Men's Health Week: Shaun's Story

I started my weight loss journey to ensure I would be around for my kids long term. I was experiencing some major health issues when I decided to make some major lifestyle changes. Previously I had never been able to stick to a diet and my weight was like a yo-yo, losing 10 pounds and gaining 15 back.

The ultimate decision to lose weight came when I needed a new pair of pants. I went to the big and tall store to look for a pair of jeans, selecting a pair that looked like they would fit I headed to the change room, to my disappointment they did not. I asked for help and was given a different size, they were a little snug, but would do the trick. When I took them off to buy them, I looked at the tag, waist size 50 inches - my heart sank. I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered, why the hell had I let myself get to this point?

My kids and wife were waiting outside the dressing room as I came out, they knew something wrong by the expression on my face. As I looked at them I realized if I did not do something, I would not be around much longer. On the way home that day, I began researching diets, knowing I needed to find something that I could stick to for the long term and that would work for me. I looked at a few diets that I thought could work; Paleo, CICO and Keto, Keto seemed like something I could stick to, eliminating carbs seemed doable for me.

As I began my journey, I wanted to track my weight loss. I had not been on a scale for a while, stepping onto the scale and seeing I was 345 pounds motivated me. I wanted to ensure I would stay on target with my new diet and way of life. I was tired of having back and knee pain while walking, I wanted to be able to get out and play sports with my kids which at this point was almost impossible. I was determined to change for myself and for my family.

As the weight started to come off my ability to be active increased. I began by walking 10,000 steps a day, which led to jogging a few blocks at a time and then became running a few km’s. Becoming active prompted me to set a goal to work towards. I thought about what the old Shaun might deem to be impossible, Triathlon came to mind, so, I found a local triathlon and signed up. I purchased a road bike and began training for my triathlon. I had a goal in mind for the time of my triathlon, I wanted to weigh 250 pounds, at the time of the race. Race day came and I was 225 pounds and felt great. I completed the triathlon, I didn’t break any records, but the fact that I was able to finish the swim, run and bike when eight months prior I had a hard time walking any distance at all, was amazing.

After completing the triathlon, I continued my weight loss journey, I started going to the gym and working out. I lifted weights five days a week and continued running and biking during the warmer months. In less than a year I had lost 150 pounds and I was keeping it off. There were a few bumps in the road; some months I did not lose any weight, some months I even gained a bit of weight, but staying active and eating healthy has kept my weight in check and made my 41st year one of the healthiest ever for me.

If I were going to give advice to anyone out there looking to lose weight - find your reason why. That reason will help you through the cravings, help you get back on the horse when you do have a cheat meal. This is a marathon and not a race. Just keep consistent.

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