- Posted March 25, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments
Down 192 Pounds in 8 Months 100% Naturally
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
We have heard it all before, "I have been big my whole life." That resonates true with my story as well. In kindergarten I was over 100 pounds. By 5th grade, 180 and moving into 8th grade, 240 pounds. The last time I weighed in was at a doctors appointment in 2005, 330 pounds at 17 years old.
My weight caused many difficulties in my life, especially in high school. I was in a size 50 pants and could not fit in desks or sit at lunch tables.
In my junior year, years of bullying had taken its toll on me and to save myself from getting in trouble for fighting these bullies, I quit. I decided that quitting was my only option.
I remember coming home from school and telling my father, "I'm done. Im not going back to school. I just can't take it anymore. If it isn't the kids bullying me its the teachers making remarks about my weight. I just can't take it."
He said, "John, quitting is unlike anything else in life. It is only hard the first time you do it, after that it is habit and almost impossible to break."
These words ring in my ears to this day. I have since quit many jobs, quit many projects, and quit just about everything I ever started.
On May 6th 2013, my father, 53, died suddenly of a heart attack. He wasn't overweight, wasn't terribly out of shape. My world had collapsed.
In the 8 years from high school to now, I managed to obtain a good paying job. I met and married my wife and we had three kids. Life was decent aside form the weight. until that day.
I didn't know how to handle myself emotionally after my fathers passing. I didn't talk to anyone for about two months after the fact. I had to leave my job that I loved so much, because i just couldn't cope. I was devastated. I stayed at home with my three boys.
I went into the darkest depression I had ever felt. I ate to try to numb the pain. Adding this extra food on top of my already mind numbing food addiction I was in a downward spiral. I have estimated I ate between 5,000-6,000 calories a day without moving from a few rooms. I wasn't happy though, the food wasn't working how it had in the past.
I went to bed every night, the weight laying so heavy on my chest. I prayed that I would have an opportunity to make it right the next day and not die in my sleep. I noticed increased sleep apnea, a condition in where I completed stopped breathing for extended times while I was laying there. This not only is extremely dangerous and can cause death, it also makes you feel unrested in the mornings.
On July 18th 2013 I woke up and said, " I'm Done." I was to the point where I hurt so bad doing anything, that I felt I would be immobilized soon. I messaged my mother on Facebook and told her what I was going to do, but wanted her to keep it secret. I took my wife and kids to the Zoo that day. I did this because, I knew no matter what, I had to lose weight even if it killed me.
I went the whole day at the zoo. My feet hurt, my back hurt, my chest hurt. I hurt on the inside, but I knew it would be small steps. I had scheduled a doctors appointment for the following day.
I walked into the doctors office, the 100 feet to the office hurt my feet and legs. I thought to myself, "How am I going to do this?" But I made it inside. I looked around the office. Chairs, my old enemy. I had to sit in the bench style chairs because I was too large to sit in regular chairs.
the moment of truth. How bad had I let myself get? Surely not too bad. I step on the scale with the nurse to my side. My head hanging low because I am so embarrassed at the digital readout. 477 Pounds. I started crying step back off the scale and walked down the hallway to the room.
I had my vitals checked. Blood pressure, 178/115. Heavy breathing.
The nurse walked out. The doctor walked in. The moment of truth. "Why are you here today?"
"I am going to lose weight and lose it fast."
The doctor replied, "you will need a gastric bypass at your size, you have a BMI of over 60."
I stopped her, "You want bet? I am going to do this on my own and I am going to do it quick. I am not looking for your approval, I am looking for someone who will monitor my blood work and make sure I don't die doing it."
The doctor agreed and then I got blood work done.
My blood work came back that afternoon. My cholesterol was 230. I was also diagnosed with a severe fatty liver. I knew this was bad, but I was given today, and had a chance to change it.
Some sizes I started at:
I started walking. That is all i could do. I walked about a quarter mile than had to rest for about 5 minutes. I then would walk again. I did this until I hit 3 miles a day, which took a month of walking every single day. I Started eating in on a carb cycling plan inspired by Chris Powell. It worked well. I stayed very focused and woke up every morning thanking God I was given another chance to make it right.
I constantly challenged myself and in order to hold myself accountable I started a page for motivation and shared experiences. www.facebook.com/jwaltfitness
I wanted to inspire others to become a healthier version of themselves and what makes my page unique, is I respond to 100% of messages people have for me. I have ongoing relationships with people I inspire all free of charge and will continue to do so as long as there are enough hours in a day.
I work out now by running 10 miles a day, everyday. I lift weights and do body weight exercises daily.
I meet with the doctor every month to monitor my progress to make sure I am losing weight within a healthy limit and not damaging anything. I am doing great. Here were the losses.
Month 1 -50 Pounds.
Month 2- 80 Pounds total
Month 3- 96 Pounds total
Month 4- 113 Pounds total
Month 5-131 Pounds total
Month 6-160 Pounds total
Month 7-180 Pounds total
Month 8-192 Pound total
To date, I have lost 192 pounds. Here is my updated numbers.
Blood Pressure 115/70
Resting heart rate 65---Started at 110-115
Liver is now perfectly health and no longer fatty.
1 Mile Run- 8:02 Started at 30+ minutes walking it.
5k (3.1 Miles) Time 29:00 Started not able to walk that far in under 1.5 hours.
10k (6.2 miles) Time 1:06:13
I started bench pressing 160 pounds, now do 280+
I started not being able to bend over to pick up dead lift bar, now I dead lift 405 pounds
I started out, not being able to reach behind my head to hold bar on squats, now do 315+
I am not done, I plan to lose another 30-40 pounds, but it will be at a much slower pace because I am focusing on less cardio and more weight lifting.
Do to a specific plan I made with 50/50 cardio and lifting and specific hydration techniques, I have virtually zero loose skin.
I have done this for my health, I have since been told I was within 5 years of death. 5 years. Imagining my sons and wife without me, make every ounce of effort I put in worth it. I am currently looking for a career in which I can stay very active and be challenged in my new body. I currently am a motivational coach, but it is a volunteer position.
I invite anyone reading this to join me. whether you need to lose 5 pounds or 500. I know the missing link. We all know we need to eat healthy and exercise, I supply the motivation.
A big shout out to all my friends and family who have helped me along the way. You guys will never know how much you mean to me.
Love ya' dad. R.I.P.
Check out my Ebook, "The Success System: Weight Loss Edition" here : http://www.amazon.com/The-Success-System-Weight-Edition-ebook/dp/B00JJ660AA