WHO: Gregg Weisbrod, VP Sales for Alectro Systems Inc.
CITY: Burlington, Ont.
By The Numbers: 265 at my heaviest, and currently 195, total weight loss of 70 pounds.
The Weight Gain: Up until I was 6, I was a mostly skinny kid. But by grade three I was a full-on chunky kid. By the time I was 14, I was properly obese.
I was 220 lbs at my peak, and within five months I had lost 50 lbs to come down to 170 lbs. The loss of weight led me to resolve to push myself harder. I began doing crunches and push-ups every day, and ran four days a week. At my lowest weight I was 152 lbs. I entered into my 20s looking good and feeling confident with life. Sadly, I didn't understand what it took to stay in shape. As I stopped exercising, my weight crept up slowly to 200 lbs by the time I got married at 25. After two years of marriage I ballooned up to 220 lbs...I couldn't believe it.
Meal portions and lack of physical activity were entirely to blame. Enjoying the finer things became less of a treat, and more of a daily habit. I had become a prisoner to low-self esteem, and was generally becoming lazier and more detached to all of life’s many responsibilities.
The Final Straw: As I hit rock bottom, I was apprehended by the words of the song ‘Stop and Stare’ by One Republic, while driving home in May 2013. In combination with being completely broken, and then being inspired by the words of the song, it sparked life into the seed of determination, which instantly focused me into taking action to live my life in the way that I so desperately wanted.
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The Plan Of Attack: The beginning of the following week, I got a membership to my local YMCA, and set out to fitting in an hour of working out, three times a week. Half an hour on the treadmill, and half an hour of strength training with a focus on abs and upper body. I began tracking my food again through Spark People, and devoted myself to eating within my suggested calorie range.
The Food Element: In making the decision that my happiness and body image was more important than a piece of cake, I cut out all snacks, pop, and alcohol, and focused on eating three square meals a day at roughly the same time.
I experimented with finding meals that were low in calories but highly filling — this way, it made ignoring cravings easier, as I simply didn't have very many. In cutting down on calories so greatly, I found that I actually needed to eat more, and found healthy, low sodium, low calorie snacks to be super helpful.
In tracking my food, I chose to eat lower amounts of fat in my days, higher protein, and a moderate amount of carbs. I read labels and measured and tracked everything 100 per cent honestly. I eat a lot of fish, chicken, rice, vegetables, and some red meat now and then. I drink non-fat milk, and limit my intake of cheese and desserts. I don’t miss anything, and instead I actually enjoy it all that much more when I have a little piece of this or that. I appreciate it more.
The Exercise Factor: My running has been the overall key to my weight loss. I pushed myself hard to achieve certain benchmarks with my running, and now I run for much longer and further than I ever dreamed possible. My strength training has improved my overall muscle tone, and just helps to keep my metabolism pumping. I’m currently signed up to participate in the Mississauga Half Marathon in May 2014, and can successfully run 10K at this particular moment.
The Current Day-To-Day: In five months, I transformed my body more successfully than I ever intended, certainly more successfully than I ever expected. I entered into this having shaken off the mightiest obstacle of 'If I can't have results right away, why is it worth working for?'
I've been working through how my self-esteem has changed, and how my confidence has returned. I've been looking back on who I was before I made this change, and have been trying to paint a picture in my mind of how these emotional changes have impacted me. I've come to the conclusion that my current happiness and confidence isn't a result of lost weight — but that my lost weight has been the result of my deeper joy and confidence in what I've been doing with my life since June.
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