HuffPost Canada's Lost It series chronicles the stories of everyday Canadians who have struggled with their weight — and won. We talk to people about what they eat, how they exercise and generally, what their healthy lifestyle is to maintain their weight now that they've lost it.
You can read more stories from Lost It here.
Who: Jordan Murphy
Occupation: Graduate student
City: Ottawa, ON
By The Numbers: 303.4 at my heaviest, currently 176.4 for a total weight loss of 127 pounds.
The Weight Gain: I have been overweight my entire life. I was definitely a big kid. I weighed nearly 130 pounds in grade three. By the time I was in grade ten, I weighed around 230 pounds. Then, when I went to university, I gained weight even more rapidly.
I was suddenly in an environment where nobody was monitoring my food choices. When I lived in residence, I could easily leave my room and get pizza downstairs from the cafeteria at 11:00 pm. I had access to several high-fat foods and I definitely took advantage of that.
Final Straw: My final straw moment occurred on January 3, 2016, when I was finally faced with the realization that I had likely given myself diabetes. I was scrolling through Facebook when I stumbled upon a link discussing the warning signs of Type II Diabetes. It was in that moment that I realized I had several symptoms of the disease.
The Plan of Attack: I switched from a vegetarian diet high in fatty and cholesterol-dense foods to a fully plant-based vegan diet. I started going to the gym, where I would do cardio on the elliptical and treadmill for about an hour every morning.
"I was finally faced with the realization that I had likely given myself diabetes."
I created my Instagram account the day I started my journey and I posted my first photo about a week later. I decided to share my journey because I felt it would keep me accountable.
I was highly inspired by @obese_to_beast. I watched all of his YouTube videos every morning as I did my makeup.
Story continues below.
Check out more of our inspiring weight loss stories:
The Exercise Factor: I joined a gym for the first time in my life last year but never worked with a trainer.
Before starting my journey, I would stay up until 2:00 a.m. and wake up in the late morning. When I started going to the gym, I had to start waking up at 5:30 a.m. so I was going to bed much earlier.
My fitness levels weren't bad to begin with, but it definitely was not enough to sustain my eating habits. My problem has never really been inactivity as it has been food. I would walk to and from class and to wherever I had to go during the day. I was probably hitting around 7,000 steps a day (which is a stark contrast to the 20,000+ I hit daily now).
The Food Element: I started following a plant-based vegan diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat. I cut out dairy, meat and eggs and I also stopped consuming liquid calories.
I ate (and still eat) a lot of potatoes, vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.
In the beginning, I counted calories very closely but decided to stop once I realized I was developing an unhealthy habit. Now my diet helps me maintain and prevent plateaus (you don't gain weight from vegetables).
"I have always been motivated by my health. I am motivated to live longer and happier."
The Current Day-to-Day: These days, I wake up in the mornings, eat breakfast, go for a run, and then come home to eat lunch and live out the rest of my day.
I run every day. I decided in January of this year that I do not want to attend the gym anymore. I have been focusing on distance running. It can be difficult (especially in the winter months) but I thoroughly enjoy it.
I lost 130 pounds in ten months, 100 of which were in the first six months. Since then, I have been trying to lose another 20 pounds or so. My health keeps me going. I have always been motivated by my health. I am motivated to live longer and happier.
I am most proud of the fact that I did not give up. There were times when I wanted to but I always pushed through.
My advice for those struggling with weight: Look into a diet and exercise regime that is sustainable for you. Don't choose a restrictive diet that has you starving yourself to achieve your goal weight — those diets always result in re-gain. Find a diet that is healthy, sustainable, and adjustable to your own life.
Do you have a weight loss story to share? Send us an email at CanadaLiving@huffingtonpost.com to be featured on our Lost It series.