Canadian journalist shares his amazing weight loss storyBY PHILL FELTHAM
“You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” These words from my late grandfather inspired me to make a lifelong commitment to fitness. It’s been 10 years since I made this commitment. It has changed my life. Want proof? Well, how about 100 pounds to start.
Early on, many people said I had a genetic disposition for weight gain. In high school, I gained a considerable amount of weight by eating everything in sight. At work, I took full advantage of the eat-anything-for-$1.65 employee discount, consuming Triple Whoppers with cheese, large fries and extra-thick strawberry milkshakes–sometimes two or three times in one day. At home, my favourite past time was sitting in front of the TV and snacking on a big bowl of popcorn drizzled with butter. Afterwards, the leftover butter made a terrific dipping sauce.
I had become a fat man–all 260 pounds of me. Inside, I heard the same aspirations as every man, but none more so than to have a girlfriend.
My confidence changed when my grandfather told me, “seize the day–you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” Those words stayed with me.
Four years later, after getting a fresh start living on my own, I decided to join a gym and lose weight. I was tired of all the so-called hot guys getting the girls while I was getting looks of disgust. On May 18, 1998, my new life began.
I monitored my progress using a weight scale. At first, I worked out with a combination of cardio and weight machines five days a week. Constant cardio made my pants baggier and my excess pounds meltaway. My diet also changed drastically: no more chips, no more extremely buttered popcorn, and fewer fatty foods.
The rewards were astounding. I loved looking at myself in pictures, and people from my past didn’t recognize me anymore. I didn’t even recognize myself.
When I finished college in Toronto, I moved into my parents place for a few months while I looked for work. During this time, I bumped into an old high school classmate at the bus stop. We were both in a state of shock. When I knew him, he was a scrawny kid who always made fat jokes. He had packed on a few pounds of muscle. As for me? I was half the man I used to be–in a good way. He didn’t believe it was me at first–until he took a hard look. This was further proof that I really was a changed man.
Fitness has been a solid commitment for 10 years straight–no off-season break ups or slip ups. Workouts and active activity are a part of my daily routine, four or five days a week. In January 2007, I started working as the Senior Editor at Maximum Fitness Magazine.
MaxFit has been a blessing because I thought I knew everything about being healthy; what I learned was that, while I had lost weight (through a drastically reduced diet), there was a lot more to living a healthy and fit lifestyle.
Now, I have a home gym where I work out. Thanks to my peers, professional fitness experts and the motivational tips within the pages of this magazine, I’ve been able to improve my workout techniques and take control of my nutrition, which was the missing ingredient.
Losing weight brought about an improvement in my confidence and looks. My fit lifestyle will last for the rest of my days. When I had the excess weight, I could barely walk; now, without the weight I feel like I can fly. It turns out I really did have everything to gain and nothing to lose after all.
Originally featured in Maximum Fitness #13, July/August 2008
The information in this article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice or attention of any healthcare professional. Consult your physician before beginning or making changes to your diet, nutritional, supplement, or exercise program.