Real Life Biggest Loser: Cousins Edition

Perhaps you remember Mike Bauman, a Real Life Biggest Loser from 2012?  He has inspired so many people with his weight loss story and, of course, daily with his hilarious and motivating Twitter feed at @mbfgmike.  Mike is close friends with his cousin, Eric who began to notice the benefits of Mike’s weight loss efforts so decided to hop on board.  While reading Eric’s story, you will find that not only does strength and persistence run in the Bauman family, but so does good humor.  Both Mike and Eric show us that a sense of humor may be the most important weight loss tool of all…

Eric in Jan 2013 at his current weight

Name: Eric Bauman

Age: 45

Occupation: Director of Environmental Services

Where do you live? Sterling Heights, Michigan  

Who do you live with? Myself

All time high weight: 250 lbs.

Current weight and height: 196 lbs. 5’5”

Total weight loss: 54 lbs. and counting

How did you gain the weight? I ate a lot of foods that had very high calorie counts.

When did you begin your weight loss journey? In April of 2012

How long have you kept the weight off?  From April 2012 thru November 2012.   I am at a “wall” right now but I expect to break through by the end of January 2013, and ultimately achieve my goal of 176 lbs.

Eric at his starting weight

What motivated you to lose weight?  Did you have an A-HA moment?  This photo (April, 2012) was, in part, my A-HA moment.  But if you must know, to keep it G- rated, it came when standing while using the “facilities.”  Thanks to my big belly, not being able to see where it was coming from or where it was going while standing was the A-HA of all A-HA’s.

To what extent had your weight affected your physical health?  I became tired and/or fatigued very easily.  I had an incident at work that involved a knee injury that was just short of requiring surgery. Because of my weight and the accident, I am in the early stages of arthritis in both knees.

How did you lose the weight?  Tell us about your diet and exercise regimen.  I started counting my calorie intake with the use of the app.  I estimated that I was consuming on average over 4800 calories per day.  I was in complete shock when I put my information into this app.  The app planned my starting daily calorie intake at 1600. This calculated amount prior to starting my weight loss journey, had a name: I called it breakfast.

In addition, I purchased a bicycle and started riding every chance I had.  At first, I generally rode on average about 5 miles per day at a pace under 8 mph.  As I progressed, my distance and pace increased.  By the second week of December 2012, with the first snow fall, I averaged approximately 66 miles per week at a 13.5 mph pace.

Since that first snow fall, I have put the bike in hibernation for the winter.  Since I do not enjoy running (sorry, Sherry and Mike) I have joined a gym.  I am focusing on cardio exercises via elliptical, stationary bike, and step-climbing machines.  In addition, I have incorporated fat burning exercises that center on the gluteus and abdominal muscles.

Mike and Eric (before his weight loss)

Who was the most influential person/people to you during the process of losing weight?  This would definitely be my cousin, Mike Bauman.  For years he was counting his calories and eating out with him revolved around restaurants that offered low-calorie foods.  He introduced me to MyFitnessPal.  Both of us can now be seen telling our food server what we wish to order via the mobile app as opposed to the menu itself.  With the introduction to, Mike sent out requests to his followers to “add me” as their friend on the app for motivation.  As a result, all-time success story Jillian “Lemons”, Mike, and you have become inspirations.

Have you ever lost weight and then gained it back?  If so, how was this time different?  Yes, it was called basic training when I enlisted in the United States Air Force.  I weighed in at 146 lbs. and dropped down to 134 lbs.  In addition to the daily 100 + push-ups and sit-ups, I had to run at least 15 miles a day with full back pack and camo gear.  This is why I hate running today and will not let yours or Mike’s inspirations influence me, as you put it, “make me a runner yet”.  After basic training, unlike the Army or Marines, the Air Force did not make mandatory PT a requirement once assigned a given duty station.  However, annual PT requirements for age/weight/height were enforced.  After discharge, the pounds started to add up.  I guess the number 1 reason as to why I gained my weight back after my service would be because I didn’t have a drill sergeant screaming obscenities as a way of motivation any more.

Eric in the Air Force, age 19

It’s easy to let your diet drift or slowly stop exercising. What do you find to be the key to STICKING TO IT?  I haven’t really had a hard time since starting this quest.  However, I am currently working on my BBA in an accelerated program that consists of 14 of us in the program.  Our own “Breakfast Club” as I call it.  A few of the younger ladies in my class have noticed my efforts since April and are “Liking” what they see: MOTIVATION ENGAGED!

Just starting off, losing weight is hard.  Tell us, did it get easier or harder for you over time?  The first week of adjusting to the 3000 calorie reduction was a pain in the butt.  Prior to this quest, as you, Mike, and I grew up on fine establishments such as Dodge Park Coney, Chicken Shack, and the almighty El Charro’s, this was not easy.  I could have breakfast at the Coney Island, lunch at the Shack, and dinner at “taco ecstasy” all in the same day.  I am now able to enjoy these establishments on different days.  I am purchasing stock in Egg Beater western omelets, ordering white meat instead of dark, and two taco’s instead of three tacos with an enchilada, rice, and beans on the side.

Finding out that the application lowers your calorie count at every 10 lb. loss interval by one english muffin is still a pain.  I now find myself on an elliptical machine replacing the “Calories Burned” LED with “Muffins Burned”. 

Eric after his weight loss

What is the hardest part for you now?  Once I dropped down to 196 lbs. after Thanksgiving, I hit what I now know to be as the “wall”.  I hate this wall.  I have been trying to break this wall for a month now.  I could be on an elliptical for 10 hours straight and have 600 calories left over for the day and either gain a pound or stay the same.

Hitting the wall?  Click here for tips for breaking through a plateau.

If you could tell your former self anything, knowing what you know now, what would you say?  I would tell myself to focus on my calorie intake and not eliminate fried chicken from my diet, but just eat a drumstick instead of the whole damn bird.  I would also tell me to save up for a bike because by the year 2013 they will be the same price as a round trip ticket to Hawaii even with William Shatners help.

Do you worry about gaining weight back?  How do you prevent yourself from gaining it back?  I am not worried at all.  I’m treating this with the same attitude I used for quitting smoking some 7 or 8 years ago.  I went from 3 packs a day to zero within 24 hours and don’t miss it one bit.  I might add that Mike and his wife Robyn made that quest possible as well.  As for gaining it back, I look at the person in that photo wearing that pink shirt and as Taylor Swift would say… “We are never ever ever getting back together”.

Taylor Swift, Eric’s lyrical inspiration

The Taylor Swift quote was absolutely priceless!  Can you tell us how your participation in social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, mobile apps, and blogs (reading them and writing your own) has impacted your weight loss journey?  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of MyFitnessPal. This app was an absolute eye-opener.  Also, apps such as RunKeeper, AllTrails, and BikeThere complement the journey.  And now I have the pleasure of reuniting with you after all these years through FUDiet, Facebook, NECN Morning Show appearances, and although I can’t get into this Twitter thing, your tweets.

Awww thanks Eric!  What is different (if anything) about your life (and/or health) now that you have lost the weight?  Over the summer, thanks to my golf swing being closer to my body because of the weight loss, my swing is screwed up more than ever.  I have lost yardage and direction on my drives do to my arms not having to extend outward past the mass.  And most recently, as a result, my bowling approach is out-of-wack for the same reason as my golf swing.  Thanks to my weight-loss accomplishments, I was given an award by the United States Bowling Congress that usually only 6 year old’s receive…the coveted 400 series key chain.  You get this award the first time you bowl a total of 400 points in 3 games.  It was the first time for me because my average for a single game used to be 180!  Agh!

Eric and his cousin-in-law Robyn Bauman in Jan 2013

So sounds like there are some drawbacks to the leaner you!  Haha! At least you’ll have more energy to keep working at that golf swing! If we want to follow you, where do we find you?  You can find me on (username 1ebauman), Facebook (Eric Bauman), LinkedIn (Eric Bauman) and although I do not frequent my twitter account, on twitter (@baumaneric). My e-mail is  Whatever avenue you choose, please include “FU Diet” with your request.


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  1. Sally says:

    Both Eric and Mike are GREAT connections on MyFitnessPal! I’ve been following along on Eric’s journey since he started and his consecutive streak of posting his daily caloric intake is impressive, not to mention humbling. Great job Eric!!

  2. Susan Bakke says:

    Great job Eric!! You have accomplished so much and the journey lasts a lifetime!! Having Mike & Sherry ( my friends) to help in your quest is so wonderful! We all need support and to have fun is an added bonus!! All the best to you!! I will follow you on MyFitness.pal. I Just started a blog! sbakke52!!

  3. Jillian says:

    Aww, Eric! You are truly an inspirational man! You have come so far on your journey, keeping it going and you keep motivating others–what an amazing thing! Thank you so much for the mention, although “all-time success story” is a bit of a stretch, I appreciate your kind words. Let’s keep it goin’ together! Yeah buddy! PS..your photos are AMAZING.

  4. Eric Bauman says:

    Thanks and a shout out to the sweetest “Lemon” i know 🙂

  5. Dawn says:

    I love being able to see the “where are they now” stories. How it continues after the show is over. So many go on to inspire other people after that journey and I often wondered why. Now that I have learned about nutrition and and exercise I finally got it. I have Fibromyalgia, CFS, I’m hypothyroid and have adrenal fatigue. Weight has been an issue because of all this for the last 10 years. Jillian Michaels of all people wrote a few books that really lit a fire under my but. I took hold of my health, my diet, and became certified as a trainer myself for the very reason to help/teach/train people to be healthier and happier. I was motivated to start a small organization (hopefully to be BIG down the line) to try to motivate and find people who suffer with chronic pain conditions and still strive to be as active as they can. We get together for walks runs and some had never met before the website! If i can do it with chronic pain and depression hanging over me at every turn anyone can. Its nice to see you are human. You get up, you have set backs, and yo have to keep working long after the show. The entire point. FUDIET. Its not a’s a lifestyle. Love it!! Looking for you on MFP!!

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