I have added a new category that will highlight some stories I find inspirational. Below is the first one.
Before: 389 pounds
After: 208 pounds
At one time in his life, Chad Cornman, 30, could eat an entire pizza by himself. He was a chunky kid, and playing football kept his gut in check, until he “got lazy” and quit the team. He soon grew heavier, and eventually dropped out of high school at 17 because of bullying. Unmotivated to cook, he loaded up on fast food and started drinking. By winter 2009, he’d reached a whopping 389 pounds.
The Turning Point
“In December my friend passed away, and I wanted to change everything about me,” says Chad. He had been sober for a few months but was still in a depressive funk. “One day, I looked in the mirror and said I’d had enough of it. It was a time for a change.”
With research pulled off the Internet and some pointers gleaned from watching The Biggest Loser, Chad started by making over his diet. He began eating small meals every 3 hours, paid attention to portion sizes, and drank a lot of water. Now he eats loads of high-fiber foods, lean meat, chicken, and fish—much of it organic. If he has a hankering for something sweet, Chad will reach for a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar.
At first, exercise was hard. When Chad started walking, he couldn’t finish a mile. But these days he’s clocking in 10 miles a day, and has dreams of running a 5-K and later a marathon. Three months ago, Chad started lifting weights. (Video: Get bigger pecs)
“I keep pictures of my old self in my truck window, and look at them every day,” says Chad, adding that seeing reminders of how far he’s come helps him keep his eye on the prize. “I want to be at 200 pounds. I haven’t been 200 pounds since 7th grade.” (Search: Fitness motivation)
In addition to dropping 181 pounds in 18 months, he’s also completed his GED and is currently finishing up his college degree. “My willpower is stronger,” says Chad. “Before, I never used to talk to anyone. Now my ability to absorb things and to talk to people has gotten better.”
His doctors are pretty happy, too. “They did blood work on me and called to say it was the biggest transformation they’ve ever seen,” he says. Gone are the panic and anxiety attacks that used to plague his life. Instead, he’s exuding confidence. (Related: 10 Reasons to Love Your Body)
“Plus the girls won’t leave me alone,” says Chad.
Make simple swaps. “Replace the bad with the good. I now love to cook, and instead of butter I use olive oil.”