#360 – Ethan Suplee: From Suffering to Sustainable
Actor Ethan Suplee joins Matt & Niki to discuss his journey from morbid obesity and suffering, to extreme dieting and exercise and suffering, to sustainable health through strength training, conditioning, and realistic nutrition.
Some of Ethan has acted in movies such as American History X, Remember the Titans, and the Wolf of Wall Street. He also played as Randy in My Name is Earl.
Ethan can remember being put on a diet at the age of 5. Since then, he’s always felt like he was trying to lose weight. Weighing over 500 pounds, everyday tasks were struggles: putting on shoes, going for a walk, sitting down. He avoided rushing to get somewhere, because rushing would exhaust him and plague the rest of his day. He had to wear multiple shirts and always brought a wash cloth to wipe away sweat. He had to sleep sitting up.
The highest weight he every saw on the scale was 536 pounds–on an industrial shipping scale. The motivation to be able to complete seemingly simple activities–such as go to a museum, go hiking, and other things like this–pushed him to finally seek weight loss. Still, since that decision, it has been a long road to find a sustainable way to be healthy.
For years, he went on different diets that heavily restricted food options. He also completed extreme amounts of exercise, which often lead to injuries, which led to weight gain while he could not exercise.
While eliminating carbohydrates and other food items would lead to weight loss, he repeatedly ran into “walls” where–despite claims that calories don’t matter–he could no longer lose weight. He found himself reducing food intake to continue the weight loss.
He actually got down to 200 pounds at one point and was “thin,” but he wasn’t happy with that weight.
He found a TedX talk with Mike Israetel, who discussed calories in and calories out and the importance of protein. He actually added calories and carbs–for the first time in years. His weight went up 3 days in a row, and he freaked out a bit, but his waist went down on day 4. He decided to commit to this new way of eating, and this helped lead to a sustainable way of eating. It supports his physical activity and exercise, while also not having him constantly obsess over food.
He also–after finding CrossFit–found strength training. The combination of strength training and this new way of eating has led him to not just be thin, but be lean and ripped. He weighs more than he did at his lowest weight, but he looks and feels better. He is able to maintain weight for periods of time, and each time his maintenance weight is higher but he is leaner.