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    Posted February 25, 2014 by
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Man loses over 200 pounds with motivation, hard work, and will power.

    I was always a little bigger growing up, but I always played sports and was in good shape. My mom was overweight and had weight loss surgery. She lost weight which really changed who she was as a person in a bad way. She started believing she was better than everyone else and would even make fun of overweight people. This led to her divorcing my dad. At this point in time I put on about 50 pounds in a short period of time. Within a couple years my mom ended up moving away my sophomore year of high school and left my brother, sister, myself and the rest of her family and friends behind. This crushed my family and me and led to severe depression and anxiety. I wanted to be strong for my family so I tried not to show weakness with anyone, I always laughed and joked while I was dying on the inside. This led me to emotionally eat once again and before I knew it I was up almost 200 pounds in about three to four years. My dad was very concerned for my health. He would tell me he loved me to death and was happy if I was happy, but he knew I wasn't. He also would tell me he wanted to be around for a long time. Finally, one day when I was home on Christmas break my freshman year of college it worked. I started to workout! It was my first aha moment! It wasn't pretty at all! I was only able to do 15 minutes of cardio on the elliptical and it was absolutely terrible. I was still suffering from depression pretty badly and wasn't eating right though. I came home that summer and weighed in at 435 pounds, the highest I had ever seen on the scale. I was able to drop about 45 pounds that summer at home and got down to 390. I felt on top of the world at that point and like nothing could stop me. Then I had to go back to school and away from my comfort zone of home with my dad. The following year was really hard on me and I struggled with eating away from home. That year at school I dropped about 15 pounds and got down to 375. That following summer however my family and I got some bad news when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was terrible and I broke down and cried. It was at this point though that it mentally started to change. I needed to be mentally and emotionally strong for my dad now, for the person who was there for my brother, sister, and me when we had all of our struggles. This led to another 'aha' moment. My dad and I agreed to eat 1500 calories a day while he was recovering from surgery since he couldn't work out anymore. We both stuck to it while he was recovering and it worked. We both lost weight and my dad has made a full recovery. His tests have been good since the surgery! I saw how well eating 1500 calories worked so I stuck with it throughout the next school year and by this last August I was down to 200 pounds total lost. The physical changes were awesome!!! I didn't get tired walking up stairs, I was able to go outside more and do more activities like bike rides and tennis without the heat affecting me as much, I was able to fit into booths without a problem, getting new clothes! All the physical changes made me feel a million times better mentally and emotionally! By my 22nd birthday in November I was able to get down to 205 pounds and have been maintaining since! I went from a 6xl shirt to a large and from 58 pants in the waist to 38! I want to be able to help others with emotional and mental problems and weight problems. I want to motivate and inspire people! My two biggest dreams are to get on the Ellen Show or CNN and talk about my weight loss, and to be a weight loss sponsor for someone like Nike!
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