Even in elementary school, I was the biggest kid ever. That continued through junior high, high school, and college. I only gained weight into adulthood. Then, in 2018, my grandpa got a few more months to live. I decided to quit my job, drop everything and live with my grandparents to take care of him. I was with him every day. For me he was a father figure. When he died I stayed with my grandma.
And during that time I went from 480 pounds to over 600 pounds.
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. My drug, my release, was food. I threw away 2,100 calories on my breakfast alone when I went to McDonald’s. When I finally went back home to my house, I just looked in the mirror and it all met me. I’ve been in this crazy depression and I’ve never been depressed before. I actually had to google my feelings because I didn’t know what was happening to me. I was always brought up confident, everyone in my family supported me. I knew I was overweight, but I would never let it affect me.
I don’t even know exactly how much I weighed when I was the heaviest as my scale was no higher than 600 pounds. I knew I had to get my life under control or my family might bury me next. So I signed up for a gym the very next day. And I didn’t stop.
Everyone has been on a diet before. So we know, “eat less, exercise more” is what keeps everyone moving in their head. When I started going to the gym the workouts I did were super easy, it was all with body weight. Simple push-ups with my knees, a lot of tape work, a couple of kettlebells, lots of ropes. And I didn’t do any fast food. I started eating chicken, fish, vegetables. I realized that food is there to give me energy so that I can chop it up during the day, it’s not there to indulge myself and then sit down and lie down and fall asleep and do nothing.
I’ve always wanted to try mountain biking, but even when I started losing weight, I was 100 percent too tall. However, by the time I hit the high 400, I was probably still a little tall, I still needed to lose weight, but I felt a million times better. So I felt like it was possible. I got a mountain bike, started pedaling, and haven’t looked back. I was so excited and just fell in love with mountain biking. I’ve ridden through Covid; While the gyms are closed, I pedaled four or five times a week and covered at least 10 to 24 miles on my bike every time I went out.
Today I keep my weight at 265 pounds; that’s a total loss of more than 350 pounds. I have more energy, I can do anything I want to do, many doors have opened for me. But by far the coolest part of my weight loss is that I’m happy with my body right now and that I can tell my story and motivate people. I can train people who weigh 500 pounds because I know how they feel. I know how hard it was for her to get out of bed and put on her shoes, put on her socks, you know, go down the stairs. I was in that situation. I know how shitty I felt. And it inspires me so much to see them come to the gym to work out with me because they are trying to make a difference in their life.
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The only advice I would have for someone who is just beginning their weight loss is not to pay any attention to anyone but themselves. This is the time to learn to love yourself for who you are and find the problems that you have and want to solve. Put in the hard work, put in the dedication. When the going gets tough, don’t give up; just do it. It will take blood and sweat and tears, but you’re worth it.
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