30 by 30 by 30: my experience losing 30 pounds

You may have noticed I’m a little thinner than in my older videos, and that’s because I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months. I haven’t done anything extreme, just diet and exercise, but I hit a major personal milestone today and wanted to reflect on my experiences with you. I’d originally set out to lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday on April 30th, and I hit that goal today, more than seven months early. It’s been a lot of work and required a whole lifestyle change, but I am living proof that it can be done even with a business and family that requires so much of my time and energy.

I want to give an official public thanks to my darling wife, Rachel, for supporting me in this goal. She has helped many mornings to wake up our kids and get them ready with less help than I’ve normally given. She has also made diet changes right along side me, and we’ve been encouraging each other as we’ve both set out to get our family on a healthier track.

Hopefully my story can inspire you, I have been deeply impacted by experience over the last three months and just wanted to share it on this personally meaningful day.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-06T19:04:11+00:00 September 19th, 2013|A Goulet Life|57 Comments
  • This is great, Brian! And inspiring to this slow-to-change guy. Hope to get on my bike soon. Thanks for sharing. db

  • Drew Blair

    Great job Brian!! Keep up the positive attitude, nutrition, biking and good work.

  • rcmckee

    Showoff!!! ;>)

    Keep moving. I started walking for a couple of hours a day a couple of years and more than 30 lbs ago. This stuff WORKS.

  • Max and Co Post


  • Anonymous

    You were cute back then regardless.

  • sygyzy

    Can you give us more details about your diet change? No bread, no sugar?

  • Marco

    What type of road bike did you get?

  • Erin @ La Plume Etoile

    Congrats, Brian! You look great!

  • Erin @ La Plume Etoile

    P.S. I'm really into nutrition and health, so feel free to drop a line if you want to chat about weight loss, healthy changes, etc. A lifestyle change is the way to do it!!

  • Olivia

    Bike on!

  • ethernautrix

    Excellent, Brian! Kudos to you and Rachel! I'm sure you will achieve your next goal more or less easily, cos biking is fun! Just layer up in the winter. Ride on!

  • Chuck Roemer

    Brian, congrats, you look great. That is a rare feat! I started monitoring calories a month ago, and I've gone from 205 to 199 and I'm pleased, but that's nothing compared to you. Good luck going forward – be careful biking in the winter on slippery pavements ok?

  • Props to you Brian! Keep it up!

  • Derek S.

    I thought you looked thinner… good for you! 🙂 I've lost 10 lbs myself, and trying to lose a bit more.

  • Rita McGregor

    How are you guys eating now? Any special type of plan? Has Rachel been exercising, too? You look better and more energetic! 🙂

  • Fawkes

    Congrats! I know what you've been through. I am 6' and at my peak before exercise I weighed about 230. What I've been doing is P90X (I'm on my fourth month now) and I hope to start P90X2 by the start of next summer. I haven't lost as much weight as you because what I've lost is being replaced by muscle. But to be honest, I stopped looking at the scale months ago when I started measuring inches lost. Keep up the cycling, its amazing fun! And, good luck!

  • Christine Witt

    Love that you're having to wear your wedding band on a different finger! Congratulations!

  • Derik L.Y.Z.

    Good job. I too started dieting starting July 2013. Nothing special, i just stop eating rice, noodles, white bread, reduced oily stuff, no sugar in my drinks. Loss 10Kg in 2 months but this month i have been stuck with no loss. I admit last couple of weeks i did have some cheat meals (there were some special occasions) and snacks (potato chips).. However, i am still continuing the effort. This week i am trying to eat an even lighter dinner and increase breakfast a bit (i normally eat a light breakfast and medium dinner) 🙂 My goal is to lose 32Kg more and currently i weigh 132Kg. I dont exercise much even though i have a elliptical machine. I still have that mental barrier because i dislike physical activities.

    Also, i aspire to be an entrepreneur, someday i hope. Watching you build Goulet Pens to what it is today is inspiring also especially when we are just a year apart in age.

  • Tracy Lee Belford

    That is fantastic! My husband and I have made major changes this year too. I am 42 pounds lighter, my husband 48 and we are still going strong! 🙂 Keep up the good work. It is all about the journey.

  • You're very welcome. I had been using flimsy excuses like being too busy, tired, whatever. I found that once I just completely got sick of being overweight, I was able to make the time to get my health in order. I've had to make sacrifices, and so has my wife, but we're working together toward a common goal and it's been paying off.

  • Thanks! Being fit and healthier is definitely motivating me to get more done during the work day, too. There are benefits to my fitness that go beyond what I'd initially expected!

  • Haha, hey, I could have flexed in front of the camera 😉 Wow, just walking? That's awesome! the key is to do something, and eat less than you burn. Whatever that looks like, it should pretty much work.

  • Thanks! I'm super proud.

  • Haha, thanks, but I don't miss the 'more of me to love'.

  • It started out just with calorie counting using My Fitness Pal on my phone. It was mainly just to get a sense of portion control. As I entered all my food in, I could see how much sugar, fat, sodium, and all that I was eating. Once I got my portions under control, I started focusing more on what specifically I was eating. I eat a lot less bread than I used to, not giving it all up but being very conscious of it. I eat a LOT more protein especially since I bike so much, and I've really tried to get my sugar consumption under control as I have a hardcore sweet tooth. I haven't really gone to extremes to change my diet, especially with quantities. I've always been a quantity over quality eater, so for me, I'd rather eat more of something low-calorie than a little of something high-calorie. So what that looks like for me is eating a lot of stuff like baby carrots, edamame, red leaf lettuce, salmon, chicken, quinoa, stuff like that. I've changed my morning coffee from flavored sugar creamer to fat free half-and-half, for desert I'll eat a no-sugar added italian ice instead of ice cream or chocolate, and I've cut out mayo and cut down my cheese consumption on my lunchtime sandwiches. All of these small and progressive changes have really added up to make a huge difference, and I think that's why it's been sustainable for me this far. I haven't had a crash diet mentality about it, but rather I am viewing this from the perspective that this is truly a new way of life for me.

  • Would like to know this too. Great work and to Rachel too for the support.

  • I ended up getting a Scattante CFR Comp, from Performance Bikes. It's their house brand made by Fuji, and I've been really happy with it. It's a really nice bike that I thoroughly enjoy after putting 600+ miles on my mountain bike!

  • Thank you! And I feel great 🙂

  • Cool! I haven't gotten fanatical about it yet, but I'm really enjoying the process of learning more about my own health and my body. I have seriously considered talking to a nutritionist or maybe even a cycling coach to try to get a little more personalized fitness program for me. The biggest problem with having goals is what to do once you achieve them! Once I get into the 100's, I can see there would be a temptation to think I've 'made it' and stop doing some of things I'm doing now. But I enjoy riding so much I've seriously considered entering into some bike races or maybe even a triathlon to give myself something to continue to strive for. I'd love to chat more with you, can you shoot me an email at brian@gouletpens.com?

  • Rachel's also been changing her diet and has lost over 10 pounds herself, without any drastic change in activity. We're both feeling great, and it's made a difference in how we play with our kids, too. We just have more energy!

  • Haha, indeed! Or should I say "Ride on" 😉

  • I'm already layering up, it was 41 degrees the other morning, yowzaa! Biking will be tougher in the winter, but with the right gear it's not so bad. I could always mix up biking with running, too, for the colder months. I've run quite a bit in my day (though I don't enjoy it nearly as much).

  • rcmckee

    Well, there IS the backpack full of books and water. Helps with the power to weight ratios…. 😉

  • Hey 6 pounds in a month? that's actually pretty impressive, you should be proud of that! I definitely will be careful, thankfully here in Central Va our winters are pretty mild, but I'm sure there will be some days it just won't be safe for me to ride. I've considered getting an indoor bike for the snowy days, but man that's just not the same!

  • yeah!

  • Thanks, I plan to!

  • Yeah, if you look at some of my videos around this time two years ago, that was about my heaviest. Good for you! What have you been doing to lose the 10 lbs?

  • Thanks! Rachel hasn't been much more active than before, she's lost about 10lbs just on diet change alone. We haven't been on any specific diet or plan, just really watching our calories/portions, and trying to avoid certain bad foods and focus on certain good foods. We eat quinoa instead of rice, limit our bread, stay away from fried stuff, eat more lean protein like fish and chicken, and cut out soda.

  • Derek S.

    The main thing I've done was to cut out pop/soda from my diet. That was a very tough thing for me to do, but I've gone around 3 months so far without having any. After being addicted to it for as long as I can remember, it wasn't easy to do cold turkey, that's for sure… but I knew it had to be done. I'm also trying to limit my portion sizes, when I remember to do so. 🙂 I think going forward one of the most beneficial weight loss methods is to think about what you're eating and how much, before you eat.

  • Yeah, I know where you're coming from. I've always had a really hard time losing weight because my body just packs on muscle (but fat is hard for me to lose). I was in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets in college, so I had a LOT of physical training and built up a ton of muscle, but my diet was out of control, I ate everything in sight. I gained 15 pounds a year in college, it was nuts. As I neglected my body over the last 8 years, that muscle has turned largely to fat and I was just plain heavy. I thought hope was lost, but something in me just snapped this summer, and I was fed up with being heavy. It wasn't until the diet portion of the equation clicked in my brain that I realized that though I'd always worked out a lot, I always ate it all back and then some. Now that I'm keep both sides balanced, I'm building tons of muscle and losing the pounds.

  • I started with that too, before I really got into my whole diet change. I knew soda was bad, so I cut it out and replaced it with flavored water. Still not great stuff, but better than soda. I weened myself off it that way and did start drinking a ton more water as a result. After about a month of the flavored stuff, I actually kind of got sick of it and just went to straight water. I prefer that now and drink it almost exclusively.

  • Haha, yeah, I forgot to mention that! It was literally falling off my finger, so I had to switch it to the ring finger! It's a stainless steel band so I can't resize it…so maybe I should get a new one. After all, this is a lifestyle change and I do intend to stay this slimmer size!

  • I feel your pain! I had a plateau as well with my weight loss, and that's actually what prompted my diet overhaul. I was biking regularly, but didn't lose anything for a solid month. That's when I finally put the pieces together, and realized that even though I'd already cut out soda, sweets, and some other things, I was still just flat out eating way too much food for what my body actually needed. Once I reigned myself in, the weight started to melt.

    As far as the physical aspect goes, you can do it by diet alone, but it's tough. My secret was finding something I really enjoyed, which was biking. I definitely had a huge mental barrier to break through at first, having to wake up earlier and ride a less-than-ideal bike, but I was at the point where I wouldn't tolerate any more excuses from myself. I had an old mountain bike…who cares, I rode. I was really tired that day. I rode. It was raining….F- it, I still rode. Once you make the decision to do something every day no matter what, it's actually much easier because you're not fighting yourself anymore, you just know you have to do it, and it becomes much more enjoyable.

    I'm glad that I'm able to inspire you with the health stuff and business stuff. Starting Gouletpens is a whole other set of challenges I've faced that was actually a lot of the reason for my neglecting my health. In order to get the business off the ground, I literally had to cut out everything else in my life besides my family. Health, exercise, friends, social activities, hobbies, it all went away. It took intense focus to make it happen, and even then it was only by the grace of God that it actually got off the ground (my previous efforts in pen making in the early GPC days were not so, even though I worked just as hard).

  • Wow, that's incredible! Good for both of you, it's so much easier when you have support to do it. I was able to inspire many of my family members along side me, which made it better because we all encourage each other, and make better choices when getting together for meals.

  • Derek S.

    Yeah, I really enjoy water now. I used to sneak a lemonade or juice in every so often, but I don't really crave that anymore, either. Now it's 99% water for me.

  • Mel

    I enjoyed this post – it's always great to see other people who have achieved amazing results due to lifestyle changes. Over a year and half ago, I made that change for myself. I don't know how much I weighed at my heaviest (I was too afraid to look at the scale), but I'd guess that I lost perhaps 30-35lbs. Most of that was lost in the first 2-3 months of my lifestyle change. It hasn't been too difficult to maintain this weight – all I have to do is look back at where I was 2 years ago, and I'm suddenly motivated to keep up the work. Sometimes my workout schedule and diet fluctuates, but never for more than a few days, as the importance of my health and fitness is always in the back of my mind. I might step it up at some point by taking up recreational sports, but right now, I'm happy with the gym. Great job, Brian (and Rachel), and thank you for sharing this post with us all.

  • Good on ya. We share a birthday, it turns out.

  • Derik L.Y.Z.

    You are right, i too realized that i am still eating too much despite cutting out the bad stuff. Thats the reason why i want change how i eat. Eat like a King for breakfast and eat like a pauper for dinner. I just started this 2 days ago so hopefully i will seem some results like in the first 2 months.

    Yes, you are right, using the elliptical feels like a chore and that really makes me put off using it. The search continues for something i might enjoy doing. Easier said than done.. lol

    Im happy you found something you can enjoy. I have talked to a couple friends who tried starting their own business. They also tell me that it requires a lot of hard work. What attracts me is the satisfaction of building something with you own hands and growing it. 🙂

  • Lois

    Great work Brian! You look great

  • Excellent work Brian! Not only do you look thinner but you also look younger (not that you weren't before).

    Losing weight is actually about calories in vs calories out. Eat at a deficit, lose weight. Eat at a surplus, gain weight. You can lose weight just by sitting on your ass all day, just by tweaking (and counting!) your calories. Of course, fitness helps with other aspects, such as strength, endurance, heart and general health. But at the most basic level you can still lose weight by controlling your calories.

    The MyFitnessPal app is great (though lacking in some aspects) and it really opens your eyes to how much you are actually eating in a day. If you haven't already, I also recommend an investment in a digital kitchen scale.

    I'd also recommend giving up all processed foods, sodas and white flour products. Though they won't kill you, calories from whole grains and natural foods in general will make you feel better and give you longer lasting energy.

    Ride on!

  • Miss Thundercat

    Congratulations!! It must have been tough to finally admit that changes needed to be made and getting in that mind set of 'just do it'. We were at that point as well at the end of august. I was just sick of feeling so tired and not being as fit as i was like 8 yrs ago. That was also the last time I did anything about fitness & just didn't take better care of my body as I should have. But at some point enough is enough, right? My fiance and I have started a excersize regime (2-3 times a week 1,5 -2 hrs of cardio fitness per session) and cutting out all the bad stuff from our food intake (I decrased my sugar intake a great deal) and decreasing our food portions. We have been doing this for the past 4 weeks, and since I've lost 5.5kg and my fiance lost 4.5 kg. Once you actually put your mind to it, this stuff actually actually works! I hope to loose at least 10kg by the end of the year, but that's not the most important part. I'm very happy that I feel a lot fitter, energetic and healthier than I did in a long long time. And I just want to make this lifestyle change a permanent one. Taking responsibility for your own health and body fitness is definitely worth it! I'm with you on that! Keep at it and ride on 🙂

  • vikingz2000

    What happened to my comment??

  • Banjo Baba

    Brian, The wedding ring says it all! Thank you for your inspiration. I'm 63 and am going to take on your challenge. Maybe I'll call it 30+30+3-30. Do you have a "magic" food that you can snack on when the munchies hit in mid afternoon?

    Thanks again. You look terrific!

  • Gretchen

    Congratulations, that's wonderful. Being healthier feels so much better and makes any task feel easier! If you've not already done so, do try to eat organic and/or "heirloom" produce. I was astounded by the amazing flavor the first time I had an organic banana. And real tomatoes rather than the pale plastic things, or local, fresh picked berries from a weekly farmers' market — all pure joy! My doctor insists that organic produce contains the broader range of nutrients that our bodies need to get the full benefit from the food, but the flavor alone is motivation.

    Have you set up an alternative form of exercise for those days when weather really makes biking too miserable or dangerous? The view on a treadmill isn't thrilling, but you can listen to books or RadioLab podcasts, etc. And, ok, you've inspired me, so now I need to get out for a brisk walk so I at least get in 10,000 steps today! (It's not much, but I'm trying to recover from chemo and get even a tiny bit healthier before going in for more surgery.)

  • NoonianAtall

    Congrats, Brian.

    Here are two simple, effective, and fun programs I've used for a few years for weight loss/control and fitness:


    The diet's slogan is, "You wouldn't take diet advice from a fat person, so why take it from a fat book?"

    Shovelgloving is a unique activity that gives a lot of freedom to invent new motions and use your imagination. It's cheap, portable, and can be done indoors and outdoors. It gives real results and is great for all ages and sexes.

    And both "programs" are free. There's nothing to buy or download–just read the web sites and do what you like.

  • sygyzy

    Thanks for sharing the info, Brian! Great job and keep up the good work.

  • Julian

    Muscle doesn't turn to fat but what happens is that you actually end up eating the same amount you did when you were training minus the training. That's why a lotta body builders end up overweight..at some stage whether due to injury or personal circumstances, they stop exercising while maintaining the same appetite..

    Anyway well done Brian, having lost a total of 30kg I can understand where you're coming from. The secret is keeping it off. I've had ups and downs having gained a bit here n there but I've been setting a goal weight that if I know I'm slipping up towards that line, I start a strict regime again, because let's face it, we all eventually slip regardless..life isn't about just dieting and eating boring/healthy stuff all the time, we only live once eh? You look good m8, don't let anybody tell you that you're too thin and that they thought you looked better fat/chubby..because they will try to demotivate you that way..