Family Status: Single
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Starting Weight: 410 pounds
Current Weight: 262 pounds
Current Waist Size: 34″
Otis’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I initially lost 172 pounds after my weight loss journey and weighed in at 238 pounds. I then further transformed my body by adding weight training to my regimen and gained 24 pounds of lean muscle mass.
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
It seems like so long ago that I’ve been called “Fat Boy”. I dare not say that it was my fondest memory of my past, but it helped mold me into the man that I am today. I was always considered a “big boy” throughout my younger years and my weight progressively increased as the years moved forward. I honestly didn’t know that I was obese as a child, as a vast majority of my family and friends were also on the heavier side. I always believed that smaller children were underfed or lacked in one capacity or another, never realizing that I was struggling with obesity.
Although I was large like most children around me, I found myself outside with friends most days playing football. One day I was approached by a coach from my local high school. He figured he could utilize my size within the team. I found this to be a reason to get bigger since being bigger always seemed to be better when playing football. I found that the more space that I could take up, the more of an asset I was to my team. So throughout high school I continued to grow and upon arriving at football camp for college I weighed in at about 386 pounds.
I loved the game of football and although this seemed to be my dream, my weight hindered every other aspect of my life. Standing at 6’9″, it was already a task to find clothes, but looking for a 5X shirt and a 44×36 pair of pants was truly a task. I found comfort in a group of friends that played football who were huge guys just like myself.
What made you decide to lose weight?
It wasn’t until one of my close friends passed away that I realized that my size was a hindrance. He was a bit shorter than me and was nearly 500 pounds. When he passed away from a massive heart attack, I never fathomed that I too could possibly die due to my weight. I believed that we were far too young to die from a heart attack. It was at that point that I made a commitment to myself to change. Shortly after his passing, I found out that I was going to be a father, which transitioned my weight loss journey into warp speed. I vowed to lose weight so I could enjoy and embrace every moment with my child. I dare not leave my daughter fatherless because I was too lazy to make an effort to lose weight. So the journey began and I’ve never looked back. I started out at 410 pounds and ended up being a 245 pound lean and cut machine!
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
The first step for me was cardio. I always knew that diet and exercise was truly what I needed to do. Although I was in the gym, I never really took it seriously. I began going to the gym twice a day doing an hour of cardio in the morning and also in the evening. I began a diet and went by the motto “If I can’t grill it or bake it, I won’t eat it!” I replaced all of my unhealthy snacks with fresh fruits and veggies. I will be truly honest and say that I had food withdrawals. I’m unsure if that is a real thing, but for me the cravings for sweets and fried foods that I used to love so much were tormenting me!
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
The emotional strain and the desire to quit as the results never seemed to come in the beginning.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I believed that everyone began to see results faster than I did, and I believe that even more today. We see ourselves daily and don’t really see the changes as others do. I would say it took at least 8 months for me to see results and then it was fast paced from there.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took years of hard work, day in and day out. At some point it does turn into an obsession and I strive daily to mold my body into the masterpiece I desire.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I’ve maintained my weight for about 4 years. The most important factor is knowing your own body and your own diet. Knowing just how much give and take you desire is key, as well as how you want your body to look. At some point I may want to add more muscle mass while during the summer I will want a leaner look. Now I have my body down to a science!
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
I began reading every article that dealt with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his legacy while constantly remembering the word “CONQUER”! I knew that if I could do this, I could do anything. I remembered a statement from college that always stuck with me which is “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” (Aristotle). For me to achieve greatness there was no giving up. This wasn’t an act, yet a commitment to myself to be the best man that I can be. I was my own worst critic and my own worst enemy. Even today I am not satisfied, as I chase perfection and greatness.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
Every aspect that you can think of changes as I believe that your mindset changes. The way you view life and the way that people view you is key. At times you won’t do certain things or go certain places due to your weight and embarrassment. However, once your self-esteem rises and you become more sure of yourself, you’ll indulge in a new lifestyle. It truly is a new beginning.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Stick to it and don’t give up! Understand that things won’t happen overnight but they will surely happen.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
Reading articles on ShapeFit.com and finding a better understanding that there are people just like me who have made the strides that I often desired but was afraid to do.
Otis’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Don’t give up!
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Grill and bake your foods! Eat lots of fruits and veggies.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Drink water! All day, every day.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Love your body every step of the way.
Otis’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Egg whites, turkey bacon and oatmeal.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
Two 6 ounce chicken breasts, brown rice and broccoli.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
Salmon, sweet potatoes and brown rice.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
Strawberries, pineapples, cashews.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I take a basic pre-workout supplement.
Otis’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I have a strict weight training regimen where I train 5 days a week and do at least 30 minutes of cardio each day.
What do you do for cardio training?
I like doing jump rope, suicides and wind sprints for my cardio.