Back on Feb. 19, the Tallahassee Democrat published my column about three young men sharing a weight loss journey.

Daniel, Kelly, and Gary had all suffered from years of obesity. Luckily, they all agreed to commit to a fitness and nutritional plan for one full year and to allow me to write about their progress. My expectation was that it would aid them with accountability, resulting in more motivation to achieve their weight loss goals. 

Hopefully, it would also have a positive impact on the community and help others suffering from the sometimes crippling impact of being morbidly obese. 

Daniel, Kelly, and Gary had different reasons for participating. Daniel, at times, felt sad and embarrassed. Kelly felt like he needed to do everything in his power to avoid having a massive heart attack. Gary desired to strengthen his back, knees, and hips so he could participate in more activities with his friends.  

Weight loss and exercise could help make all of these things possible. 

As I mentioned in the last column, these men started to work out with me two times per week at Ability 1 on 1 Training and also agreed to meet with registered dietitian, Anna Jones. Nutrition, strength training, and cardiovascular exercise are all essential parts of the weight loss process. 

Here is the latest update on their progress:

Daniel

Daniel weighed more than 520 pounds during the fall of 2017. He was hovering between 470-480 at the beginning of the year and has recently made a push down into the low 450s.

He mentioned that the hardest thing about this whole ordeal is taking it one day at a time. Sometimes patience is difficult for him to deal with because he wants faster results. Daniel’s goal is to try to cook more at home during the next couple of months. He has learned that eating out is detrimental for his weight. High calorie food and drinks are often tempting to order.

Kelly

Kelly’s highest weight a few years ago reached approximately 530 pounds. At that time, he had a serious health scare. He became very motivated to better his life and lose weight.

Although it has been a bit of a seesaw battle, Kelly is back on track and doing very well. He weighed just under 495 pounds earlier this year and has recently managed to get down into the low 460s. One of Kelly’s goals during the next few weeks is to go out with his buddies a little less often.

He believes that drinking on the weekends and being tempted by restaurant food is slowing his progress. Anna Jones has helped Kelly realize that if he eats and drinks correctly, he can consume more and still lose weight. 

Gary

Gary tipped the scales in the past at 440 pounds. Over the last couple of years, he has had a couple great months of weight loss and has also struggled at times. Recently, it has been tough for Gary to get consistently on track. Although he was 400 pounds the last time we weighed in, he knows that he can do a little bit better.

While Gary and I were chatting a few weeks ago, he made a very good point. He pointed out that the first column was titled, Sharing a Journey. He then said, ”it’s a journey, not always successful.”

Gary couldn’t be more accurate. Dropping pounds every day, every week, or even every month might not be realistic. Consistently losing weight, especially in obese individuals, is extremely difficult. I have confidence that Gary will continue to strive towards his weight loss goals. 

Please continue to share any motivational stories that you might have. Studies have shown that support from others can make a real difference to those engaging in a weight loss quest. 

Please email Kelly, Daniel and Gary at Ability1on1training@gmail.com.

Phil Amsellem has an MS in Sport Psychology, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and is certified in Sports Nutrition. He and his wife, Liz, currently own ABILITY 1 on 1 Training. If you have any specific questions or would like to contact Phil, please go to www.ability1on1.com 

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