Today I’m sharing a personal story with all of you on how I lost 100 pounds and turned my life around.
This post is REALLY about one thing; inspiration. If it can inspire just one person to take a step in the right direction, then it will have been a mission accomplished. So where do I begin? Well, how about the fact that I used to weigh just over 250 pounds.
Yup, hard to believe, huh? Almost every person I’ve met in my “new life” as a thin, athletic-build guy, has told me that there’s no way on earth that I could have weighed that much. They just couldn’t believe that it was possible and they’d ask me constantly how I lost 100 pounds! But it’s true, I weighed in at 252, and that was my all time high. I was 17 years old at the time, by the way.
The backstory to how I lost 100 pounds… is that I had 100 pounds to lose!
I remember back to having sprained my ankle, gone to see the doctor and being given crutches and orders to remain home-bound for about a week. At first I was like, SWEET! A week off from school and I get to stay home and chill all day!
But day one came, and I remember sitting on the couch, watching TV and physically not being able to move.
It wasn’t because of my foot, unfortunately. It was because of my size. No 17 year old should ever have to weigh over 250 lbs. I don’t care how tall you are. No ADULT should ever have to weigh that much, I don’t care how much you bulk up at the gym. The bottom line was that my BMI was way above average and I was unhealthy.
This was clear, given that I could barely get up from the couch. SO. It was day one of seven for me with these crutches, I was miserable, immobile, in pain and I remember wanting only one thing; to be able to run.
I told myself that I was going to turn my life around, by running.
Looking back, I guess it really did come down to “wanting what I couldn’t have”. I mean, I couldn’t move and had a broken foot, and so of course I wanted the opposite; to be able to run. The only problem; I had never run a day in my life, other than the usual gym class warm-ups, and even then I found ways around it.
But I knew that as soon as I would regain functionality in my foot, that things would change. That I would change. I would start to run. I would TEACH myself to run.
So I did. And I’ll share with you that the first time I tried, it was not pretty. I obviously over-exerted myself, tried to do too much at once, and after five minutes, I vomited. Sounds gross, I know, but it’s honest.
I remember thinking to myself “if I can’t even run for five minutes without vomiting, how was I ever going to lose weight? Or even run again?”
But I got out there. And I pushed myself. Each time, a LITTLE harder than the last. It was all about incremental progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And that was something that I actually remember repeating to myself. So on my next run, I would push myself to last six (6) minutes. And then seven (7). And then eight (8). And eventually 10 and 15. And by the time I reached 15 minutes of continuous running, I knew that it would be possible. Possible for me to change my life. Does that sound crazy?
When I set out though, I NEVER ever started with the intention of losing 100 pounds! I never said to myself that I had to lose X number of lbs. I mean I KNEW I had to lose weight and I knew that by running, I would. And I did. My ultimate achievement, then, was being able to run for a straight hour. Once I was able to do that, I felt like an athlete.
I remember making rookie mistakes like running with “training” shoes, which gave me blisters. But I also remember running in the spring, summer, fall, and even winter. I was determined. I had no limits and I could tolerate all pain. I would run seven days a week at times. And all the while this was happening, I experienced the ultimate physical transformation.
The fat literally melted off my body. It melted off my thighs, my sides, my abs, even my chest.
And yes, I developed abs. I would do crunches, sit ups, home workouts, ball-exercises and the results just started coming more easily to me. The more I ran, the easier it was for me to keep fat off, and focus on sculpting my body. I developed leg muscles, calves, quads – you name it. I had runners legs and I went from feeling embarrassed of my body to loving it. Crazy to think of how I lost 100 pounds, having gone from 252, down to 152, all from running with no prior experience, huh? But this is my story. I no longer weigh in at 150 by the way. That was my all time low. Now I clock in at a healthy 165-175 depending on how much I eat for breakfast 😉
I shared with you that my ultimate goal back then was to work myself up to an hour of running, and I achieved that. After growing into adulthood, and running for pleasure (not for weight loss) I set myself a new goal: running a full 42.2km (26 miles) marathon. And I achieved that, too. I ran the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and I plan to run in more of them, at some point. Maybe three full marathons before 30 years old – think that’s reasonable?
This is my personal story on how I lost 100 pounds, but I definitely want to hear yours! Whether it’s weight loss, transformation or overall lifestyle changes, share them with me in the comments section below!
Like I said earlier, I’m sharing this only to inspire you. And I hope it does! Keep your eyes peeled for another “fitness inspiration” post next week with an EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT that I’m truly looking forward to sharing with you.
For now, if you are where I was in life, and you’re looking to start somewhere, my advice is to start small. BUT START! No one can do it for you, and no one should do it for you. It’s completely on you!
PS – the feature photo is a shot of me running in the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon! Somewhat out of breath – but determined!
Nick Joly | Inspired by Nick