Timothy Ditched the Comfort Food and Lost 160 Pounds
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What was the turning point that prompted you to lose weight?
I had several scares that caused me to consider changing my lifestyle, though none led to an actual change. For example, I was hunting in the hills of West Virginia when all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe, and my body began to go numb. All I could think about was that if I died, I would never see my wife and kids again. I vowed I would make a change. But that didn’t last long. That very night I ordered fried cheese sticks, fried jalapenos, French fries, and wings from my favorite restaurant.
My turning point was on July 22, 2013. The night before, I was sitting at the dinner table with my family. Like any other day, I was eating more than my fair share of pizza. I asked my brother-in-law why he was not eating pizza with us, and he told me about a new low-carb diet he was trying. I realized that I should also be doing something about my weight, but I thought there was no way I could ever cut out the foods I liked most, like potatoes, garlic bread, burritos, pizza, cookies, and .
The next morning I had a routine checkup at the doctor's office — which had become a common thing due to all the medication I was on — and I weighed in at 360 pounds! Something clicked. It was at that moment that I decided to take my life back.
How did you get started?
I began by simply cutting down on the amount of food I ate and limiting carbs like pasta, bread, and potatoes. I was able to find healthy replacements for the foods I no longer ate; for example, I found that cauliflower could replace many higher-carb foods. I also discovered that Atkins makes many shakes and bars that filled my cravings for candy and chips. Morning trips to McDonald’s or Burger King were replaced by a cafe mocha or chocolate shake, and I was able to find many Atkins recipes that were very similar to recipes I had been using.
I started to walk for about 10 minutes a day. I continued to increase my physical activity and added in some strength-training exercises. Eventually, I was able to run for significantly longer distances and periods of time. I lost 60 pounds in the first 60 days.
What was your biggest challenge?
Avoiding what I call “triggers.” These are things that I usually associate with food, such as birthday parties, holidays, sporting events, and other family gatherings.
Were there any times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?
Not really — The success I was having was far greater than anything I was missing.
If you reached a weight-loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?
I reached several plateaus as I tried to reintroduce some of the foods I had cut out, and tried to balance calorie intake versus output. To break out of a rut, I increased cardio training or cut back on certain foods.
What’s your current exercise routine?
I now run between 6 1/2 and 10 miles a day. On weekdays I run 6 1/2 miles in the morning and in the afternoon. One day I may do bench work and target my abs, biceps, and triceps; another day I might do pull ups and chin ups, and work my abs, back, and shoulders. Sunday is either my rest day, or I sometimes ride my bike or jog for fun. I also try to ride my bike several times a week, including riding my bike with my son to football practice in the summer.
What’s your daily diet look like?
For breakfast I have a banana or peach protein shake, especially on days when I'm going on a longer run. For a mid-morning snack I'll have a protein bar, or yogurt and an apple. Lunch is usually some kind of protein, like tuna or chicken and celery or other veggies. For an , I will have a protein bar or fruit and veggies. Dinner is meat and vegetables, usually with a salad.
What’s your favorite healthy snack and meal?
My favorite snack is carrots and peanut butter, or yogurt and apples. My favorite meal is .
How has losing weight changed your life?
I am the father, husband, teacher, coach, and man I have always wanted to be. I am happier and full of life. I believe that there isn’t anything I can't do.
Do you have any advice for those trying to lose weight?
Stick with it, you can do it. Start with small, measurable, attainable goals.
Follow Timothy's weight-loss journeyon Facebook.
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