403 chris mckenzie

THE TURNING POINT: My mother passed away of cancer years ago and I know part of that was a health reason. So one of the things I wanted to do was, you know, in her honor, to say, “Hey, I don’t want to pass away at 50 years old. I want to go into my 50s and be healthy, energetic, have more fun with my kids, be able to go to the park.”

THE PLAN: I had to get away from the fried foods and fast food. My doctor told me I had to learn how to cook, to and get in the kitchen and chop. So I believe that chopping helped me chop off the weight.

THE FIRST STEPS: It was excruciating. My shins were on fire. It was just unbelievable pain. I didn’t have my breathing. My stamina wasn’t there. My heart rate was just pounding. So I could probably only stay on the treadmill maybe 10 minutes at the most and walk maybe one or two miles an hour. And then I gradually — as I gradually built up, my stamina got better and it just kind of made me feel more energetic and I could feel my body changing. The biggest thing for me was noticing the change in my clothes in those first 10 pounds. I learned that with every 10 pounds, you lose a size. So I was so excited. I was like, “Hey, this is working.”

THE BIGGEST REWARDS: I actually got on a swing for the first time with my daughter. I could never fit in a swing, on a swing set. So we got to swing. She pushed me and I pushed her and that was an amazing feat for me. Also, I went in the grocery the first time, went to the line and the lady actually looked at my ID and said, “Is this you?” And I said, “Yes, it’s me.” So I had to actually call my wife over to prove that this was actually me. I also had to pull out another picture of me to actually prove that this was me in the store.

WORDS OF WISDOM: To inspire people to make changes in their life makes me feel really, really rewarding because I’ve met a lot of people that have been on this journey and have fell off the wagon and they often asked how do you stay motivated. And one of the things that keeps me motivated is not going back to the old Chris, not being that heavier person who couldn’t sit on an airplane seat or who was uncomfortable sitting in a desk chair at work or who had back pain or who had foot pain. It’s just nice going to sleep at night and not snoring.

So when I talk to people about that and they’re like, “I have sleep apnea.” And I’m like, “Hey, mine went away.” You know, I don’t have the snoring problems or I don’t have the back pain anymore. So, that inspires them. And I also have, you know, in my neighborhood, I’ve helped people been motivated to go walking and work out and come — just to start a walking program with me.

KEYS TO MY SUCCESS: P90X workout program. Food scale.