When I grew up I was always a big kid. I love to eat and it became very important in my life. I ate fast food almost every day because it was easy – going out and having a few beers and a burger sounded a lot better than water and a healthy meal. When I was 21, I was 320 pounds and my weight was a little higher. I felt fine physically. Psychologically, however, I was very self-conscious and was afraid to approach a girl or go out with friends for fear of embarrassing myself.

I spent Thanksgiving 2019 with friends and there were lots of new faces, people I hadn’t met. Towards the end of the day, a three year old cousin ran up to me, grabbed my leg, and kept shouting “FAT GUY”. It took a few seconds for everyone to understand what he was saying, but I heard it right away. His parents were embarrassed, but I laughed at it. I realize that one of the best / worst things about children is that they have no inhibitions. He said what no one else would really do, but probably thought at some point.

That December, I decided it was time for a change. I had tried fitness plans and diets in the past but could not stay motivated. Somehow this kid calling me gave me the drive to keep going.

I started keto but the excess fat made me physically uncomfortable. I switched to a paleo diet that consisted mostly of salads and egg whites – lots of chicken. I fell off the cart a couple of times, but with the help of a nutritionist, I created a consistent meal plan.

CJ Wheatley

I also got a gym membership and started running. I would start with an hour at a five degree incline and switch to the maximum incline of fifteen degrees every five minutes. As I got stronger, I added more time to the maximum incline time. I’ve also started running and lifting weights, and I play golf and rollerblade – I’m not very good either, but this year there are new experiences and opportunities to get out of my comfort zone.

I am currently 115 pounds from where I started. I’m still in the works aiming to be around 180 pounds with more muscle. I feel a million times better. I realized early on that I had slept better and slept all night – before that, I hadn’t even noticed how bad my sleep was. I can buy clothes that I’m comfortable in and showing off a little is a great feeling. I was at a wedding a month ago and my friends there were shocked at how slim I looked.

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Dating is obviously weird in the face of the current pandemic, but my success with dating apps has definitely improved. Hopefully I’ll have reached my goal and ready to get back into the dating cycle once we’re back to near normal.

From the surface my journey was physical, but also psychological, personal and for general health. I have no plans to improve in any of these aspects until the end of my days. – As Jesse Hicks said

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