don’t have insurance that will pay for it, it can be challenging. There are “bulk” pharmacies that will sell you the medications main ingredient for around $400/month. My body is getting used to the medicine now and it doesn’t work as well as it used to. I have tested it through, my body still wants to consume 3000+ calories per day without the medicine. I can keep it pretty close to 2000 with a little willpower and the medicine’s help.  

What Else I’ve Done

Feb 2024

My BMR is 1850 calories. That’s what my body needs to live, not including any activity. My belief is that consistently consuming less calories than your BMR is unsustainable, and not a way to reduce your body weight long term. There was a time back in 2011-2012 that I was running 3-5 miles per day and consuming 1600 calories. It did drop my body weight, but it wasn’t a sustainable way to live.

Sometimes I have liquid days. I will consume juice, slim fast, protein, fiber powder etc, but no solid food. 

Fasting has been part of my journey. For a while I didn’t eat before 12p. I tried my darndest to be done eating by 8, but I often violated that. I did have multiple days where I ate no solid food, but only consumed liquids. 

Slim Fast has been a big part of my journey. For a while I was consuming 2 of those per day along with one big meal. I’m back on that right now as a matter of fact. I have also just added in a couple of protein bars per day as a snack…the trouble with those is that they’re 200 calories…a better “snack” for me would probably be 100 calories, so I’m not sure how long this protein bar thing will last. 

Today I’m going to try and consume half a protein bar 2x and see how that does. At this current stage of my life I don’t eat dinner until around 7p at least half the week due to work, I get up at 5:30a. Going until 7p on (2) 180 calorie slim fasts and running a couple of miles, it’s not a great fit. So I gotta get in some extra intake. 

Salad was a big part of my journey for a while. I would buy those salad kits for $2-$4 and eat one for lunch after 12p. Then I’d go home and eat dinner. I don’t really snack during the week, up until now with these protein bars. 

So, hopefully this was a helpful read to anyone looking to reduce their body weight and get healthy. I’m happy to talk to you about what I’m doing or how I’ve accomplished these reductions in my body weight over the years. Or anything else I write about. People will call me from time to time about addiction, investing. I guess that’s about it. Other than real estate in general. 

Oh and yes, we’re still flipping houses. We are flipping two in Detroit right now, one in Bagley that’s almost finished and one on Indiana St on the Westside. Both are down to the studs remodels where we’re adding bathrooms. I will have photos of both by the next time I write in April. We also just finished fixing up a rental property. We bought it for 26k and put 30k into it. It should appraise for $100k and we will rent it for $1350 according to the property manager.

Thanks for reading A Day in Detroit. If you’re interested in flipping houses, lending money, being a landlord or learning how to wholesale, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to reach out to us on Instagram @wisepropertybuyers

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