Weight Loss Transformation: Alex Hughes

Alex Hughes TransformationOfTheWeek_V2_880x440px_V7

Like many others, I was always one of the “big kids” growing up. As far back as I can remember and all the way through high school. Yeah, I had friends, and I wasn’t treated badly… I even stayed active in school activities and sports. Eating habits were my problem. I was a HUGE candy, chips, and fast food kind of guy. I remember going in for a football season physical, my senior year at 17 years old… I stepped on the scale and I remember the doctor said, “Well that’s a first. Our scale only goes to 350.” On my file they had to put 350 with an arrow going up.

That was indeed one of the low points in my life, but still not enough to make me wake up and change. When you’re growing up and weight isn’t socially or physically holding you back, it’s kind of hard for you to see that you need to make a change. But it didn’t change the fact I was depressed, embarrassed, and uncomfortable with myself all the time.
Alex Before1a

Frustrated with college and all of its loans after graduating, I decided to get healthy so that I could join the Army. Everyone with a huge weight loss story usually has that one point where something CLICKS in their mind, and I don’t know if it ever happened to me… I just told myself I was DONE! At almost 400lbs I knew it would be tough, but with determination, motivation, and a very strong support system, I managed to join the army 18 months later at 260lbs (I’m 6’4”)!

I dropped all of the unhealthy food, sodas, candy, and everything else unnecessary. I went to the gym every single day (multiple times a day), running outside, hiking across mountains… things I never imagined doing. I fell in love with spinning, running, and weight training. After a while, the weight just melted off. I felt great.

Alex army

You’re probably reading this and saying to yourself “Oh wow, that’s awesome. He he changed his life, accomplished his goal, happy end to an amazing story.” Well, after about three years and getting out of the military… it all came back. And even more.

Post-military was another one of those low points in life. I ate and ate until I felt sick… then I ate some more. If anyone saw how I was eating, I think they would’ve called a therapist, because when I think back, it’s sad to think I was literally killing myself without even realizing it. Feeling like there was no hope, I decided to get surgery. I went thought the entire process to prepare, meanwhile eating more and more… just to get those last guilty meals in.

Then came the call. Before final surgery arrangements were made, my doctor said there was a mistake by my health insurance carrier: a three-month supervised weight loss period was required. I figured that if they were going to make me waste three months of my life by working out, I might as well just go ahead do it all on my own!

My weight peaked around 410, so I started thinking of ways to lose it a bit differently. I stumbled upon the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and decided to give that method a try (only fruit and vegetable juice), but with a bit of a twist… and it worked!

Alex before after1

I dropped 103 lbs. in 100 days on an all liquid diet, but it was without a doubt the hardest thing I’d ever done. Thankfully, my wife was always there for me. Without her and my family’s support it wouldn’t have been possible. Tough as it was, that opened up my eyes to a whole new world and gave me a new respect for food that I never had before. Once I’d dropped back down to about 310, I was back to the gym. Running 2-3 miles per day, hitting the Stairmaster, the elliptical, even a little bit of weight training; everything fueled by a clean diet helped me drop another 60lbs!

The feeling from going from a size 56 down to 40 at the waistline cannot be described in words. I’m currently around 255 and am still going strong, although I only want to drop about another 20 or 30. Never stop having goals! I ultimately want to maintain a certain weight, which to me is by far the hardest process, not the actual losing of the weight, itself.

I always tell people that weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle is all a mental game. You have to train your mind just as much as your body. At first, I never changed my mentality, I simply cut out foods until I felt like I could have them again. Now I know everything is about moderation and portion size right alongside the physical training.

Quest Nutrition is amazing not only for their products, but for encouraging people to share their successful transformation stories and helping motivate each other. I can’t possibly think of a reason why they would do this, other than the fact that they care. I love their products even more because of it! My wife is a huge fan of the Quest Bars, she eats them all the time and now we both enjoy them equally and use them as a protein-packed snack to curb our sweet-tooth cravings, without the guilt and regret afterwards.

Alex quest bars

This journey is far from over and that person I was before is no longer the person I am today. For that, I am very thankful. I’m only 27 and am very excited to see what the future has in store for me and my family. The sky’s the limit!

 Five Tips On Your Quest: 

1.      You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!

Be honest with yourself do not live in denial we’ve all been there, if you’re thinking about losing weight you’re already half way there now all you have to do is get up and make that change happen.

2.      Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels!

Every time you meet a fitness goal of any kind it could be while looking at yourself in the mirror, or a weight loss number goal, an extra rep, a personal 2 mile time record, whatever it might be just always remember that feeling that comes with that. It truly is the most amazing feeling in the world, better than any cheeseburger, French fries or weight gain.

3.      Don’t obsess over the scale!

The scale can be your friend or enemy, but whatever you do, do not obsess over the numbers on the scale. Do not let it discourage you, everyone has bad weeks where you’re putting in the work with the diet and exercise, but the number doesn’t always tell you that. As long as you’re doing your best that’s all that matters, the rest will fall into place.

4.      Enjoy the Journey!

Have fun, often times I took the weight loss experience and I took it way too serious. I was feeling like a gym robot, doing the same routines over and over and over. Mix things up, do different things, go outside if you can. Just enjoy the journey so you don’t look back on it and feel like the whole experience was miserable.

5.      You can do it if you believe!

The most important tip of them all is that you can do it. I am no different than anyone reading this. We all have it within, you just have to believe in yourself and make the change and stick to it. It seems simple but it’s not. Stop making excuses and start making change.

Instagram: @randomaccessmemoriez

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!