Family Status: Single
Occupation: Military Credentialing Specialist
Location: Parkside, Pennsylvania
Starting Weight: 333 pounds
Current Weight: 225 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 108 pounds and went from a 46″ to a 36/38″ waist!
Michael’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I started becoming unhappy with my weight when I was in high school. I could see I was bigger than most of the people I associated with and my clothes began getting smaller and smaller on me.
What made you decide to lose weight?
The moment that made me lose weight was when my mother and I were shopping for interview clothes the summer going into my senior year of college. One of the workers measured my waist and he said it was 46 inches. He even had trouble getting the measuring tape around my body. I was completely embarrassed. I knew I had to change.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
One of the most important changes I made was to completely cut out sugary drinks and sugary foods. I would always have a soda with dinner or dessert after dinner so cutting those two out completely took a lot of mental strength. Another important change was to stop eating after 10 o’clock at night. I would always eat late when I was bigger and those extra calories sitting on your stomach as you are going to bed was a huge killer.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
The most challenging part about losing weight was completely cutting out those sugary sodas and foods. I would always participate in sports with my friends growing up but I would drink too much iced tea and soda and eat too many sweats. At my biggest, I would consume over a gallon of iced tea a day! I would drink right out of the carton most of the time and I would eat multiple bags of gummy bears and peanut butter cups. Cutting these out was the hardest thing for me during my time losing weight.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I began seeing results after about 2 months. I would see pictures of myself and I would say, “Is that really me?” My clothes began getting looser too.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me about 10 months to reach my current weight. I began losing weight at the end of June 2011 and in April 2012 I reached my goal weight of 225 pounds.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I have stayed between 225-230 pounds since April, which is about 6 months. I have kept my weight off by continuing to watch my weight and working out about 4-5 times a week. I allow myself to eat what I like for the most part but in smaller proportions. I do not eat the large fry with a double cheeseburger, a large soda, and a piece of cake. I only eat a single patty burger with a healthy side like vegetables and a glass of water. Water is your best friend. I drink about 4 liters a day. If you can control what you drink and limit it to just water, weight will FLY off.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
My life has changed in so many ways. The biggest change is my health. I do not have high blood pressure anymore, my chronic back pain is gone, and my feet no longer hurt when I wake up in the morning. I am able to shop at normal stores in the mall instead of having to buy all of my clothes online. I am also more confident in the social aspect of life as well. I have been getting more attention from ladies then I have ever had. Life is just so much better!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
I would go on ShapeFit.com and read other people’s weight loss success stories. They were inspirational and helped motivate me to continue to lose weight when thoughts of giving up came into my head.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
My advice for the world is to never give up. I was obese for my entire life. I never thought I would change. I always thought I would be that fat kid. But you can change. You can lose weight. Remember, everything is mental. Everything is in your head. Just fight through temptations and they will eventually go away. When you get into your healthy lifestyle routine, everything will be second nature to you. You can do it. Do not quit! It will be the best decision you will ever make! I feel like a completely different person. My body is pain free and I am full of energy! I went from a 3X shirt to a L/XL shirt and a 46 pant to a 36/38 pant. I enjoy looking at myself in the mirror and seeing my new self in pictures because it’s something I have worked so hard for and I can see the results. Do you choose to simply know the path, or do you choose to walk it?
Michael’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Drink water! Lots of water!
Weight loss tip #2:
Cut out sugary drinks for good and limit your intake of sugary sweets.
Weight loss tip #3:
Exercise at least 4-5 times a week for 2 hours a day.
Weight loss tip #4:
Eat a lot of 100% whole grains and fruits. Lots of fruit!
Weight loss tip #5:
No one can completely give up unhealthy foods forever. Choosing smaller portions is the key!
Michael’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
I have never been a morning person. When I wake up in the morning, I drink a large glass of fat-free milk with a banana, a bowl of grapes, and an apple.
I eat a very healthy lunch that consists of fruit, a glass of water and fat-free milk, a ham or turkey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread, and a handful of unsalted peanuts. I also substitute unsalted pretzels in place of peanuts.
I eat a very healthy dinner as well. This includes healthy sandwiches at Subway like the Black Forest Ham and I also eat Chinese food (meals are steamed). I always drink 1-2 glasses of water with my meal.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
My snacks are usually always fruit. Whenever I’m hungry or have a craving for sweets, I get a bowl of grapes and chow down. I also eat peanut butter and 100% whole wheat crackers or apples and peanut butter.
Michael’s Weight Loss Workouts!
Most of my weight loss was focused on doing cardiovascular workouts. But when I did weight training, I would do about 30 minutes every 3 days working on my biceps, triceps, shoulders, and chest (3 times a week). I would also do 3 sets of 15 crunches and 3 sets of 15 oblique crunches.
I lost the weight by focusing mainly on cardio exercise. For the first 3 months, I worked out 5-6 times a week, twice a day by walking, jogging or running 2.5 miles at the local track, running up and down bleachers 8 times, and running up and down hills 10 times. At the gym, I would run on the treadmill for 20 minutes, use the elliptical machine for 20 minutes and ride the bike for 20 minutes. I would then play about 2 hours worth of pickup basketball.