A Spark of Inspiration – 153 Pounds Lost

I was always a chubby kid. My dad did what he could to steer me toward eating right as he was a big kid growing up and he knew the kind of torment I would get in school. I would eat for comfort, and as I got older a treatment for opiate dependency (methadone) also helped really blow my weight up.

HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?  I never wanted my picture taken, I felt isolated from the world and from romantic partners. It helped fuel my depression which in turn led to substance abuse of opiate painkillers and then on to heroin. Don’t believe the stories of all drug addicts being skinny! That was not the case in my story.

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?  It may sound silly, but I was sitting around watching “Free Solo” with Alex Honnold. I was watching this man climb mountains without ropes and I thought to myself “I could never do that” But then I really started trying to break down that statement, WHY couldn’t I do something like that? If I really committed myself to the right diet and exercise, couldn’t I get to a level of physique where I could even climb mountains assisted? This sparked a change in the way I viewed the world and myself. Before then I would always perceive things happening to me as opposed to me making things happen in my life.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?  I got proper treatment for the opiate addiction, I changed my diet, I got a better job, and I started working out and eating right religiously. What I did specifically was CICO and also cardio for the first month before starting a PPL routine, as for the job I gave up on punching a clock and got a job in commission based sales which I have done really well at so far. Most recently, since Gyms reopened here with Covid, I have been doing Stronglifts 5×5 with Cardio on “off” days. My goal is to get into crazy good shape, and by that time have enough money saved up for skin removal which is most likely going to be necessary.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?  Within 2 weeks, I started really shedding the weight. I was morbidly obese so my results were very dramatic very quickly.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?  The drug addiction was a big factor, but once I got proper treatment for that, and I saw that I could change my life on how I saw fit everything just kind of clicked. I realized that if I wanted to change my life it was up to ME to do it.

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?  I used a mixture of positive reinforcement and focusing on why I wanted to change my life. When things got really hard on the eliptical, I would think to myself “this is going to be worth it, push yourself and show the world what you can do” I would picture peoples reactions to putting a photo on facebook once I lost the weight and it would push me further. I would think of how much better I would feel and it would push me further.

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?  Oh yeah, right when Covid hit and the gym closed. I kept working out at home for a bit but I fell into a few semi bad eating habits, nothing like before. I was terrified when I stepped on a scale 3 months into covid but I found out I had lost 4lbs in that time! So I basically stayed the same, and when the gym reopened I went right back to it.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?  From my heaviest to now, a total of about 18 months

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?  The first time I did an assisted pullup, it caused me to cry with happiness. I called my father and brother to tell them about it.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I would eat fast food for breakfast lunch and dinner, I would eat snacks in between, there wasn’t such thing as “meal times” I would just eat food whenever I felt like it, which was all the time. When I was using heroin, I would typically keep an empty stomach in the morning and then as my “high” was wearing down I would gorge on food.

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I love the gym, I look forward to my workouts, it is a great source of stress relief. Before I couldn’t even stand the thought of walking around, now I can’t wait to find fun new outdoor activities to do and new exercises to try.

MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS

  1. LIFT WEIGHTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Do not just focus on cardio, weight lifting is great for both men and women for toning up.
  2. Diet is way more important than what you do in the gym. Burning 400 calories takes about 40 minutes of exercise at my current weight, I could drink 2 cokes and add just as many. So make sure that your nutrition is there.
  3. Protein, protein, protein. Eat so much protein.
  4. People in the gym aren’t staring at you, they are rooting for you. I have had people come up to me after a few months and tell me that the fact they have seen me every day inspires them. That if I can make myself come in and workout they have no excuse not to.
  5. If you started on this journey the last time you were thinking about it, think how far along you would be now?