Marching for the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps out of Mobile, Alabama, in the summer of 2017, I lost about 30 pounds. After finishing the tour, I never thought I’d gain it back. But my diet was awful, I played too many video games, and I was just generally unhealthy. Even when I tried to lose weight, nothing seemed to work. I started feeling hopeless. Soon I’d gained 60 pounds—at my heaviest I was 321 pounds.
I felt like a bowling ball. It hurt to walk, to stand, and even to just exist. My clothes never fit right and it was tough being who I was. I was 22, and it felt like there was nothing that I could do to change my life. As a teacher, I wanted to be a role model to my students, and as a 321-pound man, I didn’t think that I was role model material.
I realized that some of my friends were still marching in drum corps, and if they could do it, so could I. It was hard—that first month I wanted to quit almost every single day.
I also started running. The first day, I went a little less than half a mile and I thought I was going to die. I was shaking; I was basically seizing, and I told myself I couldn’t do it. The next day, I got up and went and did it again. A thermogenic fat burner supplement helped keep me motivated, too.
I scaled back my diet, but with my large appetite, I had to be very careful of what I put in my body. Eventually, I got to the point where I was eating one solid, nutritious meal per day. Getting to the next day’s meal motivated me to keep it going.
The fat started to melt off and my clothes started to fit a ton better than they ever had. I kept researching on the internet about what was best for me. After I got down to about 260 pounds, I started going to the gym. I began doing HIIT because I found that it was very enjoyable and it always made me feel accomplished. I got addicted to exercise—in a good way—and how it made me feel.
I started to drink protein shakes and soon after that, my weight just started to essentially fall off. There’s no other way to put it. I found intermittent fasting and it worked for me. Eventually I started heavy lifting and decreasing my cardio because I wanted to build stamina through intensity, not steady-state cardio.
I lost at least 114 pounds of fat, probably more given the muscle I gained; it took about a year to hit my lowest weight, 207 pounds. I feel incredible right now, as I am working in tandem with a new program to drop the rest of my weight off and get to my weight goal of 190.
Along the way, I met the most beautiful woman on this planet. Her name is Shelby and she is my entire world. I keep pushing myself to be physically better because she’s so incredibly supportive, and I want to live a long and healthy life for her. I asked her to marry me recently—- and thankfully she said yes!
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