I have always had a weight problem. I have been over 200 pounds since I was 14. I believe it started because I Was stressed. I struggled with my sexuality starting at a young age. Into my adult life, I developed a very negative view of myself and thought that I was not good enough to accept even the smallest compliments.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? It changed everything about my life. I was very self conscious and didn’t even like to take my shirt off at the pool. I was disgusted with myself and thought there was nothing I could do about it.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I went to Los Angeles to see family. At this time I had reached my highest weight (277lbs). Every picture I took, I couldn’t believe that I had let myself go so far.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? The first thing I did was to come up with a workout plan. This plan started with ALOT of cardio. After about a month or so, my old roommate introduced me to weight and resistance training and this became my new passion.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I began to see results after only a month of working out.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Covid19. At this point, I had been in the gym six times per week. I rarely did cardio and I utilized every piece of equipment that I could. I was a senior in college at Florida State University struggling with money and when the pandemic forced all gyms to close, I did not have access to equipment. I also did not have the money to buy all of the weights that I needed for my routine. At this point, I found the one set of dumbbells that I had in my closet and bought resistance bands and a jump rope. By this time I had developed a new workout routine to accommodate the absence of gym equipment.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? During my senior year at Florida State University, I entered the gym like normal. I was given a head band that said “find what moves you”. Interestingly, this was a day that I was ready to give up. And that quote reminded me that everything you do is with purpose. When something is your passion you will do whatever it takes to get you to your end goal. I now wear that band every time that I workout as a reminder that my journey for fitness is about more than weight loss. This was about overcoming challenges and finding the meaning behind that physical fitness goal.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I had many plateaus. Interestingly after the pandemic started, my routine change made me overcome that plateau.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It took 1 year and 6 months.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? One of my largest victories was my ability to run Lake Orlando. This lake is almost 4 miles around. After graduating college and moving to Orlando, I set a goal to run the entire lake. Every week I got closer and closer. I now complete this lake run once a week.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? There was no balance. I ate whatever I wanted in an abundance because I was not accustomed to regular meal portions.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? In the beginning, things were very different. As a teenager I did not play sports like typical boys my age. I am now very active and working out is my passion. I found outdoor activities that would keep me active for fun on my free days. Everything from rowing to rock climbing and running.
HOW DID YOUR EATING HABITS CHANGE? I started counting macros. However I did not cut a single food. I had done many diets in the past and I would lose 30 or so pounds and gain them back regularly. This time, I wanted to see what would happen if I still ate the foods I enjoyed but in more of a balance. I began counting macronutrients and using whatever I wanted to fill them properly.
ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE, SERVICES, BOOKS – EVEN QUOTES, THAT UNKNOWINGLY HELPED YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY?
Monique the comedian. I always watched and adored her comedy specials.I followed her fitness journey on instagram. She worked so hard and she showed that we all face obstacles but they can be overcome with hard work and determination.
WHAT DID THIS JOURNEY TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
I can do anything that I put my mind to. Every small step, no matter how small it may seem, can lead to amazing progress over time. Whether that be work, school or any other personal goals. Trust the process!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Be consistent! Even when you do not have progress!
- Be disciplined! Know that you can have whatever you want to eat but not too much of it. Too much of anything can be bad for you!
- Losing weight is a mind game. Tell yourself that you can accomplish your goal no matter how far it may seem.
- Get moving! Find whatever activity you love and master it.
- Love yourself! Your weight does not determine your self-worth. No matter what, love the way that you are and change for yourself. Not anyone else!