Chris Line, 32, lost over 250 pounds in a year and a half after transforming his diet and adopting a more active lifestyle. Here, he shares his journey with Men’s Health.
There was no one moment of motivation or turning point that caused me to make such a major life change, though in hindsight there should have been many. You would think that a half dozen broken chairs, my obese uncle dying from a heart attack, or any of the daily discomforts of living a life over 400 pounds would have been my wake-up call, but I never had a real lightbulb moment. When I finally decided to lose weight, it was out of sheer convenience. I had always wanted to lose weight, and had several successful bouts throughout my life, but when I started my first real job after finishing law school in June 2017, I was able to get into a good routine, and for the first time I felt secure enough to be able to make a change in my life.
Even when I was over 400 pounds, I loved to walk. I would walk for hours listening to music or audiobooks. So when I began my journey, I kept up the same level of activity, but also importantly worked on changing my diet and developing other healthy habits. I grew up drinking soda my whole life, so that was one of the first things to go, and one of the hardest. I cut out fast food and all the junk food. At some point, I started doing a bit of weight lifting, but not in a very organized or consistent way.
I also started running after I got down to around 200 pounds. My coworkers signed me up for a half marathon even though I had never really run before. I started training for the half marathon, and then never stopped. Now I typically run 10 to 20 miles a day.
I never worked with a trainer. I was self-taught from Reddit, YouTube and Instagram. I find that motivation is driven by success and progress, and the the more motivated I felt, the more the weight dropped off.
I went from 450 pounds to 195 pounds (a total loss of 255 pounds) in a period of 18 months. It was so worth it. I feel better in basically every way, mentally, physically. I was overweight or obese for 27-ish years and in the five years since I changed my life, I already know the healthy way is so much better and its worth the effort. The most dramatic thing about my new body is my calves. I spent a lifetime walking around and doing everything with hundreds of extra pounds and I think that made my legs more developed than other people’s.
There were a lot of positive side effects outside of the visible results. Before I lost weight I was pre-diabetic, had sleep apnea, and was probably on my way to an early grave. Now, my resting heart rate is like 45 bpm, and my blood pressure is nearly perfect.
I don’t think you can ever really be finished, though. Even when you get to a weight you are happy with, you have to maintain your level of fitness if you want to keep it. My current goal is to lose about 20 pounds of fat and put on 10 pounds of muscle.
If there is one piece of advice I can give to anybody who wants to lose weight and get fit, it is: determination beats motivation. You need to figure out what you need to do to get to your goal, and then simply decide you are going to do it. For example, I run 10 to 15 miles every day. I don’t ask myself every day if I feel like it, or decide I will if it is convenient. I make it a priority and something I will do, no matter what.
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