Who: Mitchell Shannon
City: Oshawa, Ont.
By The Numbers: 242 at my heaviest, currently 191 for a total loss of 51 pounds. I am also 18 per cent body fat (35 pounds of fat total) and my next goal is to be 15 per cent body fat.
The Weight Gain: As a young child I was more inclined to stay inside and play video games while my brother and sister were out playing soccer. When my parents would make meals, my main concern was finishing my plate so I could have ice cream for dessert. I often begged to have soft drinks throughout the week, something that was solely reserved for weekends. I had a reward system too: when I would average a certain amount of correct answers on my weekly spelling tests, we would go to my pick of fast food restaurants. Needless to say I studied hard for those tests.
Fast forward a few years, as a young teen with a part-time retail job, I now had the income to buy candy and snacks, including eating at my high school cafeteria a couple times a week. I was bullied for my size and as a result I would often try dieting for a week or two and then give up. I was most comfortable with my friends at school who passed no judgment, but outside of school I didn't spend much time going out and didn’t spend much time being active.
Fast forward a few more years. I was working the midnight shift, and most of my meals consisted of fast food. I was getting terrible sleep and never had any energy. I always blamed this on the shift I was working until I realized that it went deeper than just sleep alone.
Final Straw: Here I was, extremely overweight, constantly sleep deprived, relying on energy shots and drinks to get through the nights, drinking and partying with friends almost every weekend, and on top of all of that, growing more and more depressed.
I felt hopeless when I thought about losing weight. I would look at pictures of myself and was never pleased with what I saw. I actually went several months without weighing myself because I knew the number was high. Weighing myself meant that I had to face reality and take responsibility for the poor choices I had made. The final straw for me was when I stepped on that scale and the number read out 242 – the most I have ever weighed.
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