Former College Football Player Loses 40 Pounds (and How You Can Too!)

Former College Football Player Loses 40 Pounds (and How You Can Too!) 1
I was a beefstick, and damn proud of it!

My Background, or: “270 Pounds Of Unadulterated Muscle”

Alright, you may be wondering what this 270 pounds nonsense is. “But C.J., I thought you said you only lost 40 pounds eating chicken wings. Explain yourself!”. And you’re right. But, I did at one point weigh 270 pounds when I was an Offensive Lineman at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. And, the picture from when I was 270 looks a lot more click-baity than the one when I was actually 240 pounds.

So, I’m a bit of a swindler, oh well. But, since I’ve got you here, let me tell you that losing those 70 pounds has been the number one most positive experience in my life, so far.

Plus, after years of working out, and working through a number of mental health issues, I can say that it is all worth it. Read below to learn how you can enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror, you can see your jawline. Plus, just be an all around just a healthier person!

The Rich Get Richer

As the saying goes, the rich truly do get richer, and it is now easier to do things that at one point seemed impossible. Things like going for three mile jogs at 6 A.M., and doing 3 sets of 8 pull-ups will become easier for you. And, for reference, I used to struggle with three pull-ups at my “strongest” power lifting stage.

But, you will want to know that the first 30 pounds that I lost was mostly due to retiring from power lifting. So, a lot of it was muscle. That is the reason I say I lost 40 pounds. Because that 40 pounds between me at 240 and me at 200 was intentional.

Therefore, as you continue reading below, keep in mind that I ate fried chicken while still losing weight, but I ate with intention. I had proper diet and exercise, most of the time. But, I let myself gorge at certain times. So, without further adieu, here is the plan.

Former College Football Player Loses 40 Pounds (and How You Can Too!) 3
The difference between me at ~265 and at ~240. 25 pound really makes big a difference!

It’s Not What You Eat, It’s Why You Eat It

At first, the title of this section may seem…misleading. Because, as you may know, it is in fact what you eat that causes your weight to fluctuate (in layman’s terms, there are other influencing factors, but we can skip those for now!).

But, why you are eating too much is the root cause of how you will lose the weight! For example, I was working out 4-5 days a week and running 10+ miles weekly in that time. However, I still maintained a 240 pound body!

Calories in and calories out were the issue here, so I had to find out why it was so hard to lose the weight! The first step in this process was asking myself why I wanted to lose the weight.

Why You Should Want To Lose The Weight

First, I could give you all sorts of statistics about how losing weight will improve your health. For instance, that one pound of fat loss equals four pounds less pressure on a runner’s knees (See above for “The Rich Get Richer”).

But, your reason why should be much deeper than this. In my case, the why was a deep, internal self love that had taken the hat of self-loathing. Let me reiterate that a part of me was so driven to success, that it couldn’t bear to see me not achieving my potential. Because I ignored this voice, it turned sour and became a negative presence in my mind.

Moreover, you probably have some demons that you’ll have to flesh out. So, take some time, and practice being mindful and sympathetic with yourself! I practice 20 minutes of meditation daily in order to center myself. You don’t have to do this, but most successful people practice some form of mindfulness training daily.

Use This As An Excuse To Help Yourself

Additionally, please keep in mind that I believe any and all mental health issues you have NEED TO BE DISCUSSED in one form or another! If you are experiencing internal struggle, please talk to someone, even if that someone is just yourself in a mirror.

However, realize that you have to delve deep within your own personality in order to find your why (at least I had to, and I still have much to learn). The process is never over, and that is the beauty of it!

Finally, just know that this part will always be hard, and you are following in great footsteps, as all successful people have followed this path before. Also, know that this step is imperative to success, and I recommend not skipping it in order to improve as expeditiously as possible!

Former College Football Player Loses 40 Pounds (and How You Can Too!) 5
This is after I lost about 20-25 pounds, so I was around 217 at this point!

Okay, I’ve Found My Why. Now, How?

Okay, found your why (or at least found a good place to start with?)? Good! Just note that the why will change as you progress. Now, on to the how!

So, how do you lose 40 pounds eating fried chicken and chicken wings like I did? This step is more detailed, but realize that you can make it work if you are willing to try wholeheartedly!

The 5-2 Chicken Split

What, you may be asking yourself, in the hell is the “5-2 Chicken Split”. Because it sounds like a funny name for a football play, not a diet!

What the 5-2 Chicken Split is, is simply the days of the week on which you will be dieting! The 5 represents the 5 day block of the typical work week in the United States, so Monday-Friday. And the 2 represents, you guessed it, the weekend, so Saturday and Sunday!

First, let me caveat this by saying that you must work out in order to make dieting work in general. But, also know that while not 100% true (nothing ever is 100% true), working out is a positive activity which will help you feel like you are attacking your goals!

Second, since dieting is mostly mental, insomuch that you are playing the “waiting game” (waiting for your body to burn fat at a healthy pace). Therefore, we let our brain focus on something active to help us focus on something other than our diet. After all, it on those days where its a little more difficult to stay focused that we need the motivation and distraction more so!

Okay, What’s The Split?

Okay, so The Split is a simple way to stay focused on dieting without going overboard. You are rewarded for working hard by eating some damn good chicken wings, and motivated to diet because of the chicken wings.

First, the 5 part of the split, is the simple part. Here you should have a work routine wherein you cook food at home, workout per a schedule, and count your damn calories! I can’t stress how important it is to count your calories. Use an app/website combo like MyFitnessPal which is free to use. Also, use this BMR Calculator to determine how many calories your body needs in a day, then, subtract 500 from that to get your daily food intake for these five days.

However, please keep in mind that while I say simple, I do not mean easy! Simple, but not easy is the mantra of this post, and you should do well to learn it, as it applies to many things besides dieting. But, I digress, because the truth here is that if you are a fat person like I was, then you will feel gratified to have a consistent diet for 5 days, and will look forward to the 2 part of the diet with vigor!

Former College Football Player Loses 40 Pounds (and How You Can Too!) 7
Here I am with my mom after a 5k at my leanest in years, just under 200 in November of 2018

Interesting Is Easy, Consistent Is Tough

As I detailed in my post “Yes, Chicken Wings Are Good For You”, I described what is known as “The Fried Chicken Diet”. And, in this diet, I describe how eating saucy, delicious chicken wings will make you want to work out:

No, in fact, we believe that ballooning up one’s gut will cause the individual so much pain and suffering (you know that “over-full” feelings?) that it will incentivize them to cut back on food. Never has this author felt so in need of a diet change than he has after deciding to order ten whole wings with a side of large crinkle fries. One can be certain that after downing nearly two cups of buttery, sugary, tangy, and spicy sauce atop decadently fried wings, with two rolls and nearly four potatoes worth of seasoned fries to mop up all the excess sauce on the side, that that person will have a wake up moment. If you’ve tried all the diets and haven’t found one that sticks, give this one a try. You will want to change your eating habits after piling on the crispy chicken!
Here’s The Rub

So, with a little exposition, the point I want you to take away is that on Saturday, you should get in a good workout, and then you should reward yourself with a single meal! Moreover, this part is optional, because honestly, you will be getting the crown jewel on Sunday.

Because, on Sunday, you should eat a lot of chicken! For instance, I weighed 240 pounds and was rapidly losing weight, however, I would eat 10 whole wings smothered in honey hot sauce, seasoned fries, and a roll. But, I would still lose weight because I would stick to the 5 day strict diet!

Finally, as illustrated in the quote above, it is highly likely that you will want to get back to eating correctly on Monday. Since, in my experience, eating so much food can cause even the biggest eater to enter Monday morning ready to diet for the next week!

Former College Football Player Loses 40 Pounds (and How You Can Too!) 9
Pre-meditation at my absolute happiest in years! December 2018 and just starting a month long bulk.

3 Additional Tips For Getting Through The Suck

Since you likely have a fairly negative relationship with food, I think its fair to say that you will want a few more tips on making it through to the end! Here are three extra points that you will want to consider in order to make this diet work for you!

Try Intermittent Fasting

Okay, confession time, I have a secret weapon, and I’ll share it with you here! Intermittent fasting (IF) involves scheduling eating windows wherein you will consume your daily calorie allotment, and then fast for the rest of the time.

Since it takes about 12 hours for your body to enter a fasted state, then your body will begin consuming fat stores for energy instead of using the glucose in your liver (from food). Plus, you will also begin to develop control over your eating schedule , which will likely help you since you gained weight with poor food control in the first place! A quick aside, I prefer the 16:8 fast:eat window, but there are plenty more options for your personality (check out the Reddit link above for more information).

Also Try OMAD

Furthermore, if you haven’t noticed, you will be practicing IF and the One Meal A Day (OMAD) diets, which are a bit of a fad, but they work! Since you are reading his, I assume you enjoy fried chicken. Therefore, by eating one huge meal on Sunday, and by participating in IF the rest of the time (with consistent exercise!) you will see your body begin to change!

Finally, I feel obliged to say this, you really have to keep track of your calories. It is okay to eat a lot one day a week if you maintain your diet, but make sure you scale your eating for yourself. Also, please use the tools I linked above and don’t eat as much as I do unless you are my size!

Follow These Links To Finely Curated Content You’ll Love!

Find An Accountabilabuddy

First, this might be one of the harder steps to take for many people, but believe me when I say that this will be the best thing you can do for yourself! Plus, if your workout/dieting partner also likes to eat fried chicken wings, then all the better!

Moving on, the reason why you want an accountabilabuddy is because when we commit to someone else that we are going to do something, it is much harder for our brains to convince us to cop out. Our brains are hard-wired to be accountable to others.Since we are trying to rewire our brains to enjoy a new lifestyle, the fit lifestyle, then certainly having a support system in place will help us on the poor days!

Additionally, for those with anxiety and social fears, please keep in mind that your workout partner will be someone who you will build a strong bond with over time! Also, you can use forums like Reddit to form relationships and consistency in order to trigger your social accountability. Just make sure that you commit to someone else what you plan to do!

Use The Checkmark Effect

Initially, the idea of putting all of my workouts down on paper and crossing them off for motivation sounded dumb and unsatisfying. However, let me tell you that the x effect (check out this Reddit link for ideas and information!) will keep your interest and will get you addicted to putting those X’s on paper!

For those who don’t know, the X effect is writing out all of your goals, in this case a workout 4 days a week, for a set amount of time. Then, when you complete that day’s workout, you X off the day on your calendar, which releases a small amount of dopamine (feel good neurotransmitter) into your system!

For example, I used the X effect for a half-marathon that I trained for, and completed, in March of 2018. Even on cold, snowy winter days I felt a sense of pride, walking over to my fridge and marking an X over the day’s run!

In fact, not only will this process help you organize your plan on paper, but it is also a small commitment, which will help keep you consistent to the cause in the long run! After all, each person is different and you will have to develop your unique brand of success!

Former College Football Player Loses 40 Pounds (and How You Can Too!) 11
Also December 18, feeling good, comfortable eating and knowing I won’t binge back to where I was because I’ve developed a healthy relationship with food!

Closing Advice

In conclusion, this diet is a slow, consistent burn, but it requires a few things from you in order to make it work! First, you have to set clear, attainable goals. This means that you should look to lose 5 pounds at a time, but with an ending target weight in mind. For example, I had 200 pounds as my goal, but I narrowed my focus to the next 5 pound increment. What this did is help me progress at a reasonable and gratifying pace!

Second, you have to want to change. Since you will have to remain dedicated for a long time, you will want to find you why (sounds familiar) in order to have a purpose fixed squarely in your mind as you train and cook!

Third, do your research! Since everyone is different, you will have to find what works with your body and with your personality. There are lots of free resources online, and Reddit is one of the best.

Lastly, learn to say no! After all, this simple word has a stark impact on your brain. If you are like I was, then you probably have a hard time saying no, and following through. This simple, but not easy word will be one of the biggest driving factors to your success!


In conclusion, you will want to develop some self-awareness and set a realistic time frame for success! I believe that you can do it, and you should give yourself enough credit to believe that you can do it too!

All too often, we get in our own heads about what we can and can’t do. But, I will tell you that you can make it happen and you can learn how to succeed with your body goals!

You’ll have lots of good memories once you look back on your journey. But, remember, that without the dark to contrast the light, then we wouldn’t have any perspective. So, go out there and embrace the suck, and let me know how you’re getting after it!

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