Name: Ben Dempsey
Before Weight: 360 pounds
How I Gained It: I was always obese. I have nothing to blame but pure laziness, poor eating habits and not exercising. I just didn’t care. I knew I was big, but I didn’t know I was that big until I looked back. I was also addicted to soda. On average, I consumed nearly 10 20-ounce bottles a day. On a bad night, I could drink a 2-liter bottle with dinner.
Breaking Point: On July 22, 2009, I woke up and decided I had simply had enough of being obese for my entire life. I had tried radical diets in the past and lost anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds, but then I would gain it all back and more. That day, something changed. I knew I had to get my weight under control and defy each plateau as they arose. I didn’t want to die by age 35.
How I Lost It: The first thing I knew I had to cut out was the soda. I stopped cold turkey. It was unbelievably hard the first week — by day three I couldn’t stay up past 9 p.m. and I was having withdrawal symptoms like headaches and constant nausea. But I pressed on, and I am proud to say that I haven’t had a soda in over two years, and it was one of the best decisions I made along this weight-loss journey. It was the jump-start I needed.