My name is Matt. I’m from San Antonio, TX and I’m 30 years old. And at 30 years old, I’ve accomplished a somewhat rare feat. What is that feat, you ask?
Well… at the age of 30, I look better, feel better and am in better health than I was at 20.
I’ve been pretty close to 300lbs since I was about 18 years old. Fast forward a few years to 2010 – I’m 26 and I’ve got a nice comfortable office job. My mornings are usually fueled either by breakfast tacos, doughnuts or some other easy to eat, quick, on the go (but bad for you) type of breakfast… and always included coffee made with excessive amounts of sugar and creamer.
Lunch time rolls around. My lunch usually consists of fast food – pizza, burgers, chicken, or sometimes the entire office would go out to a restaurant to eat. Long story short, more nutritionally unsound choices were being made…
Now it’s the end of the day and time to go home, and I know I’ll be too tired to make anything when I get home, so I’m back in another fast food drive-thru line. On top of the plethora of bad decisions being made throughout the day, on an almost everyday basis, I am also throwing down between 3 and 5 sodas in order to help maintain my sugar/caffeine high.
Let’s jump forward one year to 2011. I have a routine dental appointment and before they start, the tech asks to take my blood pressure. While I don’t remember the exact number, I know it was high enough for her to want me to relax for a while and then retake it. So at this point I should know I’m heading in a dangerous path. Soon thereafter I’m at a routine doctor’s appointment and the nurse is taking vitals and asks me to step on the scale. I’m speechless when I see the number in front of me.
365lbs?!?! I knew I had put on some weight, but I had no idea I’d allowed it to get so out of control. I knew I had a problem. Lose some weight or face some potential serious health problems. The fact that my family history included high blood pressure and diabetes gave me an extra incentive to get my act together.
My 1st big change? Trying to cut out sodas. It was difficult in the beginning, and the caffeine withdrawal was intense, but it made a very big difference. I can now say with great pride that the last time I had a soda was way back in February 2014. I drink water all day long, making an exception for the occasional glass of green tea which I brew at home with honey, mint and lemon.
I also began to change and modify my diet after doing some research online as to what foods I should eat and what foods I should try to avoid. No big surprises there – the food pyramid is in that specific shape for a reason… you should eat lots of what’s at the bottom of the pyramid, and less of what’s at the top of the pyramid. So I tailoring my diet to what I needed – lots of vegetables, salads, fresh fruits, fish, grains and a also lots of water. Conversely, I made an effort to try and avoid fast/processed foods, breads, pasta (although I still have a weakness for pizza) and any foods or drinks that have high sugar content.
I set up small goals for myself. 5lbs, 10lbs, 15lbs… I met and surpassed all of them. Initially, I just wanted to get back down to 300lbs, but I began to realize how much better I felt and so I thought I’d just keep going. So I kept changing my diet, and the weight kept coming off. I’d be willing to say that about 75% of my weight loss was due to diet modification and 25% due to increased physical activity.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think the idea of a regular workout plan is great – but going to the gym, or crossfit or boot camp, it just hasn’t been my thing up to now. I run when I can, ride my bike when I can, lift weights now and again, but not with any real structure or routine. For me, it’s simply easier to be conscious of my nutritional choices.
I don’t profess to know it all, and I don’t promise that what worked for me will work for anyone else. All I can tell you is what I learned through and from my experience. So here’s a few tips for anyone who might be on a quest for a lifestyle change of their own.
1. Don’t expect change overnight. It’s definitely a lot easier to put on weight than to lose it. It took me the better part of 2 years to lose 160 pounds. Just stick with what you’re doing and the changes will come in time. As the old adage goes, slow and steady wins the race.
2. Start small. If you would have told me 3 years ago, that my daily diet would be made up of healthy cereal, oatmeal, fresh fruits, salads, vegies, fish, quest bars (a must have snack) and water, I would’ve said you were crazy. But small changes here and there, led me to where I’m at now. Try swapping just one unhealthy choice in your diet for a healthy choice to start with and go from there.
3. Skipping meals or starving yourself is not the way to go. It just makes you agitated, because you’re hungry and it also makes you more susceptible to poor food choices when they are available to you. Stick to eating healthy food that will keep you full.
4. Don’t be afraid to seek moral support on your road to success. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like when I post a before and after picture and get a lot of feedback from friends and family. A good support system can help foster good habits and keep you from falling back into old bad habits.
Team Quest – We are here for you! Share your transformations and triumphs with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email them to us at [email protected]. Remember that these transformations took hard work, discipline and a plan. Quest products are a delicious component of, and not a substitute for, an exercise regimen and effective diet. The Quest Community is always there for you if you need help, inspiration or motivation!