Family Status: Single
Occupation: Sales Representative
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Starting Weight: 406 pounds
Current Weight: 225 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: I’ve lost 181 pounds and 20 inches going from a 56″ waist to a 36″ waist!
Vernon’s Weight Loss Interview!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I have been plus sized for as long as I can remember. I was overweight as a child and stayed that way throughout my teens, 20s and until I was 32. I made some attempts at weight loss but I would eventually fall back into my old habits. My weight ranged between 360 to 380 pounds and then I went all the way up to over 400 pounds!
What made you decide to lose weight?
My “this is it” moment happened about three years ago in September of 2012. I was at home and I felt a numbness in left my hand. I brushed it off, as I’d brushed off other aches and pains, and said to myself, “I just was on the computer too long.” But, it was starting to happen when I was doing basic things like eating a meal. I went online and looked up possibilities about why this was happening. I found an article on diabetic neuropathy and carpal tunnel. This made me fear I was on the verge of becoming a diabetic. So, I went to my doctor and he let me know my weight was 406 pounds and my blood pressure was dangerously high. He also said it was a strong possibility the numbness in my hand was a direct result of my weight. I decided right then to do something about my weight and asked my doctor what I should do?
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
My doctor suggested a book called “The 17 Day Diet” by Dr. Mike Moreno, and told me to get to work. That was the catalyst for my change. From that book I learned how to eat clean and healthy, and do it without giving into cravings or having to starve myself. I also started to workout. I started out slowly by doing 20-30 minutes on the treadmill at level two. I started to notice a change in the scale from just dieting and doing 30 minutes of running. So, little by little, I started to increase my workouts until I was able to do hard cardio like the treadmill and the elliptical for one hour clips at the highest level my body could handle.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
I would say the most challenging thing I had to deal with concerning my weight loss was forcing my body to do something it had never experienced before with all of the exercise. For the first two months or so, my body was telling me to quit all the time. But I just pressed through it.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I started to see real results about two months into my journey when my clothes started to fit looser. That happened in December of 2012.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
I started my weight loss journey officially in October of 2012 and reached my goal weight of 230 pounds in December of 2013. So, it was a 14 month battle.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
Since December of 2013, when I reached my goal, my weight has stayed consistently the same. So, I have maintained my weight loss for 16 months, and that isn’t changing ever!
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
My motivation comes from a number of sources. I want to settle down one day and have a family, and being in my mid 30s, I want to make sure I live long enough to see them grow up. I feel I wouldn’t have this opportunity if I stayed at my old weight and ended up falling prey to diabetes, or asthma. I also have three nieces and a godson. I want to see them graduate college and I want to be the wise old man in their lives. Plus, I like the fact that I can motivate others to make positive changes in their lives, which I’ve been told I do.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
My life has become better for it. I am able to do a lot more family related functions, and I can keep up with my nieces and godson now. I sleep a lot better at night, and my snoring has decreased according to my friends and family. I feel like I see more of the world now and I’m not such a hermit. I also see a brighter future.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
It may sound cliche, but believe in yourself and your abilities. It’s never too early or too late to change your lifestyle and become a better person. Also, do it for yourself and do it for those you care so much about in your life. My motivation came from myself and the desire to see the next generation grow up.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
My goals were already reached but ShapeFit’s weight loss stories of other people like myself keep me motivated to stay on track with my program.
Vernon’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Eat healthy and eat clean.
Weight loss tip #2:
Don’t starve yourself! Eat the biggest portion that still keeps you within your clean eating plan.
Weight loss tip #3:
Get to the gym often and build yourself up piece by piece with different exercises and workouts.
Weight loss tip #4:
Get some cardio in daily if possible. When I was the most consistent, I was in the gym seven days a week. Now, it’s about five or six days per week.
Weight loss tip #5:
Take pictures and show yourself the progress you’re making and then eventually show others your hard work. Social media is perfect for that. The world can keep you on the right track no matter what type of feedback you receive.
Vernon’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Depending on the day, my breakfast consists of fruit and fat-free yogurt. Some days it will be egg whites, eggs or a combination of both. There are other days when my breakfast will consist of smoothies prepared with fruit and almond milk. Also, there will be days I eat fat-free cottage cheese with fruit.
Almost always some variation of salad, with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette.
Always a vegetable or salad with fish, chicken or a turkey entree.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Usually a low sugar fruit or kefir.
I don’t currently take any supplements.
Vernon’s Weight Loss Workouts!
My weight training is broken down into two sets of 15 repetitions on each weight machine. This consists of one day for arms and core, one day for legs and one day for my back and chest.
Anywhere from 60-90 minutes of cardiovascular workouts consisting mainly of the elliptical machine and sometimes the treadmill. I also go out for a three-mile walk or jog in addition to my gym cardio if the weather permits.