The day my wife, Jess, gave birth to our third daughter, Mackenzie, was the day I found my reason for getting serious about my health. In a flash, I saw my daughters getting married and walking down the aisle — only I wasn’t there. Because I was gone, dead. At the time, I was 687 pounds.
I had found my “why.” I needed to lose weight and get healthy to be there for my daughters and wife.
Physicians would often tell me to just eat less and move more. I was eating less, and eating the right things, yet I wasn’t experiencing significant weight loss. I was also battling a 50-pound lymphedema growth on my right leg. I kept asking myself, “How do I burn calories when my joints hurt so badly that I can barely stand up for more than 15 to 20 seconds at a time?”
Over the course of 10 years, I had reached out to a total of 35 trainers, only to be turned away each time. But when Kenzie was born, despite my discouragement, I knew I had to try one more time. I came home from meeting my little daughter for the first time, and I called a gym three miles from my house.
I was honest. I told them I didn’t have much money, but I really needed help, and that I was committed to losing weight. The receptionist at the gym truly listened to me. She said, “I just might have the right trainer for you.”
She took my number, and a short time later, a fitness and nutrition trainer named Brandon Glore called me. We talked for half an hour, and I could tell that he meant what he said. We made an appointment for him to come to my house.
Within one year of working with him, I lost over 110 pounds and 65 total body inches. I’ve documented my weight loss journey online to make myself publicly accountable. I’ve done as Brandon has instructed me to do and I’ve adopted his motto: “Small tweaks lead to great peaks.”
I also found two caring physicians who continue to provide me the kind of medical care that most people with excellent insurance take for granted. I have become a much stronger person mentally, emotionally, and physically. I’ve come to understand that my health journey isn’t just about losing weight, but it’s also about changing myself on the inside.
If you’re reading this and you’re overweight or living with obesity, consider this: No one wants to lose weight more than a person with obesity. You’ve got this. But you have to get started. That’s the hardest part.
First, acknowledge why you’re in this situation. Hold yourself accountable for your actions, but don’t let your obesity define who you are. Make your first victory a non-scale victory. Give up sugary drinks, candy, or fast food for 21 days.
Prove to yourself you’re mentally ready for this weight loss and improved health journey. It sounds hard, but this step is very important.
Second, see a doctor. You may be overweight in part because of a medical issue — maybe one that you don’t know about. Find a doctor who sincerely wants to help you and will perform a physical that includes blood work. Tell them your intentions to work out and lose weight.
Third, find a trainer and nutrition expert who will work with you, no matter your current situation. Find someone who will not only help you lose weight, but someone who’ll help you reach non-scale goals like walking across the room unaided, getting out socially, or driving a car in a healthy and safe way.
Lastly, realize that if you’re living with obesity, you likely cannot do this alone — and that’s OK. You’ll need support! You’ll need people to be there when you need them and to provide you with unconditional love and acceptance.
I almost gave up so many times. I realized I didn’t have anybody to help me on this difficult journey. So, I decided that I had to be the person I needed when I was at my darkest, most defeated moments with obesity. Nobody should have to go through this alone.
Support and acceptance are the first steps toward a healthy lifestyle, and people start to heal the moment they feel heard. I want you to know that you’re being heard and there is help. You aren’t weak because you ask for help. You are actually quite brave for doing it!
You can do this. Just get started.
After overcoming substance addiction and being sexually abused as a child, Sean replaced drug addiction with fast food addiction. This lifestyle led to dramatic weight gain and, subsequently, a severe lymphedema mass on Sean’s right leg. Sean found his trainer, Brandon Glore, went public with his weight loss journey, and became an internet and news media sensation. Determined to advocate for and help people with obesity lose weight, Sean founded The Obesity Revolution. Sean can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.