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Runner Purposefully Sacrifices First-Place Win To Help Carry Rival To Finish Line

By | exercise, Food for thought, goalcast originals, inspiring, inspiring news, sportsmanship, stories, success, uplifting news

One runner shocked sports purists when he sacrificed sweet victory for sportsmanship, sending a powerful message about what matters most.

In it to win it

Seasoned marathoner Rob Lopez entered the famed 10-kilometer TD Bank Beach to Beacon race in Maine in peak form and with his eye on the prize.

However, from the starter’s gate, he knew that there was one person he’d have to beat: young up-and-comer Jesse Orach.

“Jesse had a very good spring track year at UMaine. He was the favorite, and I was maybe his best competition,”

-Jesse Orach

The stakes couldn’t have been higher: Whoever finished ahead of the other would win the prized men’s Maine-resident division of the race and a cool $1,000.

With a cushy lead and approaching the finish, it looked like Orach would cruise to victory. Lopez thought so too.

“The first mile, I stuck with him,” Gomez says. “Then he pulled away. As a runner, I’ve done enough of these to know that it wasn’t going to be my day.”

Until it was.

That’s because just strides from the finish line, disaster struck Orach.

“But I was so focused on getting to the finish line I stumbled forward for maybe another 10 feet and fell down again,” he recalled.

Then the unforgettable happened.

He sacrificed victory

“It kind of seemed like it was over for me,” said Orach, “Then, I felt someone pick me up.”

Incredibly, that someone was none other than Lopez.

Turning the final corner, he spotted a collapsed Orach, picked him up and propelled him across the finish line to first place. With that, he passed up both the win and the prize money.

A winner for the right reasons

Explaining to the Press Herald, Lopez said that in that moment, camaraderie overtook competition.

“It wasn’t a calculated decision,” he said. “It wasn’t because I’m some sort of hero or some sort of special person, because I’m not. As runners, we understand, we pick each other up and help each other.”

Orach, like everyone else, was awestruck.

“I’m speechless with what he did. Him and I were kind of vying for that number one Mainer spot, and for him to give that up for me is pretty remarkable.”

– Jesse Orach

Word of Lopez’s gesture blew up Facebook, with almost 600 shares and 6,000 likes/loves along with hundreds of gushing comments.

“Now, that is sportsmanship at its finest. Thank you kind sir for being so loving for your fellow runner,” wrote one.

Added another: “Ok I’m in tears. Thank you Robert for showing all of us what true athletes, humans are capable of!”

Elevating others is what it’s really about

It almost seemed like Lopez was reading the script to the wrong movie. Most would have thought that this film would end with Lopez victorious, celebrating slow motion with the glory and money.

Instead, Lopez did what real heroes do: Elevating others and sharing the spotlight. That’s a role we can all strive for.

More uplifting stories

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/08/24/marathon-runner-rob-lopez-jesse-orach-carries-rival-finish-line/

Woman Abruptly Dumped By Fiancé For Being Overweight Gets Ultimate Revenge

By | exercise, Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Stories, Motivation, stories, success stories, uplifting news, weight loss

One woman went from being obese to pursuing her dreams of becoming a beauty queen — and she has a shallow ex to thank for it all.

Couch sulking

Several years ago, life was a drag for Jen Atkin of Grimbsy, North East Lincolnshire. 

A self-confessed “couch potato,” Atkin tells The Sun that she would spend most of the time with her fiancé, sluggish and overeating.

“At weekends, we’d turn into virtual recluses sitting on the sofa in our pajamas eating takeaways.”

However, as her weight ballooned to 240 pounds, her fiancé shocked her by ending the relationship.

To cope with the pain, Atkin increasingly turned to her fridge.

“The day he left I thought my world had ended – I cried for weeks and used food as my comfort”

– Jen Atkin

From couch to crown

Then, one day, Atkin decided to end her pity-party and get to work.

She started walking regularly, going to the gym and being vigilant about what she ate. 

As the pounds dropped, her confidence soared. Atkin quickly gained momentum and over two years, she shed 112 pounds – half of her body weight!

Eventually, she built up the courage and charisma to enter the Miss Great Britain competition, the UK’s longest-running pageant. 

The event consists of several rounds including fashion wear, evening wear, and swimsuit and culminates in a panel interview. 

After finishing the contest as a runner-up, Atkin put her pageant pursuits aside to focus on herself until her name was put forward again.

She ended up winning Britain’s biggest beauty crown over 59 other contestants in the national final in Leicester.

For Atkin, the victory meant far more than a crown.

“Winning Miss Great Britain marks the end of a long and difficult, but also amazing, journey”

– Jen Atkin

There’s beauty in the struggle

Since winning the pageant, Atkin has only picked up the pace.

She launched a country singing career, with her debut single hitting No. 2 in the ReverbNation charts.

She’s also using her status to push for “clearer and easier” labeling on food to warn people if an item is unhealthy, which she says will “make it easier for everyone.”

Atkins now reflects on her difficult journey with gratitude.

“I was devastated but it ended up being the best thing that’s happened to me”

– Jen Atkin

While Atkin had painful experiences, they ultimately revealed what she’s truly capable of and her true worth. She used them to take her life in an amazing direction that even she didn’t know was possible.

Today, you can bet her shallow ex is probably sore from kicking himself.

The next time you feel like giving up, remember that your best is yet to come.

More uplifting news:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/04/06/jen-atkin-dumped-overweight-winner-miss-great-britain/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jen-atkin-dumped-overweight-winner-miss-great-britain

She Lost Over 100 Pounds by Making This Promise to Herself

By | diet and nutrition, exercise, Food for thought, motivating, stories, success stories, weekly column

Like many, Kristina Schneider struggled with her weight throughout college, but after attending her 10-year high school reunion, she decided she had enough.

“It became apparent to me that the typical attempts at dieting resulted in a lot of yo-yo dieting and that was doing more damage on my body,” Schneider told POPSUGAR.

She played basketball in high school, which kept her in shape but once she went off to college, things started to change. During that time, she gained 100 pounds.

Her life-changing promise

Throughout her 20s and after graduating college, Schneider began making efforts to try and lose weight. 

She tried a number of diets, some of them more drastic than others, but she always found herself falling back on old habits, and gaining the weight she’d lost, back again.

But her 2009 high school reunion was an eye-opener and got her thinking about her health more seriously.

“I felt horrible and was completely embarrassed and ashamed. It was then that I knew I needed to do something and that this something had to be permanent,” she remembered.

How she made good on that promise

After many attempts at losing weight, Schneider started WW in 2008, and while she was able to lose some weight, she eventually gained it all back.

“My journey was certainly never linear. It’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs,” said Schneider.

Cutting out foods from her diet wasn’t working for her: “I would always find myself missing them and then binging hardcore on them, which would spiral me in the other direction.”

But then in 2009, she decided to give WW another try and this time, it stuck.

“What I loved about WW was that it did not feel like a diet to me unlike many of the other programs I had tried. It really taught me how to find that healthy balance you hear about.”

She turned back time by getting active

Kristen Schneider transformed herself-- and her life-- by making good on a promise to herself. She changed her habits to get the life she wanted.

At first, she didn’t work out at all — she decided to ease into her weight loss process and started off by taking walks. After a while, her friends began encouraging her to try out different activities, so she started incorporating different types of workouts into her routine. 

Today, she enjoys kickboxing, barre, yoga and strength training. “My core workouts are kickboxing and strength training, but I still like to mix things up,” said Schneider. 

She says she’s in better shape these days than she ever was in high school, and she’s returned to the basketball court.

I feel like I’m reliving my 20s again.

Over a 10 year period, she’s lost 105 pounds and has been able to maintain her weight loss by staying accountable and committing to never give up on herself ever again.

For Schneider, being able to travel with ease has been a huge bonus. “Between walking around and lugging your stuff through the airport, I would be out of breath and hot and sweaty by the time I got to the gate,” she explained.” But, that doesn’t happen anymore.

Her greatest victory

More than anything, she’s proud to have earned back the confidence she had lost.

“The biggest nonscale victory for me along this journey is a renewed sense of confidence, happiness, and a bright and bubbly personality,” Kristina said. “I want to go out and have fun with people. I want to take selfies and be in pictures.”

I want to live life to the fullest.

More transformation stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2019/12/06/transformation-story-kristina-schneider/

Man Loses 184 Pounds To Achieve His Dream of Being a Hero

By | diet and nutrition, exercise, Food for thought, motivating, stories, success stories, weekly column

Romar Lyle always dreamt of becoming a police officer, but as he started graduate school, he began to worry his weight would get in the way of making his dream come true.

At his heaviest, Lyle weighed more than 400 pounds and got used to the idea of a career in a forensics lab.

He was working as a graduate teaching assistant, but struggled to make friends. One day, his supervisor invited him to try out his gym. He was willing but skeptical.

The run that started Lyle’s journey

“I was just waiting for everyone to laugh at me,” Lyle, now 26, told TODAY.

“The workout was to run 400 meters and they told me to run 100 meters, just go down to the sign and come back. I remember running and a few steps in, I was out of breath. And I was like, ‘Here comes everyone laughing.’ I was so embarrassed.”

But to his surprise, Lyle didn’t hear any laughing. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

“All they were saying was ‘Keep going! I know it’s hard, keep going, you’re doing great!’” Lyle remembered.

As he ran slowly and had difficulty breathing, the coaches started running with him and cheered him on. Taken aback by how supportive everyone, he felt motivated to keep going to the gym.

“It wasn’t about the weight loss,” Lyle said. “It was about having a good time and doing something new and seeing what I could do every single day, whether it was to lift a little heavier or run a little bit further.”

The transformation began

Romar Lyle

Soon, Lyle started feeling different and started to notice how his body was changing.

“I lost all this weight and it didn’t feel as hard as I thought it would be,” he said. “I genuinely enjoyed what I did.”

Sometimes, he’d gain some of the weight he lost back because of his unhealthy eating habits but his coaches helped him make changes to his diet and learned to enjoy them.

“My coach kind of said, ‘Hey you don’t need to stop eating everything you enjoy,’” he explained. “So, I thought, ‘How can I make the dishes that I am used to in a healthier way?’”

After Lyle had gone six months without eating junk food when he had a fast food chicken sandwich, and when he felt ill afterwards, he realized it wasn’t only his weight that was changing.

“I just got so sick,” Lyle said. “My body wasn’t used to it anymore. It made it so much easier to say, ‘I’m not that person anymore. I am focusing on a healthier me.’”

His dream became possible

Since 2015, Lyle has lost 184 pounds, 30 of which he dropped during the seven months he studied at the police academy. He spends about an hour and a half at the gym most days and makes sure to get in some exercise every day, even if it means just talking a walk. He now weighs 222 pounds.

Lyle graduated from the academy and turned his dream into a reality: he currently serves as a police officer for the Richmond Police Department in Virginia.

“Having the physical ability to do those things pushed me further to say, ‘Yes I want to lose the weight. Yes this is where I want to be,’” said Lyle. “I have learned to re-embrace a challenge and not to quit.”

More transformation stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2019/11/22/transformation-story-romar-lyle/

Man Loses 60 Pounds By Running Toward Sobriety

By | exercise, Food for thought, motivating, self, success stories, weekly column

For Sean Hennessy, sobriety led to weight gain– until he fell in love with running.

Hennessy, a former lacrosse player, was 16 years old when he began abusing drugs and alcohol. 

Growing up, he was always athletic. He started playing soccer early on, then switched to lacrosse, which earned him a college scholarship.

Henessey ran to stay in shape, but sports were his passion

On the outside, Hennessy appeared to be thriving, but he was still struggling with substance abuse.

He was 26 when he finally decided to get clean. For Hennessy, that meant redirecting his motivation for sports into staying sober.

I began to value my mental health more than my physical

Hennessy told Men’s Health, “Poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity led to a quick weight gain of 30-plus pounds.”

Sobriety over sports

At the time, he weighed over 200 pounds and over the next decade he was able to stay sober, but his weight slowly kept creeping up.

“Any definition I had in my stomach, back, sides, legs, and shoulders was gone,” he said.

Up until then, he’d attempted to keep his weight under control through a combination of running and crash dieting, but quickly found out that it wasn’t the right approach.

In the summer of 2018, Hennessy reached 245 pounds and the extra weight started taking a toll on him. 

He had trouble keeping up with son, he wasn’t getting proper sleep and experienced the horrible pain of a gout attack.

The moment of realization

Sean Hennessy

It was when he looked down at the scale during a doctor’s visit that summer, that he realized he had to make some changes to his lifestyle.

After years of mistreating his body and having no interest in weight lifting, Hennessy immersed himself into running. 

Along with adopting a daily running routine in August 2018, he cleaned up his diet by eliminating soda, fast food, and sweets.

By April 2019, he was down to 175 pounds

“Running has become the primary outlet for physical health, sport, activity, mental health, and personal accomplishment,” said Hennessy.

His wife has been on her own transformation journey and not only is he proud of her weight loss, but her success motivates him to keep going.

Now, he’s just happy to be able to watch his two sons grow up.

Running has been instrumental to my recovery over the years

This year marked 11 years of sobriety for Hennessy, and he celebrated earlier this month by completing the New York City Marathon.

“I smile every time I see I have set a new personal best on the app I use to track my runs,” he said, “and can’t wait to see my family when I complete that race.”

More transformation stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2019/11/08/transformation-story-sean-hennessy/

Woman Loses 90 Pounds By Making Small Changes That Add Up

By | diet and nutrition, exercise, Food for thought, motivating, news, self, success stories, weekly column

Ali Shinn was on a family vacation in the Florida Keys in 2014, when she saw a picture of herself in a bikini, sitting by a pool, with her back turned to the camera and broke down in tears.

“I couldn’t believe that it was me,” she told Yahoo.

“When I got back from that trip I made a promise to myself that I would get healthy and be that happy kid who was so full of life again.”

Things started to change once she hit puberty

“The summer after middle school I went from a 5‘9”-beanpole to a curvy woman,” she said.

She’d gone from being a self-proclaimed tomboy to getting unwanted attention by her peers because of the way she looked.

Ali struggled with depression and her body image all through high school, and turned to her laptop and food for comfort.

“I’d spend hours tucked away in my room on the internet or playing The Sims and eating until eventually all my ‘curves’ went away,” she remembered.

By the time she was 16, she weighed nearly 200 pounds and started feeling the consequences of her lifestyle choices.

“I lost the stamina I once had, my clothes didn’t fit how I wanted, and I was just uncomfortable with myself,” said Ali.

She tried losing weight several times but it wasn’t quite at the top of her priority list.

She struggled to make a change

“In college I partied too much and fell into the routine of eat, sleep, drink,” she said.

She spent hours at the gym, trying to stay in shape, but the weight kept piling on until she reached 266 pounds.

“At that point, I had stopped caring and just pretended I wasn’t that big. I’d tell everyone I was 180 pounds, throw on my bikini, and put a smile on my face,” said Ali.

But after she caught a glimpse of herself in the photo her stepmom took of her on vacation, she knew something had to change.

“I wanted to be able to chase my pups and not get winded. I wanted to hike and swim and run (and be good at it). I wanted to put on clothes and feel good in my own skin,” she continued. 

I made a promise to myself and haven’t stopped since.

Small changes led to big transformation

Ali knew that she’d have better luck losing weight by making small, consistent changes, so she started by cutting back on her drinking.

“I had been in such a depressive state for so long that I was drinking all the time. Cutting down was a huge step in the right direction for me,” she said.

After a couple weeks, she began taking her dogs on hour-long walks every day and quickly noticed the weight starting to come off. 

It was until 2015 that she started making changes to her diet. She tried keto, weight watchers, calorie counting and fasting, but nothing stuck.

Ali eventually decided not to restrict herself and to eat what she wanted, while she focused on making healthier choices and controlling her portions.

Feeling confident, she was ready to build strength and discovered her love of at-home workouts after a friend introduced her to Beachbody.

When I tell people how I lost weight, I tell them I learned how to eat a piece of pizza instead of the whole pie.

What Ali’s journey can teach us

She’s lost 90 pounds and continues to workout at home and walk her three dogs every day.

She’s found that cutting out heavy drinking, walking her dogs every day, and increasing her water intake; the habits she built early on in her weight loss journey, are crucial to her success.

“I can eat pretty badly, but if I maintain those three things my weight doesn’t fluctuate much,” she said.

Ali still struggles with emotional eating but it’s something she constantly works on to overcome.

“Losing the weight helped me figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life,” she said.

Every day I feel a little closer to the person I truly am.

More transformation stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2019/10/28/transformation-story-ali-shinn/

Motivated and Inspired By His Wife, This Man Lost 100 Pounds

By | diet and nutrition, exercise, Food for thought, motivating, stories, success stories, weekly column

Richard James Adair, Jr., had been overweight for most of his life, but he had never made a conscious effort to change his unhealthy habits until he was inspired by his wife’s weight loss success.

“I would eat anything and everything,” Adair, a software architect from Red Lion, Pennsylvania, told Men’s Health

By the time he turned 40, he weighed over 300 pounds and he beligves that working from home only helped him gain more.

“I started to get to the point that I was taking a break to catch my breath going upstairs for the night,” he said. “I couldn’t even mow the lawn without multiple breaks.”

Then his wife decided to make a change

Adair had watched his wife try to lose weight with limited success until she discovered the keto diet.

Inspired by her success, Adair decided to give it a try. At 344 pounds, he started his own weight loss journey on New Year’s Day, 2019.

Adair couldn’t go full keto because he’d gotten his gallbladder removed, so he instead focused on cutting out as many carbs as possible. 

Five months in, Adair was comfortable with his diet and began counting his steps. His initial goal was 4,000 steps daily and he increased that number over time until he was walking 10,000 a day. 

Since then, he’s transitioned to counting calories, he cycles to work, and runs regularly.

In 10 months, Adair has lost 102 pounds, down to 242. His goal now is to drop another 23 by the end of the year.

“My quality of life has never been better,” he said. “I need to work to get winded now. My kids have trouble keeping up with me.”

He gives credit where credit’s due

Adair said it wouldn’t have been possible without his wife’s support and encouragement. He credits her for showing him that change is possible.

“She has accomplished just as much as me, if not more,” he said. “I spent years feeling like I was so far behind that it would be easier to just ride it out until the end,” he continued.

Today, he looks forward to continuing his progress to a healthy weight and he’s eager to inspire others to do the same.

I would say to anyone that feels they can’t begin this journey to just try.

Adair continued: “Pick something small and change it. Then pick something else and change it. Those small things add up and before you know it you have a new normal. A healthy normal.”

More transformation stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2019/10/21/transformation-story-richard-james-adair-jr/

Her Motivation to Lose 100 Pounds Came From an Unexpected Place

By | exercise, Food for thought, motivating, physical health, stories, success stories, weekly column

Marissa Schillaci-Kayton had always struggled with her weight, but after it started having a negative impact on her health, she decided it was time to make a change.

“Somewhere in my late 20s, I really lost my way and completely failed at taking care of my health,” Marissa told Yahoo.

“I went from a highly active job that I biked to every day to an office job that required me to drive,” she said.

Her unhappiness dragged her down

Between her work and graduate school, Marissa encountered a lot of stress and stopped taking care of herself.

“I stopped engaging in activities that I once loved because they felt too tiring, my insomnia was out of control and I always felt like I was waiting for things to get a little worse,” she remembered.

As Marissa grew increasingly unhappy with how she looked and felt, she knew it was time to give weight loss another try.

“I spent a significant amount of time doing research and thinking about the best approach for me,” said Marissa.

She found her motivation online

She turned to the internet and found both information and inspiration on the “progress pics” subReddit.

“I saw people succeeding at what had felt so insurmountable to me, some of whom started with higher mountains to climb,” said Marissa.

While many of the transformations often took more than a year to complete, seeing a lot of people make progress in just a few months helped her stay motivated early on in her journey.

The baby steps that grew bigger

Marissa started off by taking walks and counting her calories. She struggled to become more active at first, but made a deal with herself to walk 30 minutes a day, three days a week. Eventually, they become longer and more habitual.

As she lost weight and built up her endurance, she started doing more activities like hiking, Zumba and a running program. 

She eventually joined a gym and a good friend taught her how lift weights.

At first, I had to take inventory of the internal changes, because the external stuff takes a bit of time.

“Because I was more active, I started to sleep better. I had more energy, my mood was better, I wasn’t struggling with issues like migraines as much.”

Seeing her hard work pay off motivated her to keep going and her transformation inspired some of the people in her life to start their own weight loss journeys.

How she motivated others

“It stopped just being me on a journey, but rather a collective ‘us’ of important people in my life, all working on our health,” she said.

Then Marissa suffered an ankle injury that needed surgery. As difficult as it was for her to rest throughout the healing process, it gave her an opportunity to reflect on how much she’d taken her health for granted for most of her life.

“I spent time thinking about how much of my life I had spent in front of the television, and how there are some people who do not leave their house at all because of their health,” Marissa said.

“I decided I didn’t want those things for my life and did everything in my power to ensure that I spent as much time as possible being active out in the world,” she continued.

The ultimate motivation

Marissa was able to lose 100 pounds since she started her journey and continues to make her health a priority, so she can be the best version of herself.

“My husband, my family and my friends — all deserve the best version of me. They deserve to spend time with my happiest, healthiest and most confident self,” she said.

“They deserve to live in a world where my health and well-being is not something they have to worry about.”

More transformation stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2019/10/15/transformation-story-marissa-schillaci-kayton/

Dad Beats Food Addiction, Loses 191 Pounds to Be Present for His Family

By | diet and nutrition, exercise, Food for thought, motivating, Motivation, self, transformation story, weekly column

Angel Diaz didn’t think he’d ever be able to overcome his food addiction until a friend asked him if he was considering bariatric surgery.

“The fact that he was worried about my weight and health was an eye-opener that my situation was probably worse than I thought,” Diaz told Yahoo.

At his heaviest weight, Diaz weighed 405 pounds

“Ultimately though, I knew I didn’t want to die early and miss out on the lives of my two kids and leave my wife to raise them alone,” he said.

Diaz struggled with his weight for most of his life and was always self-conscious about the way he looked as a kid.

By the time he turned 18, Diaz weighed 325 pounds and decided it was time to give weight loss a try. 

With loss comes gain

Over a six-month period, he lost 125 pounds by making changes to his diet and through exercise, only to regain it back, and then some. 

The more weight he gained, the more unhappy he felt

“I was a very negative person. I felt as though I was stuck, helpless, and hopeless,” Diaz remembered.

When his friend voiced concern over his health, Diaz didn’t feel ready for surgical intervention, but he did feel ready to give natural weight loss one last try.

“So, we made a deal. If I couldn’t lose 100 pounds naturally in a year, I would start to seriously consider surgery,” said Diaz.

The fear of leaving his family behind drove him to jumpstart his weight loss journey by completely overhauling his diet. 

The first big change

“I knew for me to be successful, I would have to eliminate all unhealthy food,” he said. 

Diaz focused his efforts on tracking his calories, cutting out all added sugar and artificial sweeteners from his diet and counting macros. 

Within weeks, he started to notice his energy levels improve.

“After the first month, I realized that I actually was going to lose the weight this time. It was just a matter of waiting for time to pass.”

The game-changer

Two months into his transformation, Diaz began incorporating exercise into his routine by going out for jogs.

“The first night I jogged 0.19 miles and thought I was going to die,” he remembered.

“The next night, however, I went back out there and ran a little farther. The following night I did the same — until eventually I ran 1 mile without stopping.”

After losing 88 pounds and despite his anxiety of being overweight and out of shape, Diaz pushed outside of his comfort zone even more by signing up for a gym membership.

“As soon as I started in the gym I began looking forward to going every day and really enjoyed strength training. I’ve been going to the gym, consistently strength training and running, five to six days a week since June 2018.”

It was all worth it in the end

Since the beginning of his weight loss journey, Diaz has lost 191 pounds and feels better than ever. 

His sleep apnea and high blood pressure have been reversed, he can run 1 mile in under 7 minutes and is able to lift weights heavier than he ever thought possible.

For Diaz, the mental and emotional changes are the most rewarding.

“Since losing the weight, my mentality has completely changed. I feel as though I have a new lease on life,” said Diaz.

“I am a more positive person: I wake up happy, I go to sleep happy, I’m a better father, a better husband, and just overall a better person.”

More transformation stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2019/10/04/transformation-story-angel-diaz/

This Man Lost Nearly 150 Pounds Through Discipline and Healthy Addiction

By | diet and nutrition, exercise, Food for thought, motivating, physical health, self, success stories, weekly column

Ian Sullivan was miserable and overweight for years, but it wasn’t until he was diagnosed as pre-diabetic that he realized it was time to make his wellbeing a priority.

His lifestyle was slowly eating away at him. Sullivan worked four jobs and relied on fast food and soda to get himself through the day. He was hardly ever home, he rarely spent any time with his wife and by the time he did get home, he was completely worn out. 

In fact, he was lucky to even make it home, as he often found himself nodding off at the wheel after a long day.

A visit to the doctor changed everything

During a checkup, Sullivan’s doctor informed him that he was pre-diabetic and advised him to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year — 2015. It was October at the time, and he weighed 320 pounds. 

The idea of tackling weight loss was daunting. He couldn’t lose the weight, and to make matters worse, he lost his job.

A blessing in disguise

It wasn’t long before he found work in a factory and set on a weight loss journey that transformed his life.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” Sullivan told Men’s Health. “This was where my weight loss journey began; I made the decision never to exceed 300 pounds.”

He set himself a small goal: to lose 2-3 pounds each week

He admitted being too restrictive with his diet at first, which he now realizes was driven by fear, and the limitations he was imposing on himself were not sustainable. 

So, with his wife help, he came up with a plan by determining what his ideal diet was: oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast, chicken with jasmine rice and a side of vegetables for both lunch and dinner. For snacks, he only ate fruit, granola bars or rice cakes, and they all had to be eaten before 4 p.m. 

“I’m a creature of habit so I literally ate this same combination for multiple years since it was working,” said Sullivan.

He admitted it wasn’t always easy to be consistent and mindful at all times.

“I had to build discipline to turn down foods and be strict. I always would say my lunch box saved my life. I would carry it everywhere to ensure I didn’t make mistakes.”

A healthy addiction

After mastering his new diet, Sullivan decided it was time to hit the gym. He wasn’t achieving the results he wanted with cardio and strength training, so he decided to join a group bootcamp at work – and it was a smart decision.

Not only was he losing weight, he started to enjoy the bootcamp’s HIIT training so much that it was turning into an addiction.

He’d wake up at 4:30 a.m. to work out, so he could return home and spend time with his family before heading to work. It was challenging at times but establishing this new routine helped him build up his drive and discipline.

The greatest achievement of all

Since the start of his transformation journey, Sullivan has lost nearly 150 pounds. His energy levels have increased, his mood has improved, and his self-esteem is better than it’s ever been.

For Sullivan, the greatest achievement is being able to spend more quality time with his family.

“My relationship with my wife is better than ever,” he said. “I have two kids that I can be present and active with. These things I couldn’t imagine would happen four years ago at 320 pounds.”

More transformation stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2019/09/23/transformation-story-ian-sullivan/