And Chris Gabel Rings In

I was going to include this in a link roundup I’m doing but then I thought nope, this really deserves it’s own entry, the roundup can wait a bit.

You remember Chris, right? A mere shadow of his former self at 106 pounds lost in 7 months. He’s not done, yet. Via email.

It’s been awhile since I checked in.  Last week I weighed in at 253 – 121 lbs lost now.  This is officially the lowest weight I’ve been at since my 20’s (I’m now 51).  At 6’3", I’d like to get down to at least 210.  Frankly, I’m not sure what my "mature adult weight" really should be.  But the mirror is telling me I’ve got a way to go yet.  Nevertheless, I’m thrilled with the results.  To say the least, life is much better these days.

I asked what sorts of reactions he’s been getting from family & friends.

Well, you can imagine the reactions are one of the best parts.  One of my quartet mates has taken to calling me "the incredible shrinking man".  And there’s nothing quite like running into someone who hasn’t seen you for a good while.  It’s often: "I almost didn’t recognize you!" or "HOLY CRAP!  You look great!"  One of my favorite comments was – "Who invited Chris’ younger brother?"  I’ve been reluctant to spend much money on clothes, because I’m changing sizes so fast.  Recently, we invaded the closet in my son’s old room & I grabbed some shirts he wore in high school, much to his chagrin…. I’ve gone from 4-5XL down to XL shirts & 2XL on the bottom (unfortunately, I’ve always been pear-shaped).  I’ve got to take some shots of me in my old clothes – hilarious!
Lots of people ask me what I’m doing, but I’ve learned to just say – "Oh, you know…..good old diet & exercise."  Because, frankly, most people don’t really want to know (unless you tell them about a secret pill or something).  Once you say they have to make changes, their eyes glaze over……oh well.  I’ve frequently referred people to your site & MDA, though.  I figure the results speak for themselves & if they’re really interested, they’ll check it out.
As you can tell, I’m not much of a writer, but I can respond to promptings just fine.  Let me know if there’s anything else you’re looking for.

Be so kind as to drop in a word of encouragement for Chris in comments and let him know if you want to know more and what. Yea, I love how this only solidifies the Palo way, but most importantly, Chris has gained a lot of health and I would imagine: self love. That’s the healthiest place to be in life.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Gary Wu on March 19, 2010 at 14:57

    This thread is worthless without pics!

    Just kidding, of course. Way to go Chris! We really should have a Paleo hall of fame somewhere.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2010 at 14:59

      Gary, unless you’re just totally fucking with me — which is A-OK, BTW — check the link for pics of when Chris was down 106.

      • Gary Wu on March 19, 2010 at 15:29

        No, I wasn’t messing with you. Somehow at the beginning of the post I thought we’ll get to see even more recent photos, so I was just a tad disappointed to not find them at the end. 🙂

  2. Paleo Dan on March 19, 2010 at 16:27

    When I was trying to set a goal weight for myself, I stumbled upon information from David P Willoughby, “who was a champion body builder in the early twentieth century, performed extensive anthropometrics measurements on highly-conditioned (male) athletes and found a direct proportionality between waist and height. His ideal form had a WHtR [Waist-to-Height Ratio] of 45.8%. Willoughby also tabulated data for the morbidly obese, and found the same proportionality between waist and height, but with a WHtR of 57.7%.”

    Here is a calculator that uses Willoughby’s calculations to give what, to me, seems to be a damn good ideal weight goal: . This gives me an ideal weight of 206 pounds which, from personal experience, would be ideal for my height and frame.

    For Chris, at 6’3″, the Willoughby ideal is 221 pounds with a 34.4″ waist.

    • William on March 19, 2010 at 17:19

      According to Willoughby’s calculations, at age 55 and height of 6’4″, I should weigh 230 lbs. No thanks! I am trying to get down to my old swimmers build weight, which ranged between 195 and 205 lbs. Not too much more to go. The 34.8″ waist is desirable though, and I’m getting pretty damn close.

      • William on March 19, 2010 at 17:20

        And by the way, good job, Chris. You’re a champ! 🙂

  3. Lute Nikoley on March 19, 2010 at 13:42

    Chris, that’s exceelent. Keep it up and soon you will be where you
    eat to be. And, this kind of testimony is the best way to encourage
    others who are struggelin.

  4. Lute Nikoley on March 19, 2010 at 13:46

    You know, sometimes this iPhone really pisses me off. If you don’t pay attention, it finishes words for you that don’t even resemble what you are a tually writing.

  5. Krys on March 19, 2010 at 13:52

    Grok on Chris! You are the best advertising to your friends for the Paleo/Primal way. Keep updating us so we can cheer you on!

  6. Dan Linehan on March 19, 2010 at 14:02

    Awesome job Chris!

  7. Greg on March 19, 2010 at 14:46

    Rock on Chris!

    You can also have some fun and tell people that your secret is to eat lots of saturated fat and cut way down on the cardio- it’s quite funny to see people react to your “sarcasm”.

    Keep going and ditch the scale- much better to just use the mirror.

  8. ToddBS on March 19, 2010 at 16:08

    Awesome accomplishment! I remember a few years back I lost 20 lbs and felt insanely better. Now I have to lose about 30 to get back to where I was then! Oh well. Shows what a CW diet does for you. And hey, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of self love now and then 😉

  9. Robert in Norcal on March 19, 2010 at 16:22

    Keep winning the good fight, Chris! Pretty rewarding stuff, huh Richard?

  10. BMcD on March 19, 2010 at 16:41

    Good Man Chris. You have a lot of people rooting for your 210lb goal. But you’ve already won the race. Congrats.

  11. Chris G on March 19, 2010 at 23:36

    I really appreciate all the good words, folks. And Gary, I’ll see what I can do about pictures.

  12. ian on March 20, 2010 at 05:25

    hey chris awesome stuff, we all know the basics of the paleo diet but can you list the parts that you think helped the most, what was easiest for you and what was hard, thanks man,


  13. Chris G on March 21, 2010 at 00:32

    What helps the most? I’d say keeping refined carbs down & fats up – helps appetite control a LOT. What’s hard is being around the bad stuff with little or no good stuff for any length of time. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to exercise some control over one’s circumstances.

    Time & planning/preparation make a big difference. I definitely do best when time is not too cramped – easier to get in the walking & easier to plan & execute meals. It’s always good to have foods you can assemble quickly for those days when time is less plentiful. Foods I find helpful – canned salmon (or smoked salmon), cheese – love that Kerrygold Dubliner cheese that Costco sells in big blocks, cut veggies like carrots, celery, radishes. I make a big pot-o-chili which provides leftovers for a few days’ lunch. Same for making a big pot roast.

    Also, I’m not into deprivation. I keeps some things around like dark chocolate and red wine, which, in modest amounts add pleasure (and antioxidants). I’ll IF once or twice a week, usually in conjunction with my lifting day – boost that GH, baby!

    • Elliot on March 30, 2010 at 07:25

      Great news, Chris. I wish you continued success.

      I did great on the Paleo diet in 2008. I lapsed in 2009 and gained it all back. That’s embarrassing beyond belief, but I decided to tell it like it is. I know I have to do the work myself, but perhaps I’ll be too ashamed to give up, now that I’m making this public.

      From the comments, I think most people have little or no problem maintaining the paleo diet and exercise way of life. But perhaps a few might benefit from looking at my failures (listed in that post I linked) to know what to avoid. If nobody really needs it, all the better.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 30, 2010 at 09:01

        Best wishes for success, Elliot.

  14. Chris Sturdy on March 21, 2010 at 09:48

    Good show Chris! I think you’ll know what your “normal” adult weight is when you get there (that is, once it stabilizes on its own).

  15. John Campbell on March 22, 2010 at 13:50

    Chris – that is so great – keep enjoying the benefits! You have the momentum now.

    I too love that Kerrygold cheese from Costco, but I am going to try to cut back on dairy to see if I can lose a really stubborn 10 pounds of belly fat that will not budge.

    You will never get tired of people telling you how good you look. It is a reminder that this is all so worth it. And don’t think they are commenting on just your weight loss. I am sure you are much more active looking, with a more youthful spring in your step. Your posture is probably better too. Enjoy and rock on.

    Keep inspiring us.

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