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    Posted March 18, 2014 by
    Methuen, Massachusetts
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Losing 152lbs without going to the GYM

    After graduating College in the summer of 2011 I was unemployed and extremely overweight. It was at this point my struggle with obesity had nearly bested me as I was fraught with self loathing. In November of that very same year I weighed in at an astonishing 390lbs. Later that month I faced my mortality head on when I was raced to the Hospital with a heart beat of 211 bsp. I resolved my self at that point to not go out in that fashion and began my recovery. It would turn out that the heart issue WPW (Wolfe Parkinsons-White) was genetic and unrelated to my obesity it would remain a motivator for my transformation. I was fortunate enough to the unbridled support of friends/family but also, unwittingly from YouTubers who expressed their own successes with similar struggles. I started this " reclamation " project with first comforting the knowledge that I did indeed have a food addiction. I call it a "food addiction" because much like other addicts I was using food as a coping mechanism for my inner turmoil. I went to food when I was sad, stressed, lonely or demoralized and saw my situation as helpless. Once I faced that reality I set on path that would indelibly change the fabric of my existence. The second step was identifying which types of unhealthy foods I went to in those aforementioned situations which in my case was starches. What followed next was a complete cleanse in my day-to-day eating habits. I spent 2 weeks eating as a vegetarian in every meal and cutting all carbs/meats for the complete duration. During that period I dropped from 390 to 379 without any exercise at all. After the 2 week period I slowly reintroduced healthier forms of protein and carbs to sort of reprogram myself. I also, changed the amount of meals I was eating each day raising it from 3 to 5. I focused on keeping what I called "toxic food" from my diet all together such as but not limited to: fried food, fast food, deli meats, hamburgers and confection based sweets. My diet than consisted of grilled chicken, spinach, hummus, blueberries, kale and turkey to name just a few items off my refreshed list of approved products. What separates my routine from most is that I do not build in a set amount of "cheat days" per week. I instead splurge only when I go out eat with friends or on vacation but never with anything off the toxic list. Sometimes that means I have 4 or 5 cheat days a month but other times it could be 1 or 2. What is also worth mentioning that at this point I still have not started any sort of physical regiment or taken any sort of dietary supplements to aid my progress. Now, merely 1 year from the commencement of my new life style I had stood upon that scale again I but saw a number I had not seen since freshman year of college. I had lost 75 lbs and with what felt like little effort. However, I hit a point where I plateaued for about 3 months once reaching this milestone thus allowing yet more self doubt to creep in. I began the process of containing my carb in take to only morning hours and slightly lighten my portions at dinner. This new adjustment helped rejuvenate my progress seeing me drop under 300 lbs for the first time in 7 years at around June of 2013. I was determined to reach 270lbs by the second year anniversary and spent the summer devoting myself to that goal. It was at this point I finally obtained my first full time job since graduation. However, this success was also met with difficulty since my new position was in the food industry thus meaning I had to be surrounded by more temptation than I had before. Alas, that did not temper my resolve and I reached my goal with 2 weeks to spare. My most recent success would cause me to set a more ambitious goal. I decided to reach my target weight of 240lbs on my birthday that January. At this point I employeed some calisthenics to hasten my attempt but continued to avoid gym or supplements. I reached my goal weight 1 day early and got to celebrate two milestones in succession. I signed up for my first gym membership this past February and have not looked back since. I currently weigh 238lbs and can no longer be classified as Obese. I did all of this with pure dietary changes and extreme sacrifice. I am living proof that being healthy does not mean you have to be a gym rat and that simply eating properly will get you to were you want to be. Sure, I still have some ways to go as I begin putting on muscle/cutting a little more body fat. However, I made my life a whole lot easier by just changing habits and making sacrifices with my dietary choices. I believe that this kind of story can inspire people are currently struggling with addiction and help motivate them to make healthier choices all around.
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