Get a free copy of Sick to Fit!

From the moment his parents' marriage fell apart, Bryan Falchuk turned into the fat kid. In a world out of control, food was the one thing he could control, and the one thing that could soothe his deep hurts and anxieties.

Every day Bryan woke up and was determined to lose weight, and twenty minutes later he'd be elbow-deep in the foods he'd sworn to give up, or at least moderate. He experienced himself as someone untrustworthy, someone who lacked agency, someone to whom life happened.

Despite all this, Bryan managed to muddle through: got married, got a good job, had a kid. He had turned into enough of an exerciser to slim down from “obese” to “standard American” – 40 pounds overweight, but wearing it pretty well. He might have continued this way indefinitely and lived the typical American decline into chronic disease managed by legal drugs, and just-below-the-surface emotional anguish managed by food, media, and other legal drugs.

Then his wife became gravely ill, and Bryan realized that he might lose her. And that his two-year-old son would experience a childhood trauma possibly even deeper than his own. So on June 30, 2011, when he entered his bedroom and found his son watching his mother suffer, he realized that he had to change himself.

To take charge of his actions. To give up being miserable, always unpleasant and stressed and on a short fuse, getting fatter by the day. To become the father his little boy deserved, and the husband his wife absolutely needed if she were to have any chance at healing.

On July 1, he woke up with a new identity. Armed with only this, Bryan began the long, hard work of remaking himself.

It was an honor to speak with Bryan about his journey, and the lessons learned along the way. We covered:

  • his first failure as “marriage saver”
  • “little kids need to feel safe and secure and taken care of”
  • turning overnight from a skinny, smiling kid into a round little ball of anxiety and depression
  • losing weight in high school – while not addressing the emotional root causes
  • eating until his stomach ached badly, and still not stopping
  • using others as a puppet for his own self-judgment
  • humiliation and heat syncope at a summer camp relay race for the “fat kids”
  • we're looking for “fast food enlightenment”
  • Bryan's wife losing 2 pounds a day, and her physician about to take 6 weeks off
  • “this is not what I ever expected”
  • “are you living your life, or are you an employee of it?”
  • we get rewarded in life for focusing on what's wrong – hard habit to break
  • letting go of willpower and harnessing identity
  • “I'm calling the shots, and these are my choices”
  • acknowledging past scars and choosing to heal
  • the first real workout in years – busting intervals on the elliptical
  • “I'll do the same tomorrow, if not better”
  • reaching goal weight and staying there
  • using Tim Ferriss's “slow carb” diet to discover what really was healthy
  • discovering Rich Roll, and turning vegan overnight
  • dropping our emotional attachment to food
  • it's about life now, not weight loss
  • in coaching, the presenting issue is a gateway drug to the whole human experience
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Buddhism For Beginners, by Thubten Chodron

Finding Ultra, by Rich Roll

Support the Podcast

Like what you hear? You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by becoming a patron. Click the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.


Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons
– Kim Harrison
– Lynn McLellan
– Anthony Dissen
– Brittany Porter
– Dominic Marro
– Barbara Whitney
– Tammy Black
– Amy Good
– Amanda Hatherly
– Mary Jane Wheeler
– Ellen Kennelly
– Melissa Cobb
– Rachel Behrens
– Christine Nielsen
– Tina Scharf
– Tina Ahern
– Jen Vilkinofsky
– David Byczek
– Michele X
– Elspeth Feldman
– Viktoriya Dolomanova
– Leah Stolar
– Allan Kristensen
– Colleen Peck
– Michele Landry
– Jozina
– Julianne Rowland
– Stu Dolnick
– Sara Durkacs
– Kelly Cameron
– Wayne Pedersen
– Leanne Peterson
– Janet Selby
– Claire Adams
– Tom Fronczak
– Jeannette Benham
– Gila Lacerte
– David Donohue
– Blair Seibert
– Doron Avizov
– Gio and Carolyn Argentati
– Jodi Friesner
– RuthAnn Funderburk
– Mischa Rosen
– Michael Worobiec
– Alicia Lemus
– Val Linnemann
– Nick Harper
– Stephanie Halmes
– Bandana Chawla
– Martha Bergner
– Nikole Ramsay
– Susan Ahmad
– Molly Levine
– The Inscrutable Harry R
– Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan
– Craig Covic
– Adam Scharf
– Karen Bury
– Heather Morgan
– Ashley Corcoran
– Kelly Michiya
– DeAnne Norton
– Bonnie Lynch of Plant Happy Oregon
– Sabine Kurtzhals
– Nigel Davies
– Marian Blum
– Teresa Kopel
– Shell Routledge
– Julian Watkins
– Brid O'Connell
– Brian Sheridan
– Shannon Herschman
– Cate Rolls
– Linda Ayotte
– Julie Lang
– Holm Hedegaard
– Isa Tousignant
– Connie Haneline
– Erin Greer
– Alicia Davis
– AvIvA Lael
– Heather O'Connor
– Carollynne Jensen
– Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health
– Karen Smith
– Scott Mirani
– Karen and Joe Crabtree
– Tanya Lewis
– Kirby Burton
for your generous support of the podcast.


The Big Change Program has just reopened for enrollment! The next bobsled run of the program begins February 5, 2018. You have until February 2, 11:59pm EST to register. Go here to find out more and sign up:

Ask your questions or share your feedback

Comment on the show notes for this episode (below)

Connect with me

Subscribe, rate, and review in iTunes
Join the Plant Yourself Facebook Page


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


This post may contain amazon affiliate links. I may receive amazon gift certificates from your actions on such links.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *