Got a success story of your own? Send it to us at email@example.com and you could be featured on the site!
Name: Marc Kohn
Before Weight: 260 pounds
How I Gained It: Too many years sitting at the computer 12 hours a day marketing and selling a sports fan product I helped invent and patent took a toll on my health. I ballooned up to 260 pounds and couldn't walk far without breathing heavy! I was a complete physical and mental mess!
I was depressed and truly hated my body, but I didn't do anything to help myself get back in shape until I saw a family picture. I was appalled by my appearance. Seeing how fat I'd gotten compared to my siblings hit me hard. I used to play hockey twice a week and prided myself on being in pretty good shape for a middle aged guy. I was mortified.
Breaking Point: I committed right then and there to get back in shape. I like playing sports, but I truly hate to work out. I decided the best way to start was doing something physical that I truly enjoyed -- playing hockey.
I went to the local rink, planning to skate for a time and then break out a puck and do some skill work. I never made it onto the ice. I couldn't fit into my hockey pants! The embarrassment as the young adults in the locker room snickered and sneered under their breath at the fat man trying to squeeze into his hockey pants made me so enraged I almost started crying.
How I Lost It: Weeks of research revealed some common themes. The amount of information on fat loss and fitness is vast and can be extremely confusing, but what is obvious in the research is that there is no substitute for getting out there and moving. No special apparatus will take off pounds without some level of effort.
I didn't have time to go out walking and then go to a gym to do resistance exercises, so I invented an apparatus that I could use to do isometric resistance exercises while walking. I combined a towel with a piece of dense Styrofoam that allows for essential push and pull exercises during my walks. I call it the P2-Towel. It's currently "patent pending."
There are countless fitness programs out there that will get you in shape if done on a consistent basis. I created my routine to fit my lifestyle. I just exit my front door and walk through my neighborhood, or on a local trail, and I'm on my way to a complete, full-body workout. I enjoy being outside in the sunlight breathing fresh air.
I also delved into nutrition, because you can't start down the path without also altering what and how you eat. I made a commitment to eat healthy 80 to 90 percent of the time. The other 10 to 20 percent I eat whatever the heck I'm craving at the time!
Nutrition research proved extremely difficult and mind-numbing, but one thing became very apparent: There is no magic pill for weight loss. There is no substitution for real, healthy food! I eat lots of fruits and veggies every day. I cut back on foods with added simple sugars. I drink black coffee and unsweetened iced tea. Every once in a while I drink a 50/50 mix of diet and regular sodas. I upped my protein and reduced my processed carbs. I opt for eggs or omelets over French toast or pancakes, and a chicken breast over a pasta dish. I eat good fats in foods like nuts, fish and olive oil. For the most part, I avoid any processed food that comes in a bag or box!
I lost an average of five pounds per week. Three months after I started my routine, I had lost 60 pounds! A complete physical shortly thereafter revealed that all my vital stats are in the "good to great" range. My doctor couldn't believe it!
Physiological change doesn't come about overnight. It takes a while. There will be times you don't want to walk out the front door to begin a workout, and there will be many days fighting the urge to splurge on junk food. If you are starting a fitness program and think that change will come about without real effort, both physically and mentally, then you are not ready to begin.
After a very lengthy absence, I'm totally into fitness again. I haven't been under 200 pounds since college. I feel like superman!
I can attest that daily life is better when you're in shape! The last couple of months have been my happiest in quite a long time. I have noticed an increase in sense of smell and taste, colors are more vibrant, my skin glows and is younger looking! And improvements in appearance boost self-confidence, which improves my mood and helps me tackle difficult tasks.
I'm lucky to still be here. I'm determined to be here for another 50 years. I've left my bad habits in the past and committed to living a physically active and nutritionally healthy lifestyle until the end. I'm determined to be an active participant in the exciting lives of my kids, grandkids and other family members.
Whether you get in shape by walking, using weights or whatever means fits your lifestyle, the important thing is to begin. And when the world screams stop, take a moment and listen. Your body is saying keep going. Believe me, it's worth it.
Current Weight: 190 pounds
The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
Check out more of our inspiring weight loss stories below:
Weight Loss Success Stories
For more on weight loss, click here.