Chris Line, 32, has lost more than 250 pounds in a year and a half after transforming his diet and adopting a more active lifestyle. Here, he shares his journey with men’s health.
There was not a single motivating moment or turning point that led me to make such a significant life change, although in hindsight there should have been many. You’d think half a dozen broken chairs, my obese uncle dying of a heart attack, or one of the daily discomforts of living a 400+ pound life would have been my wake-up call, but I don’t. I’ve never had a real light bulb moment. When I finally decided to lose weight, it was out of sheer convenience. I’ve always wanted to lose weight and I’ve had several successful fights throughout my life, but when I started my first real job after finishing law school in June 2017, I was able to get into a good routine and, for the first time, I felt safe enough to change my life.
Even when I weighed over 400 pounds, I loved walking. I walked for hours listening to music or audio books. So when I started my journey, I maintained the same level of activity, but also worked on changing my diet and developing other healthy habits. I grew up drinking soda all my life, so it was one of the first things to do, and one of the hardest. I cut out fast food and all junk food. At some point I started doing a bit of weightlifting, but not in a very organized or consistent way.
I also started running after dropping down to around 200 pounds. My colleagues signed me up for a half marathon even though I had never really run before. I started training for the half marathon, then I never stopped. Now I usually run 10-20 miles a day.
I have never worked with a trainer. I was self-taught on Reddit, YouTube and Instagram. I find that motivation is driven by success and progress, and the more motivated I felt, the more the weight went down.
I went from 450 lbs to 195 lbs (a total loss of 255 lbs) in 18 months. It was definitely worth it. I feel better in every way, mentally, physically. I was either overweight or obese for 27 years and in the five years since I changed my life I already know that the healthy way is so much better and worth it. The most dramatic thing about my new body are my calves. I’ve spent my life walking around and doing everything with hundreds of extra pounds and I think it’s made my legs more developed than anyone else’s.
There were a lot of positive side effects apart from the visible results. Before I lost weight, I was pre-diabetic, had sleep apnea, and was probably on my way to a premature grave. Now my resting heart rate is around 45 bpm and my blood pressure is near perfect.
I don’t think you can ever really be done, though. Even when you reach a weight that’s right for you, you need to maintain your fitness level if you want to maintain it. My current goal is to lose about 20 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle.
If there’s one piece of advice I can give anyone who wants to lose weight and get in shape, it’s: determination trumps motivation. You need to figure out what you need to do to achieve your goal, then just decide that you’re going to do it. For example, I run 10-15 miles a day. I don’t ask myself every day if I want to, or decide if it’s practical. I make it a priority and something I will do no matter what.
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