Name: Bobby L.
LIVESTRONG.COM Username: Soldbybobby
LIVESTRONG.COM Member since: 2013
Weight: 410 pounds
Dress/Pant Size: 60
Weight: 248 pounds
Dress/Pant Size: 42
1. LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your life like before joining LIVESTRONG.COM?
In 2012 I was at the heaviest I've ever been, although I don't actually know how much I weighed. I ate whatever and however much I wanted, and I never exercised. When I went out shopping I would circle the parking lot until I found a front-row parking spot to avoid having to walk too far. I was very tired of having to shop at big-and-tall clothing stores and spending $80 on a pair of pants.
2. LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your inspiration to make a change?
In 2012 my wife and I were in the process of adopting a little boy from the Congo, and I couldn't picture myself running after a 5-year-old the way I was. I decided to step on a scale one night when I was out shopping. The highest weight it would report was 400 pounds, and when I stepped on it gave an error message. That was a "wow" moment for me. I had no idea my weight had climbed to over 400 pounds. From that day forward I decided I had to at least try -- because losing any weight would be better than nothing.
3. LIVESTRONG.COM: How did LIVESTRONG.COM help you lose weight?
I used LIVESTRONG.COM to research workout tips and find healthy recipes. Although I did not engage with the LIVESTRONG community, I did find accountability and support by sharing updates throughout my journey with my friends and family on Facebook. I started in June of 2012 and lost 100 pounds in the first year. As of December 2014 I've now lost over 160 pounds!
4. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's the biggest challenge you faced?
I don't feel like I've faced any major obstacles, but if I had to pick something I would say that attending events or going out to eat with friends was something I initially avoided because I worried I wouldn't have the willpower to make healthy food choices. I now realize that nothing is off limits. I practice eating what I want, but I always focus on portion control. When I go out to eat I ask for a takeout box right when my food is served, and I immediately split it in half and take part home for a later meal.
5. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's your favorite way to work out?
This might sound silly, but when I first started my journey my favorite workout was the Richard Simmons workout DVD Sweatin' to the Oldies. The number of calories you can burn doing that for an hour is crazy! After I lost my first 40 pounds I joined a gym, and I love working out there! I find it motivating to see others killing it in their workouts, and it makes me feel more accountable when other gym members see me working out too. Now that I've lost this much weight, one of my favorite activities is riding bikes with my family.
6. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's your weekly exercise schedule?
My workout schedule varies from week to week, but a typical week looks something like this:
Monday to Friday: Gym at 6 a.m. for weightlifting. Arms for 30 minutes and legs/back for 15 minutes.
Monday to Friday: Gym during lunch break. Cardio for 30 minutes and abs/core for 10 minutes.
Monday to Friday: After dinner I ride the stationary bike while my wife walks on the treadmill.
Saturday and Sunday: I usually take one day on the weekend for a rest day, and on the other I visit the gym and use a variety of machines for 45 minutes to an hour.
7. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?
After I get home from the gym in the mornings I take my vitamins and usually eat something like a hard-boiled egg, a mini bagel or a yogurt. I try to keep breakfast around 200 calories. For lunch I typically have something along the lines of a small salad with chicken or half of a turkey sandwich, yogurt and fruit (grapes are a favorite). I try to keep my lunch below 500 calories. Dinner is usually high in protein -- for instance, chicken, steak or pork -- and I'll usually have a baked potato or rice and a small salad on the side. I try to always keep healthy snacks at my desk at work, such as pistachios, yogurt or granola bars.
8. LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your support system like?
I had so much support during my weight-loss journey. My wife originally started the diet with me and also lost about 40 pounds. Everyone kept commenting about how good I was looking, and that motivated me to push even harder. It really helped that I shared my progress on Facebook, because if there was a week I didn't post an update, you can bet I had people asking me how I was doing.
9. LIVESTRONG.COM: What are the healthy staples that are always in your kitchen?
I always keep yogurt, pistachios, chicken and bottled water around. Those are some of the must-haves in my pantry these days.
10. LIVESTRONG.COM: How do you strategize for meals?
We do our grocery shopping once every two weeks. I do prepare parts of my weekly meals in advance -- particularly the meat portions. Typically I will add fruit and other sides the morning of the day I'll be eating the meal. Before I started this weight-loss journey I went out for lunch every day. My daily lunch back then contained more calories than I eat in an entire day now!
11. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's your biggest secret to success that you want to share with others?
Don't try to starve yourself to speed up weight loss. Your body needs food to operate! You can just about eat whatever you want as long as you watch the portion sizes. Now, when I do choose to eat out, I split my entree in half when the food arrives at the table and take part home to eat for lunch the next day.
12. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's your life like now?
Currently my life is amazing. I am so much happier. I no longer try to park right in front of the store; I'm so OK with walking. I'm also much more confident. I bought my first regular size jeans a few months ago -- I never thought I'd be wearing skinny jeans. Happily, I find myself more than able to keep up with my busy family. We love to go on family bike rides, and recently I was at the playground with one of my sons and found myself going down one of the slides. That is something I could not have done 160 pounds ago. I still use LIVESTRONG.COM to find workouts and recipes, and I try to exercise every day.
Written by: Ann Rusnak