Starting weight: 418
Ending weight: 228
It’s been three years and still going strong!! The key thing to always remember is that this isn’t a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle!
Starting weight: 418
Ending weight: 228
It’s been three years and still going strong!! The key thing to always remember is that this isn’t a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle!
As of August 2012, I was at the heaviest I’d ever been - 625lbs. I was an
alcoholic (drank around a fifth of vodka mixed with a liter of pop every night)
and was addicted to fast food. I am 6’2” and was still able to walk around (with
a good deal of difficulty). My parents had no idea how bad it had gotten because
I kept it a secret. I was dealing with depression as well and ended up dropping
out of college. I have had a recurring cellulitis infection in my legs and was
also borderline diabetic. I also had very high blood pressure that was not being
controlled at all.
My typical fast food meal was a double cheese burger with
a large pop and large fries. That usually wasn’t enough, so I would have chicken
nuggets with it as well. I also ate Arby’s frequently. Large roast beef
sandwich, large curly fries and drink, and a side of mozzarella sticks. I ate
fast food every day. I look back now and estimate that I was consuming around
4000-5000 calories per day.
I also sat around all day playing video games. I
typically played for 4-5 hours per day along with watching TV. It seemed to be a
good distraction to pass the time between meals and drinking binges.
around August of that year, I began playing Draw Something on my tablet. I
picked a random match with a woman named Jackie who lived in London, England. We
got along quite well despite my depression an frequent mood changes due to
alcoholism. I was immediately attracted to her.
In October 2012, my mother
had to have her left leg partially amputated below the knee. It turns out that
she had infections in her legs that weren’t healing properly due to poor blood
flow and she was not taking care of them. She had let it go to the point where
it was inoperable and had to be amputated. I, of course, used this as an excuse
to drink more and sink deeper into my depression. I knew that I was going down
the same road as my mother.
By this point, Jackie and I had grown to be very
good friends. I was expecting sympathy from her, but what I got surprised me.
She was angry with me. She told me that I was wasting my life and that I should
be ashamed that I was throwing it away when there are so many people out there
who are fighting to stay alive. Jackie has myotonic muscular dystrophy and has
to stay very healthy in order to keep her symptoms in check. She seemed to be
losing patience with me, and I was afraid I was going to lose her.
that, I decided to quit drinking. I quit cold-turkey. It was quite difficult for
me, and I did suffer withdrawals for the first few days. I ran through the full
gammut of emotions during this period. I felt self-pity mostly, some
desperation, and also anger. I was angry at the world. I was angry at the way my
life turned out. I was angry that I never did anything about it. I was also
angry that I was 30 years old and had basically wasted a decade of my
After a few weeks, I started feeling better. After a month or so, I
began to feel changes in my body, it seemed like I was beginning to lose weight.
I had no idea how much weight I was losing as there were no scales that could
weigh me. The only time I had weighed myself at my heaviest was when I was in
the hospital with a cellulitis infection. They had to bring a special scale in
In December of that year, I decided to buy a scale (one of the only
ones that I could find that measured above 500lbs). I was 525lbs when I weighed
myself. 100lbs had somehow evaporated off of me. This was enough to get me
I started a daily exercise routine in which I woke up 5 minutes early
every day and ran in place at home. I did this every morning without exception.
I found that I was becoming addicted to exercise. I gradually added minutes to
my routine until soon I was running in place for an entire hour. I also
incorporated ‘half-jumping jacks’, in which I would lunge to one side and raise
my arms, then lunge to the other side and repeat. These exercises were good for
me because I had a lot of anxiety about going out in public.
Jackie had once
told me that I would take to exercise ‘like a fish to water’. She was absolutely
right. The endorphins I got from exercising were addictive. They made me feel
alive for the first time in years!
I eventually worked up the nerves to start
walking outside. This was a huge step for me. I had to get over the anxiety of
worrying about what people thought of me as they saw me walk by.
walking around my subdivision, only to the end of the street at first. I found
that walking on pavement was a bit harder on my knees than jogging on carpet at
home. It was a bit painful at first, but I just took it easy at first.
later, I completed my first mile. The snowball was now rolling downhill and
couldn’t be stopped. I was making progress and feeling results. Other parts of
my life were progressing as well - I landed a fulltime job.
I soon found
myself waking up at 5AM to go for walks before work. I started using Run Keeper
to track my progress. The walks got longer and longer until I was walking 5-7
miles every morning and was waking up as early as 3AM. It had turned into a bit
of an obsession, but I could think of worse things to be obsessed with.
this point I had become comfortable with pushing myself. I was also walking laps
around my office before work every day. At first, my coworkers somewhat
ridiculed me, but I just kept at it. I started setting goals, eventually working
up to walking 7, 8, then 10 miles. On July 28, 2013, I walked my first
half-marathon. It was a Saturday morning and I woke up at 5AM (sleeping in for
me!). It took me just over 4 hours to complete, but I did it without stopping. I
mapped out my route and made sure that my furthest point was about 5 miles from
the start, so I knew that when I hit that halfway point, I would have to walk
back! I was in a good deal of pain, but it didn’t matter to me. It was a
milestone, and I was determined to hit it. I had Jackie on my phone through
Skype to help push me through some of the difficult parts. She was always a huge
support to me.
Shortly after that, I decided to dust off my father’s old
mountain bike and go for a ride. I was around 400lbs at this point. Again, I had
to deal with the anxiety of riding in public. I was afraid that everyone would
be staring at me. I dealt with this by cycling early in the morning until I was
comfortable enough to do it during the day. It seemed that I had developed a new
addiction - cycling!
The best part about cycling was that I was able to
incorporate it into my daily commute to work. It is a 22 mile commute, so what I
did was drive half way, then cycle in 11 miles each way. I did this every day
with the exception of rainy days (though sometimes I got caught in the rain
anyways!). Eventually, I got to the point where every Friday, I cycled the
entire distance - 44 miles round trip.
By the time I got down to around
300lbs, I felt that I was ready to try running. I knew that eventually I wanted
to run a 5k, and that I had to do some kind of training program to get to that
goal. I decided to try an interval training app on my phone. It seemed to work
very well for me. It was a 9 week program that I had to condense down to 6 weeks
(I had signed up for a 5k - the Detroit Turkey Trot). In the middle of this, I
had a bit of a setback - I came down with a cellulitis infection and was
hospitalized for 3 days on I.V. antibiotics. I struggled a bit with this more
mentally than physically. I felt the self-pitying side coming back. After all of
this progress, I let a cellulitis infection make me feel defeated. Once I got
out of the hospital, I realized that I had to make up for the lost time, so I
was even more driven to reach my goal in time. By the time the 5k happened, I
was down to 280lbs and was running at 14 minutes per mile (not very fast, but at
least I could run the entire 5k without stopping). Now I am at 11 minutes per
mile and am striving to get under 10!
I have in recent months had to
purchase a gym membership because the weather has been especially bad this year.
I generally despise treadmills, they give me motion sickness, so my running has
been put on hold until it gets a bit warmer out! I like using the elliptical
machines and static bikes for cardio.
In December, I finally ended up going
to London to meet Jackie. I spent 2 weeks over there with a trip to Paris as
well. I loved every minute of it. Jackie is the best thing that’s ever happened
to me. I feel that she saved my life, even though she would never take credit!
We even climbed the Eiffel Tower. I can check that off of my bucket
Today, I am down to 260lbs. I went to see a plastic surgeon this past
Monday. It turns out that I have a hernia near my belly button. They say that
insurance will cover skin removal just on the front of my stomach as well as fix
the hernia. They will remove around 30lbs of skin. I haven’t scheduled the
operation yet, but I’m sure it will be sometime this year. I’m also planning a
return trip to London sometime this year!
I also need to cover some of my
diet during these past 15 months. In addition to cutting out alcohol, I cut out
all processed sugar. I then cut out red meat as well. The first 6 months or so,
I did use the fitness pal app to count calories. I limited myself to 1400
calories per day for a long time. It was difficult at first, but it taught me to
choose foods that were low in calories, but filled me up. I ate chicken breasts
and rice quite frequently. I also had a few choice restaurants that I ate at
when I was busy and on the go. For breakfast, I typically had sodium free turkey
breast meat (yes processed, but cheap and convenient), a cup of special K (dry),
a bowl of non-fat greek yoghurt (with splenda to sweeten it), and a glass of low
sodium V-8. I ate this for breakfast daily for a long time. I also started
taking a multi-vitamin and fish oil daily.
My depression has pretty much
subsided. I did end up seeing a therapist once a week, and that was a big help.
I still see him to this day. I am actually planning to go back to school for
psychology. I would like to be a therapist myself - specialising in weight loss,
depression and anxiety.
As far as eating habits now, I don’t count calories
anymore. I tend to know now what I can eat daily within reason. I owe a big part
of this to Jackie. I’ve adopted her mentality for eating - it’s all about
portion control. Our portions in America are quite larger than what people eat
in European countries. We tend to overeat frequently, and that is what is
contributing to our problems with obesity.
I now eat sugar occasionally, and
always in moderation (though sometimes I cut loose and overdo it - a good topic
to discuss with my therapist!). My current goal is to run a full marathon. I
plan to run in the Ann Arbor Marathon in May (albeit a 5k, but will eventually
work up to a full marathon). I also plan to return to Cedar Point this year. I
haven’t been able to fit on the rides in 14 years!
This has been the best
year of my life. For once, things are looking up. I used to tell Jackie about
how all of this feels like a dream and that it never actually happened. She just
says that this is me living my life now and that I need to get used to it! I
sometimes look in the mirror and don’t recognise the guy I see. It has all been
a bit overwhelming (in a good way!).
Life is good, and I look forward to
living it for much longer now.
I wish you all the best of luck with your
health and hope you find the strength to make it happen!
is me in December 2012
in December 2013
and I at Hampton Court Palace, England!
My journey to fitness began in April 2013. In the previous months, beginning almost a year ago, I tried and failed to regain control of my eating habits and workout routine. But in April, I finally made a decision that would change me for the rest of my life.
I have lost many things in life, but what I have lost, I’ve gained in mental, emotional, and physical strength. I feel powerful, empowered, and I feel like I need to share my journey. I was always an athletic person growing up. I played basketball very well as a teen, and I absolutely loved running. In general, I was great at most sports. Despite any lack of speed or agility, at my core, I was an athlete. As the years went, I faced personal hardships, and though I don’t blame those difficulties on my weight gain, I can admit that I lost sight of my general health and appearance.
To begin, the first picture in my Before and Afters was taken during my college graduation in May 2012. I avoided pictures at all costs because I hated the way I looked. Although I’m so glad I have it today to share. My graduation should have been one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life, but it really wasn’t all that. Academically and intellectually, I was a master. I graduated magna cum laude, won business awards and competitions, interned at some of the world’s biggest companies, but something was missing. I had so much control over some parts of my mind, but in others, I was powerless. Maybe oblivious is a better term. If you’re into fitness or athletics, you know that the mind is everything. Your mentally is what gets things done; not the body. At that time, however, I didn’t know that I was lacking a piece of me. I just knew I was fat. Despite this, I didn’t do anything about it until about January 2013. That was shortly after the second picture was taken. After that picture I gained about 20 more pounds because the holidays came around starting in November. I slowly struggled to diet and exercise, but it was hard, and I didn’t know what I was doing. And it was a wake up call when I stepped onto the scale. I was shocked, mortified, and I almost couldn’t believe it. I knew I had a long way to go, and I knew I couldn’t sustain a “diet” for the duration. What I needed and realized in April, was that I needed to change my life.
And almost instantly, I began to eat healthier. I ate about 90% clean. Meaning, I ate natural, non-processed, or minimally processed foods. I fueled up with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, all made or cooked in a simple way. To this day, I still eat that way, although the ratio is a little more lenient these days. About 80/20. Yet, the amazing thing is that I’m still seeing results! But more on that later. At that time in April 2013, I educated myself about nutrition. Everything and anything there was to know about nutrition and food, I wanted to know. I wanted to accomplish something serious, so I had to do some serious research. And the more I learned, the easier it became. Eating right became second nature. I was immediately happy with my new eating habits, and even more pleased that I never had to diet.
Now, the exercise part of my journey is one of my favorites to discuss. I had a gym membership, but wasn’t using it since I was waiting for the opening of a new gym in my neighborhood. So since I love running, I began to exercise at my old high school’s track after school. I smile in amazement at how far I’ve come when I think about gearing up everyday with my running shoes, music, sunblock, and sunglasses. I jogged about an 8th of a mile, while walking 1/2 a mile, then stopping for water, then going a little more and calling it a day. To me, at that time, that was my max. Between the walking and water breaks, I was pathetically doing a 20 minute mile, easily. More than double the time it took me in high school on that very track. I didn’t care though. I felt amazing afterwards, and I knew I would come back the next day and do it again. However, to my disappointment one afternoon, I see that the track and field is holding an event. I contemplated going home until I looked down at my car-key ring and remembered that I had a gym membership. I was so unprepared for the gym in many ways, I thought; but that day I went to the gym, and I haven’t looked back since.
Today I don’t exercise. I train. I train like an athlete, and I do it because I love it. I’m addicted to the power, the speed, the progress; and I can’t imagine myself ever stopping. The third and last pictures were taken a year after the second and 8 months into my weightloss journey. That’s 75lbs. down. I have 3 months until I hit the year mark of my start date of April 2013, and I hope to lose 25lbs. more, to complete a 100lbs. weightloss in 1 year.
I’m telling you right now, DON’T GIVE UP. Even though I started in April, it took people until about July to notice my progress. That was almost 4 months. Every week, and most certainly every month I could see the progress, but not others. I didn’t let that stop me, and you shouldn’t either. Remember that at the end of the day, you’re the only one that matters on this journey. Because when all the vanities and public have left your site, you’re doing this for yourself. Whatever time it takes, let it happen. The longer the journey, the stronger you’ll get. For example, by the time I reach my goal weight, I’ll be deadlifting more than my own weight. I’m actually more excited about that than the actual weight loss. So don’t despair. Keep going, surround yourself with positivity, and believe in yourself.
I’ve created various social media profiles so we can all share this journey together. We all need motivation, inspiration, encouragement, and education. So follow me and I’ll help in any way I can.
Before photo: 274 pounds
After photo: 178 pounds
It’s a funny thing about weight loss, you think that as the pounds come off, you’ll get down to that business of loving yourself like you never could have before. But the truth is, it’s a process. It’s a process and pictures are your very best friends.
In the picture to the left, I had already lost 25 pounds but didn’t know it due to my crippling fear of scales. I went to the hospital for a burn and nearly wept for joy when I stepped off that scale, for the very first time in my life. I remember rushing home to tell my mom and her insistence on photos, that we commemorate my true “beginning” but even then in my happiest hour, all I wanted was to hide every inch of me. I loathed standing there under those fluorescent lights, I loathed it so much that I never saw those photos again until she emailed them to me this morning. And even though I’ve felt disgusting all week (hello, my monthly visitor) it only took moments before I was proudly strutting around in my underwear, excited to see the new me. See, it really is a process. Because just yesterday, I was grabbing at every inch of loose skin with so much useless hate that I just to stop myself. I sat right down in front of that mirror and forced myself to look at me through the eyes I would use on anyone else; and I saw beauty. I saw my scars for what they are; badges of fucking honor. I saw my skin for what it represents; the girl I’ve left behind and the woman I’m still becoming. Not every day is easy and just because you won’t gasp up every staircase, it doesn’t mean you’ll still pass every mirror easily. But it helps to remember, it helps to have the visual proof of how far you’ve come without letting anyone or anything stop you, and then it helps to celebrate. Because who is gonna celebrate you if you don’t?!
Thank you endlessly everyone in this wonderful fitblr community. You all motivate and inspire me daily to see the beauty in that mirror, no matter the size of the woman looking into it.
Height: 157 cm
Weight: cca. 50 kg
Tomorrow, February 13th is my one year anniversary since I started working out and eating cleaner. It’s been a bumpy ride, with a lot of ups and downs, but all I can say that it’s worth it. It has made me a better person, it made me realize what I wanted in life and to make a healthier relationship with my body. I don’t deprive myself of anything, I still eat pizza and cake, chocolate and ice-cream, but all in moderation. My road so far has made me realize that I couldn’t change my life in a month or two, It takes a lot of time to make yourself be a better person and most importantly, to love yourself.
8 months ago i was 240 lbs (108kg)
and now i’m only 150 lbs (68kg) i just lost almost 100 lbs
it took me 8 months to lose weight
i eat vegetables , fruits, i don’t eat rice, meat or high sugar, and i drink 5 bottles of water a day.
work hard , play hard, and you can reach your goals
remember that nothing is impossible.
I began my journey on January 2, 2009. I signed up to have gastric bypass surgery and went through a 6 month weight-loss program leading up to surgery where I lost 30lbs. A week before I was scheduled for surgery I called it off because I knew I could do it on my own. I lost another 70lbs in the following 2.5 years.
2012 was a crazy year, I started my first job, got married, lost my first job, and found a new job. Throughout that roller coaster I was able to maintain.
January 2nd of 2014 I recommitted myself to mu origional goal of 125. To reach this goal I havr gone back to logging my food on sparkpeople.com, working out with a trainer twice a week, and work out on my own an additional 3 days a week. I make sure to get in aix of cardio and strength because everyone knows muscle burns fat.
My advice to people just beginning on their journey would be 1) you only succeed if you do it only for you. 2) it isnt going to happen over night, the sooner you accept that the easier it will be. 3) allow yourself one day a week of rest and enjoyment. It is easy to deny yourself and break habits when you know you will get a reward day.
Weight- before: 153 after: 138
I took me about a month and a half to lose 15 pounds.
I know it may not look like a big difference but I worked hard and this is a huge accomplishment for me. I feel a whole lot better and healthier than before. I still plan on losing about 10 more pounds but getting this far is just awesome. I basically just ate right and went for daily walks. I DID NOT STARVE MYSELF. and its okay to have a treat once and a while. I am so happy ya :)
-The picture on the left was taken right before I started my first semester of college in the fall, I weighed about 165 pounds. The picture on the right was taken in the beginning of my second semester of college, weighing around 143 pounds. I would like to get down to 135 to make running easier, but I am currently at a very healthy weight for my height.
-The pictures are 6 months apart
-My problem was never eating fast food, junk food, or drinking soda (my family is very healthy), it was portion size and eating when I was bored. When I got to college it was much easier for me to only eat one plate of food in the dining hall because second helpings were not right in front of me. I don’t drink soda, alcohol or anything other than water, I don’t eat cheese, dessert, or non-whole grain carbs. I do cardio on average 4-5 times a week (with some additional weight-lifting once or twice a week). I prefer to get my cardio in less stressful ways, like indoor and outdoor soccer, racquetball, swimming and rock climbing. Also, in addition to smaller portion size, walking around campus to get to class or the dining hall supplemented my cardio and helped me feel better after meals. It is much easier to change your eating habits when starting a new lifestyle, and I think going to college was the push I needed!
it’s so crazy that this was only two years ago. your body changes so much when you start losing weight. i dont even know who that person is anymore. its so encouraging to see pictures like this. eat clean and work hard and you can reach your goals. you guys can do it! chin up buttercup :)
i am 5’2 & currently weighing in at 172.
42 pounds down 20 more to go.
Hi! The first two pictures were taken in 2010 (I still had the same weight in 2012 though), the other one was taken just about two minutes ago.
SW: 146lbs (66kg)
CW: 121lbs (55kg)
Dream weight: ~90lbs (~40kg)
Height: 5 feet 3 inches (161cm)
You can really see the progress on my stomach but I’m 16 so I’m not gonna post underwear pics :)
At first I thought it was impossible to lose weight, mainly bc I couldn’t see any progress because I’m small and the weight concentrated on a smaller area. But I started going for runs more often, ate healthier and did abs training (I didn’t start voluntarily, to be honest, my doc told me to because my spine wasn’t straight).
I became a lot more confident with my body and didn’t feel anxious every time I left the house.
Working out didn’t just help me lose weight, it also helped me gain some self-esteem (which I was really lacking) because I got happier when I saw progress and that kept me going.
You always need motivation and inspiration to get started and to keep doing what you’re doing. I have a school trip to the beach in July, for example, and my goal is to be able to walk around in crop tops & bikinis without worrying about my weight.
It didn’t take me really long to lose the 11kg (maybe 2-3 months) but I got lazy and stopped dieting and working out, so the number went back up but now I’m on it again and I’m currently on 55kg.
Besides working out, dieting was also pretty tough. At first, I stopped eating sweets. No chocolate, no crisps. It was hard. Then I also cancelled junk food because it never provides you with the energy you need but a lot of fat.
I’m also a vegetarian, which helped me as well.
Keep your head up, you can do it! :)
Before: 200 lb/90.7 kg
Currently: 159 lb/72 kg
From May 2013 until today, Feb. 8th 2014, I’ve lost 41 lbs. Clean eating, running, HIIT, and loads of strength training! I only eat out and drink sodas as treats now…that’s what they should be! I used to drink juices and diet sodas, but I’ve cut those out and drink loads of water, coffee, and sometimes milk! The only artificial sweeteners I consume are those in my protein powder. I make most of my food from scratch. My biggest nutrition advice would be to cut out artificial crap, eat 80% clean, watch your added sugars, and watch your MACROS!!! And don’t restrict yourself from the things you love…it’s all about balance. I try to keep my diet 80% clean and leave the other 20% for whatever I want :)
This is submitted from my non-fitness blog, so if you’d like to follow my fitness one, it’s here
I’ve been having a hard time remembering how far I’ve come, so I decided to do a side by side. I had no idea how much my body had actually changed. I’m actually in shock. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve also come a long way.
I’m 5’8. The left is before at 272 lbs from the beginning of 2013.The right is from today, February 7, 2014 at 228 lbs.
Whenever I’m in doubt again, all I’m going to have to do is look at this. I never thought I’d ever be able to lose weight, but I have. And I will continue to.
Height: 5” 8’
Weight: 200 to 185
Picture on the left is from September and the one on the right is from February 6th. Eat right + Exercise = you will accomplish your goals! Still a work in progress!
Feel free to ask me questions here!