16 Mar Extreme Loss To 485lb Weight Gain…
…To Reclaiming His Life
Some stories need no introduction. This is one of those stories. Keep the tissues handy, and read on…
On January 11th, 2012 I received this facebook message from Bobby James: “Thank you for everything you do. I started at 472 pounds last April, and am at 312 as of now. Most of the loss has been from heavy lifting, and diet. I am subscribed to a ton of fitness stuff, read like a maniac, and work my ass off to get to my goals. I get a ton of great information from your posts, and website. I almost feel like I should be paying a subscription or something. Your awesome just thought id say thank you. What your doing makes a difference God bless you.”
Bobby and I continued to communicate via facebook messages. His successful journey prompted me to ask him to share his story, and here it is…
The Story – In Bobby’s words:
Six years ago my toddler, my two year old son, passed away in an accident. This spiraled me into a depression that almost killed me. I had always been a big guy, usually 225-240 pounds, but active, and pretty healthy. After my sons death, I lost all motivation to do anything. I would work 12 hours a day go home, eat, and go to bed six days a week. Over about four years I gained about 250 pounds.
First his son and then his…
Two years ago my wife of fifteen years went in to the doctor for a lower back issue, was given shots for pain, along with several prescriptions. That night when I got home from work she was very tired, and in pain so we went to bed as usual. She never woke up, the medications she was prescribed did not mix well, she went into a comatose state, and drowned in her sleep.
Hitting Rock Bottom:
Suddenly everything was on me, our remaining three sons, paying the bills, doing the homework, and all of the emotions from losing two family members was, and is still sometimes more than I can bear. I had to regain control of my life, if not for any other reason for my sons. At this point I was 485 pounds, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, sleep apnea so bad I could not lay down in bed, and had to sleep in a chair to breathe. My legs were always swollen, and full of fluid because my heart just could not keep up. Just going to the market to buy groceries was very difficult, and painful.
“Lose weight or die” The doctor simply stated lose weight or die, he recommended several of the weight loss surgeries, I declined surgery, and said I got myself into this shape I will get myself out. He strongly said, I do not think you will, I see patients like you often, and not many make the changes on their own.
Deciding to “change” at 485 lbs I just couldn’t do it anymore, my sons were not going to another funeral anytime soon, especially mine, they have lost enough. It was not time for a “diet” it was time for a lifestyle change. Now at 485 pounds I did not want to simply lose weight, being that large, I knew I wanted to regain my lost muscle mass, and then some to offset all of the extra skin it takes to cover almost 500 pounds of fat. I wanted a real body re composition, I did a ton of reading, and research. I think knowing how to eat, what to eat, and when is as important as the time you spend in the gym, maybe more.
He started the process: I started by eliminating sodas, and sugar completely, it is amazing how many worthless calories you can consume when you just don’t care. It was not uncommon to drink 6-8 sodas a day. A friend was a member at lifetime fitness, and took me to visit. After 2-3 minutes on the treadmill I was exhausted, my back ached, ankles swole to the point I couldn’t tie my shoes. Not only did I weigh 485 pounds, I had zero muscle, and muscle function left. I was no doubt within a few months of death, or at best being a bedridden hindrance to my children.I signed up that day.
Perceived Pathetic to determined gym rat: For months all I could do was walk back and forth in the wade pool, gradually getting more and more shallow, till my legs got used to working again. Keep in mind I was only 36 at the time, and my only disability was apathy, and laziness. Pathetic is the only word I can use to describe my physical, and emotional state at that point. My biggest problem the first few months believe it or not wasn’t losing weight, or the pain from exercise, it was losing too much weight.
Losing-The third week in I lost 16 pounds. Too much too fast, if I have any hope of maintaining my skins elasticity, and health all I wanted to lose was 2-3 pounds a week. I adjusted my good calories, quit doing cardio of any kind, and started lifting heavy weights, or as heavy as I could at the time. I did this for a year. I worked as much as I could 2-3 times a week usually, and adjusted my calories to maintain that two pound a week loss average. After a year my general health had improved a lot. I had lost 100 pounds or more, and could actually get around pretty good. Well the easy losses stopped so I set my daily calories at 2500 a day, and started doing cardio in addition to weightlifting to maintain my weight loss.
Lifting until the pain eases: Over the last few months I have really started to notice the changes. I enjoy lifting weights now, it is almost a high for me. I have days that are hard, I miss my son, and wife and it hurts, it hurts more than I can put into words. Instead of wallowing in defeat I go to the gym, I lift until the pain eases, there are days I will spent 5-6 hours lifting till my eyes bleed. It is an awesome way to deal with emotional pain.
My new routine: My routine now is three days of Crossfit class at 6am, work 7am till 5, then I go lift 4-5 days a week in the evening. I am happy with myself again, diabetes, sleep apnea, snoring, high blood pressure, heart problems all gone. I can jog five miles, and bench press over 300 pounds easily. I went from a size 60 pant to a 38.
“Get off your A$$ and move!”
I do not use a scale anymore, last time weighed about three weeks ago I was 285 pounds. When I see people that I haven’t seen in a month or more they always say wow, or good job, what are you doing to get in shape? I always tell them, eat right, but most importantly get off your butt and move. Do something everyday even if its tiny, it all adds up to success. I have zero doubt I will get to my fitness goals, I still have a lot of work to do, but I enjoy it now. It is my lifestyle, I know we only get one body, one life, and if I don’t take care of it no one else is going to.
I play with my sons now, we are active and happy, they are awesome, and supportive. They eat with me, work out with me, and they have seen what not taking care of yourself leads to. More than anything I am proud, because I know they will take care of themselves now, and live life to the fullest everyday. Regardless of how bad your life can seem, if you want it bad enough, you can make change happen. I still have rough days all the time. I fall off the wagon, the difference now is I get back up and keep going every day. If I can do it…I know you can too!
– Bobby James
WOW! That is all I can say to what Bobby has been through and how his attitude and motivation is now driving him forward into wonderful things! I am so inspired by Bobby, and I’m sure you are too!
Excuses or Solutions…YOU decide!
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