Yassine Exantus is a 31-year-old assistant controller from Florida. After finding himself out of breath climbing the stairs in his apartment, he decided he needed to lose weight. Here, in his own words, he explains the simple approach that helped him lose over 90 pounds.
I have been overweight most of my life. In high school, I would come home from school, eat, take a nap, and then eat another hearty meal for dinner. As a kid, I never really heard of nutrition, at least not as I know it now. Carbohydrates, proteins, different types of fats, all of this was foreign to me. It just wasn’t something I knew.
This continued into adulthood. The moment that really changed me came when I was living with my fiancé in a fourth floor apartment. Our elevator broke down. Walking up and down those stairs completely killed me. We usually went shopping on Saturday mornings, and I remember reaching the top one day was like death for me. I looked and she was barely breathing hard. That’s when I knew it was too much. At that time, I weighed around 380 pounds.
I started by cutting out soft drinks. The extra sugar and calories weren’t worth it. I started doing cardio. really nothing corn cardio. I started with a trainer, but the first day he worked me so much that I threw up in my car. Boy, this made me feel like a loser – like I couldn’t even get through a session. I turned that embarrassment into motivation to get back in shape…my way – so I could show him that I didn’t have to do it his way.
At first it was easy. I had eaten so much without exercising at all, so when I started working out the weight seemed to slip right away. After a while, however, it got harder and I really had to focus on my diet. I went from rice and beans twice a day to once a day, to a one-foot Subway sandwich for lunch and dinner, and then to a six-inch. When I got stuck I tried keto which got me down to 230 but that’s not a way to live. I love food too much to go on like this; I gained weight after quitting keto.
In total, in about 13 months, I lost just over 90 pounds. People noticed it quickly and it kept me going. I lost a lot of weight in my face so it was noticeable at first. It was great having strangers at the gym come up to me and let me know how well I was doing. Getting more attention from everyone was awesome. Then I will try to get back to 230 pounds without keto.
For anyone feeling intimidated or unsure how to get fitter, I say just start. You don’t have to go crazy at first; getting too intense, too quickly doesn’t work in the long run. If you slowly reduce and slowly add workouts, your mind and body will thank you later. Take it one step at a time: you haven’t gained all that weight all at once, so you can’t expect to lose it all at once either. It takes time, but it’s worth it.
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