On March 2, 2017, at the age of 55, Alan Thomas stepped on the scale and it read 304 pounds. Fast forward 260 days, he stepped on the same scale and weighed 175 pounds. He conquered a lifelong battle with obesity in 260 days. His wife, Angie, also lost 63 pounds in 190 days.
In this episode of The Agent of Wealth Podcast, host Marc Bautis is joined by Alan and Angie Thomas to share their personal stories and explain how they coach their clients to lose weight through the process of “Rethink Dieting.”
In this episode, you will learn:
- Alan’s “aha moment” that catapulted his 129 pound weight-loss transformation.
- How to begin a weight-loss transformation that lasts.
- How Alan and Angie combined forces to encourage each other through the process of shedding weight.
- How much your weight problem could cost you in your business or your career.
- How to “Rethink Dieting.”
- And more!
Disclosure: The transcript below has been lightly edited for clarity and content. It is not a direct transcription of the full conversation, which can be listened to above.
Alan and Angie have undergone a massive weight-loss transformation, Angie shedding 63 pounds in 190 days and Alan conquering a lifelong battle with obesity by losing 129 pounds in a 260-day span. In doing so, the Thomas’ implemented a process they now call “Rethink Dieting”: It was this approach that allowed them to achieve permanent weight-loss.
Today, Alan and Angie coach their clients to lose weight, while providing awareness around the issue of obesity.
Alan and Angie, welcome to the show.
Hey, thank you for having us.
Alan, I’m aware that you had been battling obesity for over 30 years prior to your “aha moment,” back in 2017, which really prompted your massive weight-loss transformation. Can you tell us about that realization?
Alan Thomas’ Weight-Loss Transformation
It was March 2nd, 2017. I stepped on the scale, and I weighed 304 pounds. Now, if the number read 299.8, we wouldn’t be talking right now. The fact that I was over 300 pounds really was my “aha moment.”
At the time, I was in the life insurance business, primarily dealing with the senior market (people 65+). Standing there, at age 55, looking at that number, I realized that I could be dead in 10 years or less. That’s because I had never met a man that was over 65 and had more than a hundred pounds to lose.
My background helped me in making the decision, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the likelihood of a man living beyond a certain age when he’s morbidly obese is slim. For me, that meant another guy would probably marry my wife. She had a weight struggle, but not to the degree I did. We have four children and, at the time, our youngest was 15. That meant our only daughter would probably be walked down the aisle by another guy. It hit me that the life I hoped to live – not from a retirement standpoint, but from a purpose and passion standpoint – would be gone.
As I stood there, I had my cell phone near me, and I did something. I took a picture of the scale, and I said, “This is the last time I’m ever going to see that number again.”
How to Begin a Weight-Loss Transformation That Lasts
After you make that determination, what’s next? How do you get started?
We tell our clients that it’s not the diet that stops you, it’s the decision that stops you.
Angie and I did the math, and we figured that I’d probably been on about 70+ weight loss strategies over the 35 years. For me, it wasn’t a question of what to do, but I immediately just started making changes.
However, that wasn’t enough, because I’ve made changes a thousand times before.
I remember I was on a call with my business coach a couple of weeks after I weighed myself. I believe it was March 15th. He asked me, “Alan, what do you think’s holding you back in your business?”
I said, “Well, that’s easy. It’s my weight.”
We weren’t on a video call, it was a phone call, so he asked me, “How much do you weigh?”
I said, “I’m 298 this morning, but I was 304 about 13 days ago.”
He said, “Well, how tall are you?” He was probably thinking I was a tall guy.
I replied, “Man, I’m only 5’ 11.”
I remember vividly, he said, “Well, do you know what to do?”
Well, of course I knew what to do. Any human being who lives in a first world country knows what to do – I told him that.
“Why don’t you do it then?” he asked.
“I just can’t seem to stick to it,” I told him.
I’m a verbal processor – I think out loud – so I began doing that. Looking back, it’s really kind of funny how the idea came about. I began to talk about The Biggest Loser, a show on television back then. I told him, “If I was on Biggest Loser, and I had a million people watching me drop weight, there’s no way I wouldn’t stick to it. I’d get the weight right off.”
He said, “Well, it’s pretty unlikely you’re going to get invited to the show. So, what else could you do?”
This was back when social media was a little more benign than it is today, so I don’t recommend people do this now, but what I said was, “I guess I could post my scale on Facebook every day.” Immediately, when the words came across my lips, I knew I shouldn’t have said them, because he jumped on it.
“Do it right now,” he said.
I pushed back: “Can I wait until I’m like 289?” I was 298 at the time. I was embarrassed.
He said, “Alan, you don’t get it. I have a feeling this is going to be a tipping point in your life. Do it now.”
It was that day that I committed to being 175 pounds by November 23rd, 2017. I didn’t end up hitting my goal on November 23rd, I hit it on November 17th.
I’m not looking for people to be impressed by me, because I should have never been 304 pounds. But the point is it’s about making those types of decisions.
Angie, did your weight loss transformation happen alongside Alan’s, or was it separate?
Angie Thomas’ Weight-Loss Transformation
I did it alongside Alan, as we do most things together.
When I realized what he had done by posting on Facebook, I was terrorized… Now, if I’d been my ideal weight, I would not have needed to take part, obviously. But, as you mentioned, I did have excess weight myself. That’s just because we ate together, and did life together, so I put on those pounds as well.
But when Alan posted on Facebook and started his journey, I started mine as well. I started changing how I ate, and I posted my weigh-ins too.
Like Alan said, Facebook was different back then. You might’ve had a couple hundred friends, now we have thousands… But it was still intimidating to post my weight for everyone to see. But I wanted to improve my health, support Alan, and set an example for our children.
How Your Weight Can Cost You in Your Business and Career
Alan, you mentioned that your weight was impacting your business. Was it mainly from lack of energy, or were there other ways that being overweight impacted it?
It really impacts everything. Physical energy is a given, but emotional energy is a big driver.
If you’re carrying around an extra hundred or more pounds, you’re going to have less energy. But what’s really debilitating is when you walk into a room and immediately try to figure out which chair to sit in, because you know that some of them won’t hold you. Or when you board an airplane and you’re worried about having to ask for a seatbelt extender, because the regular seat belt won’t fit. Or when you’re in a boardroom situation, making a presentation, and all you can think about is how to hide your weight. That mental energy is so draining.
I think that’s why so many people go into hiding. Angie and I talk to hundreds of people every month that have struggled with their weight, and a common trend is they don’t go out very much. When you don’t go out, you tend to be more sedimentary, and eat more, too. So it’s this vicious cycle.
So, it impacts business from that regard. There’s no question, it will. Your weight is going to slow you down. It’s going to keep you from achieving higher levels.
One of our clients started his weight-loss transformation at 452 pounds, he was in a wheelchair. He’d never been on a diet in his life. We didn’t tell him what to eat – that’s a part of our approach – but after dropping over 170 pounds, he called me and said, “I just won the international sales award for my company.” It’s a company with 40,000 employees, pretty big.
I said, “Awesome! When did you move to the sales department?”
He said, “That’s the reason I’m calling you, I’m still in operations. They’ve never given the international sales award to somebody that wasn’t in sales.”
I asked, “Really? What happened?”
He said, “Well, my weight loss attracted so much attention…” This is the thing: We think we can hide it. We think we can hide the weight gain. You can’t. But you also can’t hide the weight shedding either.
I told him this when he first started, I said, you’re going to give some people hope that wouldn’t have had hope, that might not have a weight issue. They have another issue that relates, that has nothing to do with their physical weight, but has an issue whether it’s in relationships, whether it’s in finances, whether it’s with their children, whether it’s in their business, a million different things, and they’re going to see you lose weight and it’s going to track them to you because they’re going to have some hope. And that happened, a person who was head of an organization ended up becoming a huge client for the company, came to them because of the kind of hope that he was spreading around just by dropping the pounds, just by showing people, when you’re dropping that kind of weight, they’ll ask you what you’re doing and what they’re asking is what?
You have a magic pill for weight loss so they can still stop and eat all the hamburgers and ice cream and what they want. We all want to do those pills don’t exist, just let’s be clear, except with side effects. There are some out there that have side effects. So talked to somebody yesterday was experienced some side effects, but what happens is what they’re really asking is, is it possible for me to shed the weight that I’ve got? Is it possible for me to win too? And that’s what attracted this client to his company and he said, ally, I couldn’t believe it when they called my name. And we see things like that happening when his people are losing weight and everybody that’s with us doesn’t have 200 pounds to lose or 300 pounds. I mean, sometimes it’s just dropping 30 pounds, like Klan riders that just started our own business. And I’m not saying this impresses you by any means, but we get so hung up on the physical side and the help side, and that is important. Mind you, that is if without your health you have nothing, but if that were enough to move the needle, everybody would already have six pack gabs and be in their skinny jeans instead of one person every seven seconds dying of obesity worldwide. That’s how quickly they’re dying.
Wow. Speaking of your program, let’s talk a little bit about “Rethink Dieting.” How do you help men and women lose weight without giving them diet or exercise plans to follow?
Well, the first thing we do is we get them really clear on a number of things. What is their ideal weight? And it’s not a number on the chart. Do people have to pay attention and do things healthy? Of course. But we all know where we’re at our best weight wise. We all know that. So number one is getting that clarity about that. Most of us, when we’ve had weight to lose, I always just want to lose some weight. It’s like saying in wealth that you want to make some money. Well, here’s a dollar. I mean, that’s not what you had most people have in mind with a few more zeros behind it. So we get ’em this clarity that they haven’t had before. And the reason that we don’t tell people what to eat, here’s why. When I first lost my weight, we weren’t doing this as a business, obviously.
I was still out working in the insurance business, and I would’ve people ask me, Hey, will you talk to my friend? They need to lose weight. You talked to this person. What did you do? And I would tell ’em, I would tell ’em what eight. And this lady at North Carolina, I worked with her husband, one of her best friends who was in cosmetology, had a lot of weight that she needed to lose. She said, would you speak to my friend for me? Told her what I ate, and she became a microbiologist. She was like, oh, I can’t eat it for this reason, this. And everything we were doing was super healthy. I mean, it was not crazy fad diet stuff, but she became a microbiologist why it wouldn’t work. And so I asked her the next logical question, what’d you have for lunch? And she said, I went to Taco Bell.
Well, where did her microbiology degree go? Now she wasn’t a microbiologist, but mind you, but she didn’t dissect that. I asked her the next logical question, what’d you have for dessert? Well, she had Kit Kats. I remember this to this day, and I said from that moment on, people will look for what’s wrong with the eating plan instead of taking ownership with it. So what we do with not telling them is do we guide them? Of course we do, but there’s some people that are going to do better with vegan and other people are going to do better with keto. Some people are going to be better with calorie restrictions. Some people are going to do better with paleo or a Mediterranean diet, everybody’s individual, but if they take ownership of it, take ownership of it and learn their KPIs, which we teach ’em how to just like they’re running a business called their body to understand their KPIs and their key performance indicators so that they will not quit.
So we get ’em this massive certainty and then we have them dream about what it’s going to be like when they hit their ideal weight. We spend a lot of time on that, spend a lot of time. It’s kind of like if you’re building wealth, there’s usually a reason why you want to build wealth. And so you do it with the end in mind and we focus on those aspects of it so that when they hit a wobble and they’re going to hit one, we all do. How are you going to approach that? And so we teach them to treat their body and treat this thing called weight like you would treat a business. If you treat it like that and you looked at it with the same intentionality and you stopped ignoring it and abdicating it to somebody else’s ownership, then all of a sudden people who can’t lose weight all of a sudden can.
When we take a client, we always look for where they’ve had success before. And I think a 72-year-old guy that’s came through our program about two years ago, 388 pounds, heart attack survivor has fused vertebrae, so he walks with Walker. So exercise is really not even on the table, but he had 45 years of real estate success. Now 45 years met approximately five recessions, he didn’t quit. Now he has the do not quit muscle, and he never had success losing weight in 52 years, and he’s down 140 pounds and still going right now because we showed him how to apply those principles to what he thought was complex, and it works. Go figure. It’s not that that it’s difficult to figure out, but it is a mind game. It’s an inside job. When you start talking about weight loss, if you think that it’s an exterior thing, am I up broccoli? Hey, love broccoli, that’s awesome. But at the end of the day, it’s an inside job. You’ve got to get the inner thought process ahead of the weight loss because you’re going to hit a five week period where the weight doesn’t drop.
It sounds a lot like financial planning…
You’re absolutely right. We love to speak on business to business groups because you guys understand it. If you had a help podcast, I wouldn’t be very interested talking.
And really dieting is the equivalent of budgeting. No one likes it and they feel it’s like a restriction that’s placed on ’em. Obviously no one likes being told what to do, and you approach it from the side of where do you want to get to and are you making the right choices or the right decisions to get there? And it’s the same thing on finances. These are money going to the right places to advance to where you want to get to. So I definitely see the similarities between the two.
Yeah, and what’s interesting, we look at weight. Excess weight is like debt. Can you handle some debt? Yeah, but at the end of the day, it’ll take you down if you’re leveraging your future financially for the present. Weight’s no different. It’s just the debt on the weight is years off your life. I mean, we wrote all kinds of studies, and the only one that about on average, you see it about per pound is about a month of life on average, and that may be inaccurate, but we all know it shortens our life. If we looked at it with the same intensity, we looked at the money and we looked at the same kind of thing than those years, because you’ve got clients that they’re not going to outlive their money, their money’s going to outlive them and not in a good way. I mean not in a way where they die at a ripe old age of my mom passed at 92. I mean, we’re talking about they think that tomorrow’s guaranteed. Well, I can tell you the emergency rooms do not make reservations or we in advance. They might call ahead when the ambulance, but in half the people out there, half the people out there will not survive their first heart attack.
How do you help people with the challenge of gaining the weight back? They see a lot of people lose weight. Inevitably, you see them gain the weight back, and I don’t know if it’s habits or it’s a slow process going back to where they were or if it’s something else, but that’s definitely what I see as a challenge.
Yeah, no question. But it’s again, an inside job. It’s identity. Any of your client, they all have a certain lifestyle that they’re living. If they told ’em that where they’re getting their income from is going to be cut by 90% because we can offshore those services or whatever, and so they’re only going to receive 10% of what their customers receiving, they would find another way to make money. Their thermostat is set to that level of living standard. Would you agree with that? Yeah. We teach our clients to have the same kind of identity with their weight so that they’re not the 400 pound guy that lost weight. They’re the 200 pound guy that gained weight when they learn that they’re in control. And I think about this pastor that came through about a year and a half ago. When they understand that, they can literally predict it, and you really can.
I mean, we go through a process with them called a Rethink dining blueprint where we want them to predict their weight until they reached their ideal weight, literally. And I reached, I remember it was so funny, he was five or six months in. Now this guy was five eight, started at two 60 and going to 170 pounds, and he hit it and he had everything mapped out about five months in. I said, how are you doing on your numbers? How are you matching up to the blueprint that we set out? And he said, I’m kind of off. And I said, I’m thinking 10 or 20 pounds. He was a little bit disappointed. He was off a pound. He was off a pound after on a strategy that he started five months before. It was actually less than a pound. It was like eight tenths or nine tenths of pounds, something like that.
I said, buddy, that’s close enough for government work where I’m from. I said, that’s great. He hit his weight target, he hit it right on schedule, and it was funny. He jumped out of a perfectly good airplane to celebrate because right at his 50th birthday, he jumped out of an because obese people don’t get to skydive, and he’d always wanted to skydive. It was a pretty amazing video he sent me. But yeah, when you learn that you’re in control and you’ve made the decision that you’re not going to be that person anymore, you’re not the fat guy. You’re not the fat girl anymore, and that you have control of it, it’s very difficult to gain it back. And we do a lot of accountability from an extreme standpoint. While we certainly don’t ask people to post on Facebook, I don’t recommend it because Facebook is pretty vicious right now, Instagram, all those things. But we map out a real custom accountability plan. So they’re not alone, but we don’t do it from the standpoint to where it’s to shame them or for somebody. It is like I tell ’em, your accountability is not to get somebody to knock a twine out of your hand. It is different. Marc, do you golf?
Yeah, a little bit.
You know the worst day in a golfer’s life, don’t you?
The day you hit a hole in one and nobody is there to see it. So we have our clients call their shot, and so when somebody is being held accountable, it is like, watch me.
How Alan and Angie Thomas Work With Clients
Are your engagements with clients one-on-one, or in a group setting?
It’s a combination. We used to do more one-on-one training, but when we implemented the group aspect a couple of years ago, we found it worked really well. The group setting allows our clients to support and cheer each other on.
For example, one of our clients originally weighed about 420 pounds, and at the time he was down to about 298. It was a big accomplishment, but he still had another 70 or so pounds to go… Another client joined the program, learned about the gentleman, and was so inspired by his transformation. That second client was 393 pounds, just starting out, but they were able to pull inspiration from each other and cheer one another on. That’s why the group setting really does help, but we still do one-to-one coaching.
That’s great! Well, Alan and Angie, that’s all of the questions I had for you today. Thank you for taking the time to have this conversation, it’s a really important one. How best can my listeners find out more about your coaching program, and get in touch with you two?
We actually prepared something for your audience… Your listeners can go to transformmyfuture.com/agentofwealth to get access to a free training. It’s a five step strategy that has helped our clients lose anywhere from 25 to 100 pounds. That entire training is available, free of cost. Of course, you’re welcome to reach out to us for any additional support.
Perfect, we’ll link to that in the show notes. Thanks again, Alan and Angie. And thank you to everyone who tuned into today’s episode. Don’t forget to follow The Agent of Wealth on the platform you listen from and leave us a review of the show. We are currently accepting new clients, if you’d like to schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with our advisors, please do so below.