Name: Daniel W.
LIVESTRONG.COM Username: Dwalker99
Age: 33 Height: 6'0"
BEFORE Weight: 260 pounds Dress/Pant Size: 38
AFTER Weight: 190 pounds Dress/Pant Size: 33
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your life like before joining LIVESTRONG.COM?
Regarding my health, it was pretty much a life of apathy. I didn’t think much of it. Every once in a while I would look in the mirror and think, “Wow, I need to lose some weight.” That would sometimes result in eating a slightly smaller portion at supper, but nothing really changed.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your inspiration to make a change?
In April of 2010 I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I was able to have it removed, and everything looked perfect from then on; but when I went to my doctor’s appointments I noticed my weight just slowly kept going up and up. Given that I had just dealt with cancer, I thought both about my health and the example I was setting for my kids. At that point I decided to really start doing something about it before it was too late.
LIVESTRONG.COM: How did LIVESTRONG.COM help you lose weight?
I started working out with a trainer to learn what I needed to do to not only lose weight, but also to maintain that weight loss. I met with him twice a week and did a lot of running on the days in between. He recommended LIVESTRONG.COM, and I began tracking my calories on the LIVESTRONG Calorie Tracker app. I ended up losing around 70 pounds.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your support system like?
My wife supported and encouraged me as I progressed through my weight-loss journey. I ran with some friends, which kept me motivated to continue running and pushing myself. And some of the accomplishments along the way were motivation enough to keep going — like watching the numbers on the scale move downward and running in various races. Since then, I’ve completed two half marathons and a full marathon.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your favorite way to work out?
Right now I’m focused on trying to bulk up, so I spend a fair amount of time lifting weights. I enjoy getting some runs in as well — typically between three and five miles.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your weekly exercise schedule?
I still meet with a trainer once a week — usually Tuesdays. He keeps me accountable. I’ll lift about three additional times on my own and get at least two runs in as well. There aren’t necessarily set days, but typically I lift on Thursday, Friday and Sunday and run on Monday and Saturday.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s a typical day of meals and snacks?
I eat three meals per day and usually an afternoon snack. I try to concentrate on lean proteins, fruits and veggies and maybe rice or some whole grain. Basically, the cleaner the food, the better. I often have an afternoon snack at work — usually a handful of almonds and a couple of Hershey’s Kisses. (I love chocolate, and sometimes that sweet tooth just has a hankering!)
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s the range of calories you eat per day?
Since I’m concentrating more on building muscle now, I eat more than I used to when I was focused on losing weight or maintaining. I typically keep it between 2,000 and 2,200 calories per day.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What are the healthy staples that are always in your kitchen?
I love hummus! I can eat that with carrots all day long! Also almonds. They help take the edge off my hunger between meals. Broccoli is a favorite I try to include with most meals.
LIVESTRONG.COM: How do you strategize for meals?
I don’t actually do a ton of planning ahead. For the most part, I just make sure to keep foods on hand that I know will work with my diet. I tend to eat a lot of the same things for meals: oatmeal or eggs for breakfast and a chicken sausage cut up over rice with veggies for lunch. Supper can be fair game — my wife is the planner for that meal. It typically holds to the same standards though: lean meats, veggies and whole grains.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s the biggest challenge you faced?
I’m kind of a foodie, so I love to eat! For the most part, if it’s on my plate I want to eat it. Based on that, I would say stopping is the biggest challenge I’ve faced — and still face. You can eat until you’re done or you can eat until you’re full, and the latter means weight gain!
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your biggest secret to success that you want to share with others?
Consistency! As soon as you quit you’ll gain it all back and lose that progress. Everything in life takes work. Whether it’s losing weight, your job, taking care of your family or even maintaining friendships: It all takes work. By being consistent and creating patterns in your life that force you to eat right and exercise, you will succeed!
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your life like now?
My life now is quite a bit more active than before. I’m happy with the way I look, and I can do so much more without feeling tired or sluggish. I have been a bit intermittent with my calorie tracking because I’ve been doing this for quite a while now, but I’ve definitely created a mindset that makes me take into consideration the things that I’m putting in my body. In addition, I’ve created habits that keep me active and keep the excess weight off! Thanks, LIVESTRONG.COM, for being there with me!
Ann Rusnak is LIVESTRONG’s Sr. Community Manager. Her quest to lose the “baby weight” before the “baby” finished elementary school sparked an interest in health and fitness that continues to be a passion to this day. She loves hiking and yoga, and thinks the best exercise is one you can do with a good friend. Over the years, Ann’s desire to fit into a certain size has evolved into what she feels is the more important goal of feeling good and having energy to live life to its fullest.