It’s the New Year. That also means it’s resolution season. Gyms are busy, and people dedicate themselves to eating better and exercising more.
According to the University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, the number one resolution for 2014 is to lose weight and the fifth is to stay fit and healthy. I hope people are successful with their resolutions for better health!
I have a success story for you. My husband, Kelly, is one of the most inspirational people I know. He has drive, willpower, and is successful at anything he puts his mind to.
When I first saw him at the gym back in 2002, he was at his peak weight of 242 lbs. Now he fluctuates between 160 and 165 lbs.
Here’s his story and how he’s kept 80 pounds off for 11+ years.
Kelly was an active child and teenager, playing hockey and football growing up. After graduating high school and quitting organized sports, he moved to Banff, a small mountain town. He stopped exercising (other than snowboarding), ate fast food, and partied a lot.
When he moved back to Edmonton, he realized he needed an absolute overhaul. So in August of 2002, he completely cleaned up his diet and joined a gym.
Kelly started using the elliptical, then incorporated spin class.
“It got me out of the house and meeting people,” explains Kelly. “It was a social thing.”
Once he lost about 15 pounds he started jogging on the treadmill. At the beginning he could only go for 10 minutes at a time and slowly added more.
“When I first started running 30 minutes and up, I felt like I could run forever,” says Kelly. “I couldn’t believe that I was doing it.”
That was just a part of it. He ate home-cooked meals, took lunches to work, made better choices (like black coffee instead of coffee laced with high calorie creamers) and cut out junk food. Once a week he allowed himself to enjoy some less healthy choices without overdoing it.
About 10 months from the beginning of his journey Kelly ran his first race, a local 10km, and placed. From there he ran two half marathons in summer. He never looked back.
“It has to be a whole lifestyle change,” says Kelly. “You have to make a decision in your mind to change your entire life, and to enjoy it.”
For a lot of people, maintenance is the difficult part. They’ve put in the work and lost the weight, but they’re unsure of how to keep it off without depriving themselves.
For Kelly, it was about why he made the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle.
“I wanted to be healthy to do things, to run and bike and take part in activities I knew I liked,” says Kelly. “A lot of people want to look good in a mirror, or be happy with the number they see on a scale. That isn’t enough. You have to get to the source of why you want to lose weight. If you can figure that out, it should keep you motivated. That’s the determining factor in keeping it off. You have to approach it wholeheartedly.”
Looking at Kelly you wouldn’t guess he was 80 pounds heavier. You wouldn’t guess he started from scratch at the gym unable to run.
I think the best part of it is that he lost the weight completely naturally, no supplements, just healthy living.
In the 11 years since he’s ran multiple road races including marathons, completed three Ironman triathlons, and raced bikes. He loves the mountains and nearly any outdoor activity you can name.
“You have to change you, and you have to enjoy it.”
Kelly’s top tips
- Narrow down your goals and find your motivation.
- Look at it as a lifestyle change, not a diet or a resolution.
- Review your diet and make small changes at the start.
- Take lunches to work.
- Make exercise a social activity.
*This post simply states Kelly’s lifestyle change and what worked for him. It may not be right for you and shouldn’t be viewed as a guideline.
Have you drastically changed your lifestyle, or do you know anyone who has?
Do you have any tips to encourage those who are trying to lose weight and get healthier?