How This Man Lost More Than 110 Pounds, and Kept the Weight Off

Jason shares with Men’s Health how he found the motivation to keep pursuing his health and fitness goals even after suffering multiple serious injuries.

For my heaviest, I weighed 317 pounds. The biggest factor behind my weight was that I had a stressful full-time job and also had a part-time job. I was often out on business, ate fast food, or went to breakfast and lunch for several days. I also drank a limited amount of water. During the day there was coffee and Cola Cola, then every evening when I came home, only beer until I fell asleep. I became content with my life, and given my size, I haven’t done much.

In 2015 and 2016, my resting heart rate was always at or above 100. I remember being so scared once, I was just standing at work and my heart was pounding as if it couldn’t pump fast enough. I went to the emergency room from work and my pulse was out of control. I also learned that I had high blood pressure and that I was on medication. Because of this, I also had to see a cardiologist. It was all in my mid-thirties. During this period there were a total of three trips to the emergency room and at least one for urgent EKG care because of the same problem. I knew I had to make changes and I would get serious if I had a health fear.

I’ve done all the right things – low alcohol and eating right – but it was all short lived. I would go back to my old habits in about a week or two, and it would take months to get back on track. Food and beer seemed to be a priority in life until I got another health fear, and the cycle continued until I came to WW for New Years in 2017.

When I came to WW, I made targeted changes to my diet. I started doing all grocery shopping and preparing all meals for my family, even if I had to cook something else. I kept track of everything I ate to make sure it was reflected in my app. I lost about 70 pounds on WW just by tracking my food intake.

I then started training in September 2018. I didn’t tell anyone I went to the gym because I had gone to gyms before and never used the membership. I just started cardio and built on the workouts every month. I told myself I had to walk at least three times a week and I pursued that goal and increased it up to five times a week. I was just getting to the point where I felt better when I was exercising and moving.

I lost 114 pounds in total. Then, in 2019, I broke my neck and wore braces that were unable to exercise for several months. During that time, I was so afraid of gaining weight, among a million other things. Fortunately, I didn’t gain weight during that time. I tracked everything, every bite, every ounce, every sip to make sure I stayed within my points. After I got permission to go back to the gym, I slowly began to integrate cardio and strength training again. When I started strength training again, my shoulder started to hurt. I would push through the pain but later found out I had an AC break-up. That was all just before the pandemic started. I did physical therapy for a few months and when the gyms reopened I joined a private personal training studio to continue strength training, but with guidance to avoid further injury.

My family was a big motivator on my trip. I work so hard to take care of my family and losing weight was necessary because I didn’t want to leave my wife and children without a father. I would wonder what their life would be like if I were dead, mostly from health problems. I didn’t like these thoughts. I didn’t want to leave my family sad because I wasn’t able to change my habits. I knew I had to lead by example, especially as my children got older.

These injuries could have left me dead or paralyzed, but I exercise, run, and try to enjoy life. These injuries keep me going because this is my second chance and I don’t want to screw it up. My life could have been very different, so I owe it to myself to stay active and healthy.

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Philip Ellis is a UK based freelance writer and journalist specializing in pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ + topics.

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