Gift From a Friend Helped Chris Lose 135 Pounds
Name: Chris Waters
Age: Turned 40 in October
Height: 6 feet, 4 inches
Before Weight: 377 pounds
How I Gained It: I’ve been overweight all my life. Growing up, I was always the heavy one. I’ve always liked to eat, even from an early age. My family has a history of alcoholism and addiction, and I had an eating addiction. I ate to feel better. Pizza was always my downfall; I could eat a whole large pizza and not think a thing about it. I was also a regular at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. I tended to make friends with people who could eat like me — they became my eating partners.
My mother was an overweight child, so she never wanted me to follow in her footsteps, but I did anyway. My mom was truly my best friend — we were very close. Unfortunately she passed away 13 years ago from colon cancer.
Breaking Point: I was never happy with my weight, but I remember one Christmas about five years ago when it really hit me. I was at my niece’s house for Christmas Eve, and I split her one-of-a-kind antique couch in half just by sitting on it. Sure, it was old and damaged anyway, but when it collapsed under me, it was really upsetting.
I didn’t do anything about it at that time, aside from trying another unsuccessful yo-yo diet. However, when my dad passed away two years ago, and I think that’s when I started thinking it was time. I was always the caretaker in the family, but I never took care of myself and I think that’s one of the reasons I got fat. Now that my dad was gone, I knew it was time to take care of me. Plus, I was nearing 40 and wanted to do something before that milestone.
How I Lost It: My weight loss journey started with a nudge from a friend. On my 39th birthday, my dear friend Lauren bought me a gift certificate to a personal trainer. Lauren knew I wasn’t happy, so she said, “Let’s do this together.”
So a few days later, we started seeing Kelsey, our personal trainer, twice a week. It was horrible at first — I was in so much pain, and I hated it but kept going. Kelsey never put me on a diet; she just gave me guidelines, but I knew what I needed to do and started cutting the junk food out. I also started going to the gym four days a week on top of the two I spent with her.
Over time, I started to see results — I was slowly getting stronger and stronger. My life was busy, but I made time for one hour a day, six days a week for myself. I lost 20, 30, 40 pounds, and when I hit that 50-pound mark, I was amazed by the transformation.
In May 2010, I ran my first 5k race in 36 minutes — I can’t even describe the sense of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line. That summer, I signed up for a summer boot camp, and I loved the fresh air and exercise. In fact, it helped me hit the 100-pounds-lost mark in early summer.
In October, I was given the American Heart Association award for Lifestyle Change for changing my lifestyle so drastically. I was on top of the world — I had been nominated by a coworker without knowing it. People around me were inspired, and some started working out with me. I became certified to teach spinning classes in the fall and now teach twice a week.
My life has truly come full circle — I am healthy and fit. Before losing weight, I had insulin-dependent diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but I no longer have to take any medication. My trainer, Kelsey, is not just my lifesaver — she’s become a dear friend. I plan on becoming a personal trainer to do the same for others.
After Weight: 242 pounds
Chris is currently training for a half marathon, which he will run in May 2011.
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