The super secret method and how I lost 14% body fat in 8 weeks

A story is not a story at all with no back story. So lets get into the drama shall we? My Name is Tony, I own Paradigm Fitness and I was fat…. Likely if you’re reading this you probably already knew this, at least that I owned the gym. If you stumbled across this some other way, allow me to fill in the gaps some more. I weighed 214lbs and was 26% body fat, which for the record is almost 10% over the ideal male. As someone who helps navigate people toward their fitness goals, this has clear implications of error. So how did this come to be? On purpose mostly. Truth is this got way out of control, and honestly Im better for it. So while Im down 14%, I did so much harm this is gonna take a few more weeks to get to where I deserve to be.


“Approximately 2 years ago I was presented with a joking notion from a client that I should do that fit-fat-fit thing that was popular on tv. I scoffed at the notion. I for the record was once very large 240lbs in fact, and on my way to a host of health issues. This was before I found CrossFit..”

Approximately 2 years ago I was presented with a joking notion from a client that I should do that fit-fat-fit thing that was popular on tv. I scoffed at the notion. I for the record was once very large 240lbs in fact, and on my way to a host of health issues. This was before I found CrossFit, and the subsequent tools that would help me affect change on my life that I once thought was “genetic” or matter of fact. A state I was in no hurry to ever return too, I assure you.

6 months later, the once terrible idea seemed logical. Paradigm prides itself on our ability to meet our clients where they are, and travel with them to where they need to be. Meaning we identify with them, and guide them to their goals. This is where this bright idea started to make more sense. For a few reasons. The first of which is that it would help remind me of that helpless feeling at one time in my life, and as such make me more empathetic to current situations. Two; it would serve as a reminder to a growing number of my current clients who have adopted the “i can out-work my bad diet” lifestyle. Three; it would be a powerful display of potential for new clients, as well as old clients. Most never knew fat-Tony as he existed before Paradigm.

Paradigm in fact was built on Fat-Tony’s entire life experience, and the mission to alleviate as much confusion and mis-information as possible. That and I never had any before and after photos on the journey.


“If you’ve made it this far you’re likely just reading because you want to know how I did it, the secret that is. Well its simple really. I utilized a paleo-pescatarian model of nutrition, while implementing a state of ketosis during intermittent fasting, while adhering to macros. There ya have it!..”

If you’ve made it this far you’re likely just reading because you want to know how I did it, the secret that is. Well its simple really. I utilized a paleo-pescatarian model of nutrition, while implementing a state of ketosis during intermittent fasting, while adhering to macros. There ya have it! All there is to it, and all there is to the real problem out there. Nutrition isn’t hard, marketing, and gimmicks are hard, and we all by nature are suckers. Why? Human nature has us hyper critical of our own skin our own nakedness is taboo and uncomfortable. Someone peddling a quick solution regardless of the idea always seems like a saint or prophet.

However, there is of course a little bit more to how It happened than the catchy line I just told you, although it was all true. This story is more about the weight gain though than the weight loss. Theres always far more to the story of recovery than just a prescription. Losing weight, reclaiming health, and repairing your relationship with food is 100% recovery. In fact it mirrors in a lot of ways the path to recovery from substance abuse. I am not downplaying the severity of drug addiction in any way either. It is a problem and we need to address it. However so is obesity, and just the same as drugs aren’t always the issue, food isn’t either. Its the psychological mechanisms attached to the reward system of treat-foods and drugs we need to be talking about.

So more about me! The goal was simple, I would gain 15-20lbs over the course of 6 months, and lose it all in a month proving that weight loss is simple. “Just follow these steps..” What I wasn’t prepared for was my demons. See, as I mentioned above I was big once. A lot of which perpetuated by my Doctor who put me on a heart healthy diet of whole grains all damn day. The other reason was I grew up poor, yet wealthy. We didn’t have money, but we always had food, and we always had love. A lesson later in life I attribute more to wealth than the dollar. Anyway. Reward foods started early on for me. In fact I can actually remember bacon double cheeseburgers from the burger king next door to my mothers business being my reward for coming to work and behaving all day. This emotional attachment to food would play havoc on my whole life. Who woulda known? Had your mom gave you cocaine as a reward you’d have likely had some alarm bells, but food doesn’t come with that same warning label.

Now my intent here isn’t to degrade addiction to a little body fat, it is however to highlight the most often overlooked problem as it applies to health, and that is the behavior mechanisms associated. Which always have implications on what I consider the first most important variable in long term change; Belief. In order to achieve results we must first believe them capable, then we see the potential within, we take action, results ensue, the cycle repeats, as Tony Robbins professes. Belief however can go the other way just as easy, because belief is often tied to experience. Ye be those of little faith, because you have had little success, which is ironically attributed to your belief in yourself. Rest easy though, its not entirely your fault. In order to break this cycle of self limiting thought you must identify its roots, and see why we choose to act the way we do. This is where the addiction cycle haunts us most.

Somewhere in my return to fat hood, I believe around the 205 mark, I too lost faith. The man who is supposed to have the answers and guides so many somehow settled into the potential idea that I am old now, and perhaps this belly is my new shoes. Right, because old people get bellies, right? Wrong. I mean they do have them, so not entirely wrong, but they aren’t matter of fact as some would have you believe. In fact as long as you’re still alive you’re still human and that means you have a profound ability to affect change on any circumstance. Including your bodyweight. It is not your genetics, your not big-boned, fat runs in your family, the list goes on. You’re just pre-disposed to settling for the status quo is all. I settled too. In fact I lost hope in that Id ever be lean again. I actually slipped into depression. Fun fact, it wasn’t till my belly jiggled on a flight, that I was like oh hell no, this is over!

So it began, 10lbs over the intended goal, I would be lean again by my 38th birthday. The reason I tell you all this backstory is this story is mirrored in so many of you. The cast and characters change, but the narrative the same. We lose faith, lose belief, settle for good enough, and slowly but surely we slip further and further down. But hey, the food tastes good right? Sure, but death and medication does not.

To break the belief cycle I had to do something extreme, find a way to displace my lack of faith in myself, and place it in the hands of someone else. This was harder than you’d imagine as a gym owner, all my great coaches were not going to sign up to keep me accountable, and prohibit me from indulging. They would lose their heads! (Except Chris Ryan, he served as my rock in this) So I went to the smartest guy I know (literally, phd at 21 smart) Dr. Trevor Kashey (Click the link to learn more of the good DR.) and paid him a large amount of money to hold me accountable. I knew that his brain, andmy money were the only two things that would keep me on the straight and narrow. So together we started out with the combined goal of fix my shit. (perhaps pun intended) Trevor would help break my self limiting belief because I didn’t need to believe in myself anymore, I had to believe in him. This is the power of Paradigm for all of you. You can rest easy on the hundreds of success stories we have, all of which mirror you. This is why groups always exceed the individual going it alone. With Trevor in place, I began.

The first thing I knew needed to go was garbage. This meant any food that had any relatively well documented negative affects. This left me with no grains, dairy, or sugars. Being a glutton for punishment, I knew red meat was a staple for me, so I went extreme and settled on only fish for protein for 30 days. That meant no whey, eggs, chicken etc. To be fair I cant comment if this was favorable or not. The exclusion of all garbage usurps the value of only consuming fish. I can say once I reintroduced red meat there was no change to blood work, or body mass. So I just ate a lot of Nemo for 30 days perhaps.

This led me to realization number two as it applies to overlooked problems in recovery and transformations. Were looking for immediate gratification, for a long term problem. Everyone wants to try everything in their power to overlook the truth of caloric load, and circumnavigate it with a fad. [Read:Keto] Fads can have a favorable and quick impact on your transformation, they however do not set you up for success to unlearn 30+ years of eating like an asshole. Meaning: replacing one asshole behavior with another does not make you less an asshole. Perhaps even more an asshole. Now before anyone attacks me with their cousins case of how Keto saved their life. I am team Keto, I believe as fats and carbs go, fats are the lesser of two evils for the mass majority of us, and our activity levels. The ketogenic state is incredible, it is however more likely to see a a unicorn than it is to see these people in a state of ketosis. Sadly If I grab 10 people on Keto, 8 of them do not test. This is a problem in that it an infinitely fluctuating state and has to be accommodated. I digress. Keto, is fine, carbs are fine, maybe even dairy.

Problem three touches on both problem one and two. This is the reward state, immediate gratification, and the equation of struggle vs reward. Specifically the notion we can outwork a bad diet. What was cool or terrifying in my case was how “fit” I was able to stay while being “fat”. Meaning few of my benchmarks fell off, at least not far enough to cause concern. This is a truly remarkable capacity of the human body to adapt. The truth is Exercise is hard, CrossFit especially, and that is a quick cost benefit calculation away from a pizza afforded cheat meal. Assuredly a near death level of workout intensity awards you a donut? After all your favorite athlete you follow donuts and deadlifts, you did the same workout, you get the same food. Fun fact during my 8 weeks my Calories were an average of 1500 a day… WHAT?!?! Ya, because my daily expenditure: aka one hour of CrossFit class 5x a week doesn’t afford me more than that. Losing weight is really simple, consume less calories than you burn, you lose weight. I.e: a deficit. Eat more calories than you burn, surplus. Gain weight.. This becomes more fascinating when you look at a week. Eat well Monday thru thursday, half of friday, go to happy hour, then dinner, saturday is international cheat day right, Sunday football and wings. Congratulations you’re on a 60/40 split of being a responsible adult working toward a goal vsself destructing.

This honestly was my most metered change. I travel a lot. 30 weekends a year. All of which come with a vacation mindset of course because rewards and experiences duh. So each weekend Id eat what the city afforded me. Burgers, pizzas, deserts, the list goes on for whatever regional cuisine they were known for. I earned it! The workouts I did on monday and tuesday were super hard.. No, I didn’t earn it. So I cleaned up my weekends. Why? Because the pain of staying the same, outweighed the pain of change or sacrifice. This realization is where I think a lot of us run astray. One, were not in enough physical, mental or emotional pain with ourselves to delay gratification. The larger issue is we attribute way too much value for what little bit of strenuous activity we do. Your total daily expenditure, against your intake is a startling reality check. I often tell people there are only two people who cant lose weight or gain mass: liars, or people who are bad at math.

The last realization for me, or what we will call number four. Was a goal. This ties together one, two and three, and gives them gravitas. I gave up goals when I gave up competing, so it was no surprise I could fall from grace so hard. Setting a simple goal of lean by my 38th birthday, coupled with being held accountable, coupled with not being an asshole, and respecting caloric expenditure, lead me to success. However you cant just set number 4 and win. I needed to put 1-3 in place just as much as I needed number 4.

So I learned a lot, I was embarrassed and also victorious. I went into 38 in the best shape of my life with a renewed relationship with food. I reclaimed a powerful position in my ability to help others reach their goals by being reminded what it was like to be in their shoes. I also empathized with my current clients and respect how they have gone astray. Most importantly was reminded that as the leader it is my job to lead you all, and this whole exercise was an attempt to better lead from the front. All of the resources and lessons listed here are pillars of the Paradigm Nutrition model, and from working with super minds like Trevor Kashey. All things that are available to each of you in a capacity to simply do and not even have to think. I destroyed myself to relearn each of you, to relearn myself, to restore my faith and belief in not only myself but Paradigms ability to change how you view your health. Learn and laugh at my lesson, but please by all means be your own success story! The moral of the story is this; you’re an adult every decision you make is moving your toward or away from your goals. As that applies to nutrition that is simpler still in saying every calorie is potentially helping you or hurting you. Despite any fad you’re consumed with, they all are grounded in one truth, calories.

Start: 214# and 25.6% B.F . Result: 186# and 12% B.F

Start: 214# and 25.6% B.F . Result: 186# and 12% B.F


Tony Ronchi

Start now, but prepare to start again...

One of the biggest tragedies of humanity that I have ever had the displeasure of observing is apprehension. Interestingly enough we are one of only a few species who are capable of scaring ourselves. Make no mistake, fear is an absolutely vital part of survival. Like "no honey, don't pet the saber-tooth tiger" sort of survival. Its just that fear has continued to evolve, warp and control us. In fact its the mechanism that most marketing actually feeds on. Ironic as that may seem, most of what we do or consume happens out of fear. Fear of missing out, fear of rejections, fear of death of course, fear of ridicule, or most commonly fear of failure. 

The most perplexing struggle of humanity is our inability to realize our own true potential. I often ponder what this world would be like if somehow, without limitation, every human was living to and realizing their potential. Could you imagine? Instead we live in a world where its more vital to actually control or diminish others potential. When you stop to critically think about all the natural "mechanisms" in place that we just accept as reality, you truly start to live. That however is a very long conversation, and one we cannot address in today mindset blog. It is, however, something you can begin doing. Question everything, and I don't necessarily mean in a defiance sort of way. 

Upon questioning, you should likely, if only by assumption, find some semblance of an answer. These answers offer enlightenment, perspective, and a change in perception usually. Much of what we consider reality, obstacle, or fear is simply just a byproduct of the mechanisms put in place. Im not offering you to become a cynic of society. That would be dismal, and I want you vibrant. I am offering the truth that as humans we tend to focus a little too much on the negative, and unfortunately we have created a world as such. That which stands in your way, is very often, if not always, the way. Tell yourself a different story, see it differently, achieve it. 

Understandably this is a long term mindset change, and it takes countless hours of diligence and fascination. Much of which I assume you as busy people have already resigned to "not having time for". Except its a lot simpler than you may think. In fact, anything you want, takes one moment of consciousness, decisiveness, and then just forward action. Then the trick is to do so even minimally every day. This isn't about success, or greatness, because Im not a success guy, Im a process guy. I love pursuits more than arrivals, moments, more than dreams. There is some necessity in this paradigm shift for all of you. 

We are sold success's. Cars, houses, incomes, dreams, vacations, happiness is even sold to us. All of which is sold as an endpoint. An acquisition if you just do the right things. Except no one tells you what those right things are, because process and progress is largely unmarketable. You're sold systems, and beliefs, and tools, and certifications, and countless other perhaps semi-necessary, or perhaps completely arbitrary distractions. The first vital part to your success is truly understanding what that looks like, and not what you have been sold. Strip it down, groom your goal down to the purpose, and that purpose is to add value to your life. Once you have clarity, start. Start small. Expect that its likely going to fail or be encumbered a few times, and you will inevitably need to start again. If its valuable, and its clear, and its passion driven you will maintain forward action. If its superfluous, vain, narcissistic, this does not work. 

Success chases passion, passion is bred by purpose, purpose is necessitated by excellence. Compile all the successful people you know, and you will find one infallible truth. They have always prioritized excellence of their purpose over everything else. Every great restaurant, every tech CEO, every great gym etc.. They all have an underlying truth, they love what they do, more than they love money or accomplishment. We unfortunately know them for their success's, acquisitions and powers likely. However these people found one thing they loved, and they did it every day, to the best of their ability, for excellence, never to be overachieved. Find the thing that excites you, and start, but also prepare to start again. 

Constant action, always forward, despite fear.


I Am: Developing!

I grew up a little rowdy,  I remember one time my mother told me that my first enemy would more likely become my best friend, than he would be my enemy for too long. Honestly I never understood that statement then, I also never forgot it. Funny part is she was right and my childhood best friend was also the first person "I hated" (except I had no idea what hate meant at that age lol). Her statement in many ways stated something more in depth that Id come to learn later. That which you give your energy too will consume you, and those who come into your life, do so for a reason. Often times to challenge us, and if we choose, always to improve us. 

Tim Dougherty was this person to me. I in complete and utter honesty disliked him at first. For ultimately no reason. He was a threat and I categorized him unfairly that way. Tim bounced in and out casually a few years ago, and I resigned him to one of my coaches to "deal with" and was he ever high maintenance. Not only did he move like a rock, but ironically you also couldn't slow him down. He was like a runaway freight train.. Little did I know how impressive this capacity would prove to be for him later on. I judged him, and I was wrong, and this was only the first lesson he unknowingly taught me. 

Fast forward a year or two, and Tim created this service. A seemingly simple, basic nutritional delivery service. I watched like I do most things, until finally I needed to be involved. Lesson two was hubris, humility, and humbling. I picked up my phone and made contact, and also apologized for what he was truthfully unaware of. Tim in just his presence in my life had already made me better because he was challenging me. This would catapult him to a position of utmost importance to me. 

Lesson three was disposition. You see Tim and I were a lot alike. Similar past, outlook, energy, and competitive drive as well. So seeing myself in him was always quite simple. In many ways he was like a lesser haired looking glass, and admittedly way less body fat too.. However upon developing our friendship I was also granted a front row seat to one of the most empowering, impressive, and captivating personal evolutions I would ever see. Tim has had a huge influence in my life and he's someone I call a true friend, which is something of extreme value to me. However Tim isn't being highlighted here because of his role in my life. Tim is being highlighted here because of his own life. 

I am Developing.

Paradigm goes way beyond fitness for me. Previously I focused on the mirror and what song was in my iPod. Now I focus on movement and giving and receiving encouragement from others. Previously the gym was an escape and now its where I go to connect. The greatest value is my wife and Children are also there working out. For the first time we all have a common ground to talk about at the dinner table.

Paradigm is developing my movement, my friendships, and most importantly my Family, Paradigm strengthens my life in all ways.

-Tim Dougherty

In just a few short years, Tim has taken the world by storm. To do so, he simply opened his heart, embraced vulnerability, and his reach compounded. Many people know the Tim they see today, and that man deserves incredible respect. I know the Tim it took to get there, and that deserves even more. His compassion is infectious, his enthusiasm is motivating, and his disposition is life changing. Tim is one of the most incredible success stories I have ever seen, and I am honored to know that Paradigm has had a small part in that role. As one of the more inspiring stories in todays world I personally utilize his development as a measuring stick for myself. This is lesson #4 and all of which he never knew. 

Fast forward to today and our companies are completely intertwined, our families as well, and even our fitness. Not surprising, as our Core values align seamlessly. Tim and his family and the rest of Project Lean Nation are a breathing testament to the foundational value of growth from struggle, and that struggle is systemically administered here. We all get up together! Tim's success in life, family, health, and business is a snapshot of Paradigms Core Focus and Values, Health, Humanity, and Happiness. Theres no one better story to tell it. 

All of us here at Paradigm are endlessly proud of you sir, and I only hope I can do this incredible story just a little bit of justice. Heres to a thousand more WOD's, and endless personal growth good sir. You truly are "Developing"