Chris Line, 32, lost more than 250 pounds in a year and a half after changing his diet and adopting a more active lifestyle. Here he shares his journey with Men’s health†
There was not a single moment of motivation or turning point that caused me to make such a big life change, although in retrospect there should have been many. You’d think half a dozen broken chairs, my obese uncle dying of a heart attack, or any of the day-to-day inconveniences of living over 400 pounds would be my wake-up call, but I’ve never had a true lightbulb moment. . When I finally decided to lose weight, it was purely for convenience. I had always wanted to lose weight and had several successful periods in my life, but when I started my first real job in June 2017 after graduating from law school, I got into a good routine and for the first time felt safe to make a change in my life.
Even when I weighed over 400 pounds, I loved walking. I would walk for hours while listening to music or audio books. So when I started my journey, I stayed at the same level of activity, but also worked significantly on changing my diet and developing other healthy habits. I grew up drinking soda all my life, so that was one of the first things I had to do, and one of the hardest. I have left out fast food and all junk food. At some point I started doing some weight lifting, but not in a very organized or consistent way.
I also started running after I gained around 200 pounds. My colleagues signed me up for a half marathon, even though I had never actually run before. I started training for the half marathon and never stopped after that. Now I walk an average of 10 to 20 miles a day.
I’ve never worked with a trainer. I was self-taught on Reddit, YouTube and Instagram. I find that motivation is driven by success and progress, and the more motivated I felt, the more the weight fell off.
I went from 450lbs to 195lbs (a total loss of 255lbs) in an 18 month period. It was so worth it. Basically I feel better in every way, mentally, physically. I was overweight or obese for 27 years and in the five years since changing my life I already know that the healthy way is so much better and it’s worth it. The most dramatic thing about my new body is my calves. I’ve spent a lifetime walking around and doing everything with hundreds of extra pounds and I think my legs are more developed than other people’s because of that.
There were many positive side effects beyond the visible results. Before losing weight, I was pre-diabetic, had sleep apnea, and was probably headed for an early grave. Now my resting heart rate is about 45 beats per minute, and my blood pressure is close to perfect.
However, I don’t think you can ever really be ready. Even if you get to a weight you’re happy with, you need to maintain your fitness if you want to maintain it. My current goal is to lose about 20 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle.
If there’s one piece of advice I can give to anyone looking to lose weight and get fit, it’s: determination beats motivation. You have to figure out what you need to do to achieve your goal, and then just decide that you’re going to do it. For example, I walk 10 to 15 miles every day. I don’t ask myself every day if I feel like it, or decide that I will do it when it suits me. I make it a priority and something I will do no matter what.
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