Nutrition

When the Weight Comes Back

If you succeed at first, don’t get comfortable.

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When the Weight Comes Back
Quest Nutrition
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Like many others, I was always one of the “big kids” growing up. As far back as I can remember and all the way through high school. Yeah, I had friends, and I wasn’t treated badly… I even stayed active in school activities and sports. Eating habits were my problem. I was a HUGE candy, chips, and fast food kind of guy. I remember going in for a football season physical, my senior year at 17 years old… I stepped on the scale and I remember the doctor said, “Well that’s a first. Our scale only goes to 350.” On my file they had to put 350 with an arrow going up.

That was one of the low points in my life, but it still wasn’t enough to make me wake up and change. When you’re growing up and weight isn’t socially or physically holding you back, it’s kind of hard for you to see that you need to make that change. But it didn’t change the fact I was depressed, embarrassed, and uncomfortable with myself all the time.

Frustrated with college and all of its loans after graduating, I decided to get healthy so that I could join the Army. Everyone with a huge weight loss story usually has that one point where something clicks in their mind, and I don’t know if it ever happened to me… I just told myself I was done! At almost 400lbs I knew it would be tough, but with determination, motivation, and a very strong support system, I managed to join the army 18 months later at 260lbs (I’m 6’4”)!

I dropped all of the unhealthy food, sodas, candy, and everything else unnecessary. I went to the gym every single day (multiple times a day), running outside, hiking across mountains… things I never imagined doing. I fell in love with spinning, running, and weight training. After a while, the weight just melted off. I felt great.

You may be saying to yourself “Oh wow, that’s awesome. He changed his life, accomplished his goal, happy end to an amazing story.” Well, after about three years and getting out of the military… it all came back. With a vengeance.

I ate and ate until I felt sick… then I ate some more. If anyone saw how I was eating, they would’ve called a therapist, because when I think back, it’s sad to think I was literally killing myself without even realizing it. Feeling like there was no hope, I decided to get surgery. I went through the entire process to prepare, meanwhile eating more and more… just to get those last guilty meals in.

Then came the call. Before final surgery arrangements were made, my doctor said there was a mistake by my health insurance carrier: a three-month supervised weight loss period was required. I figured that if they were going to make me waste three months of my life by working out, I might as well just go ahead do it all on my own!

My weight peaked around 410, so I started thinking of ways to lose it a bit differently. I stumbled upon the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and decided to give that method a try (only fruit and vegetable juice), but with a bit of a twist… and it worked!

I dropped 103 lbs. in 100 days on an all liquid diet, but it was without a doubt the hardest thing I’d ever done. Thankfully, my wife was always there for me. Without her and my family’s support it wouldn’t have been possible. Eventually I switched to a clean eating diet and even more amazing things happened. I discovered the problem: I never changed my mentality, I simply cut out foods until I felt like I could have them again. Now I know everything is about moderation and portion size along with physical training.

Here are five quick tips I learned for anyone struggling with these issues.

1. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!

2. Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels!

3. Don’t obsess over the scale!

4. Enjoy the Journey!

5. You can do it if you believe!

The most important tip of them all is that you can do it. I am no different than anyone reading this. We all have it within, you just have to believe in yourself and make the change and stick to it. It seems simple but it’s not. Stop making excuses and start making change.

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