Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Daniel Clark is 21, 6’1”, and currently weighs 170 pounds. In 2016, after getting a job that required physical labor, he decided to get healthy in order to feel better at work. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
My weight first became an issue when I started playing football at about 9 years old. There was a weight limit, for safety reasons, in younger football leagues, and I was close to the weight limit my first time playing. I recall my father telling me I was going to need to make some changes if I wanted to play the following year. Being overweight had never been a problem before then, but in that moment it became something I had to think about.
Fast-forward about 10 years, and before I got my current job I was the heaviest I’ve ever been — 330 pounds. I had been out of school for a year, and I wasn’t exercising or eating right. The turning point for me came in August 2016 when I got a job stocking for a grocery store. We started the days at 6 a.m., and I would go about my workday feeling exhausted and nauseous. I was sick of feeling like that and just figured I should eat something healthy before work. I started eating two hard boiled eggs dipped in soy sauce, along with a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. I went to work feeling way better, and soon the work didn’t feel so exhausting. One day in January 2017 I was taking a shower and as I got out I noticed my body looked funny; it looked slimmer. I thought I’d weigh myself and see, knowing that I wasn’t even trying to lose weight at that point. I was 270 pounds — 60 pounds down. I concluded that I had dropped those 60 pounds in the four months since starting my job just from changing my diet and actually eating a decent breakfast.
My plan was to simply eat healthy meals throughout the day. I tried to stay between 2,000 and 2,500 calories and also limit my sugar consumption. Meal timing had a positive effect on me. I would have a big breakfast, a moderate lunch, and a small dinner. I still dislike vegetables, so I usually only eat them with dinner, and I definitely don’t eat as many vegetables as I should. Hopefully I’ll like them someday.
The only exercise I really did was the physical labor I put in at work and biking. I can throw some headphones on and go biking for hours.
I felt and feel great. I never imagined myself being able to lose weight so easily just from a diet change and minimal exercise, after a life of being overweight. What really helped me was getting a job and sticking to my diet and making sure I didn’t stray from it. I noticed that when I ate healthier, I felt much better at work. So that’s what kept me from giving up — anxiety about having an exhausting workday.
After dropping 160 pounds, I feel pretty confident. I enjoy giving people advice when they see the positive changes I’ve made. I still feel the same as when I was overweight, but when I look in the mirror I don’t recognize myself sometimes.
Physically I feel great. It is so much easier to move around. I almost feel weightless going up and down the stairs. I had to buy a new wardrobe twice.
My diet is exactly the same. I keep an eye on my sugar and eat the same breakfast because I love it now. Having a morning job keeps me on track because I always make sure to eat a healthy breakfast to prepare myself for the day. I’ve been trying to eat more protein. I’ve been thinking about adding a can of tuna to my breakfast for the extra protein. I’ve also been riding my bike a lot lately, since it’s summer now. The results I’ve seen and the comments I’ve gotten about my weight loss are really great and motivating.
Sometimes I still struggle with cravings. I try to avoid cooking shows because they can really increase my appetite. At least once a week, I’ll get one heck of an appetite late at night, and I try to fight it, but sometimes I can’t and I’ll pig out on some peanut butter and jelly. I’m not perfect and I can’t fight my temptations, but I can stop them most of the time. That said, I’ll always love food, and it will always be sitting there in the back of my mind.
Try to be disciplined with yourself and focus on your diet. It’s OK if you plateau for a month or even go on a food binge. Just try to remember your goals. Seeing results is really motivating and should be enough for you to keep going and keep losing weight.
Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!
Weight-Loss Win is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative, 135-pound weight loss of her own.
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