Name: Gavin A.
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LIVESTRONG.COM Username: Senxr
Age: 18 Height: 6'1"
BEFORE Weight: 312 pounds Dress/Pant Size: 48
AFTER Weight: 180 pounds Dress/Pant Size: 30
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your life like before joining LIVESTRONG.COM?
Before I started my journey, I was very dissatisfied with my life. I was overweight and felt like I didn’t have a chance at being successful in anything I pursued. I wasn’t vigilant about my health, and I was disappointed every time I tried being active.
My food intake was awful. I didn’t really eat anything healthy. Instead, I ate what I thought tasted good rather than what was good for my body and mind. I didn’t exercise very much (just when someone made me). Because of my bad nutrition and inactivity, I was in a state of constant fatigue and felt hungry often.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your inspiration for making a change?
At first, I decided to stick with a weight-loss plan because I knew what would happen if I continued on my path. I was putting myself at risk for developing heart disease, having a heart attack and not being able to get off the couch. I started to get serious about making a change the summer after my sophomore year of high school.
LIVESTRONG.COM: How did LIVESTRONG.COM help you lose weight?
LIVESTRONG.COM helped me reach my goal by providing fitness, nutrition and health articles for me to read. I used the information on the website to reach my goal.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your support system like?
My main motivation for continuing my journey was the cheer squad that I was part of. I fought for all of my teammates, my coach, my captain and my flyer because I didn’t want to let them down. I endured physical challenges that likely would have made me break if I didn’t have the squad as my motivation.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your favorite way to work out?
I enjoy lifting weights, participating in my R.I.P.P.E.D. class at school, cheer stunting and running when I feel trapped. Fighting and sparring are also activities I like.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your weekly exercise schedule?
I attend the R.I.P.P.E.D. class and do Pilates on Monday and lift weights on Tuesday. On Wednesday and Friday I do R.I.P.P.E.D., Pilates and/or general yard work. On Thursday I go running and jogging. I rest on Saturday and Sunday.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s a typical day of meals and snacks?
I try to eat five to six small meals a day. I eat snacks when I feel like I need to, but I try not to overdo it. I like to eat raw fruits and sauteed veggies, and I prefer opting for leaner meats and whole-grain bread.
Another trick: I don’t use mayo when I make sandwiches. Instead, I bake or steam a sweet potato until it’s tender. Then I mash the sweet potato with coconut oil or butter and mix it really well. I use this to spread on my sandwich instead of mayo.
The vitamin A in the sweet potato is fat-soluble, so it binds really well to fat cells. The carbs from the sweet potato will help you maintain energy throughout your day.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s the range of calories you eat per day?
I like to go for 2,500 to 3,000 calories, depending on my training that day. I’ll eat even more if I am really active.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What are the healthy staples that are always in your kitchen?
Slow-cooked oats, apples, bananas, chicken, sweet potatoes, honey, peanut butter (without hydrogenated oils if possible) and whole-grain bread.
LIVESTRONG.COM: How do you strategize for meals?
I like to prepare food and have meals stored in the fridge so I can grab something and eat it later. And I like to get my grocery shopping done all at once.
LIVESTRONG.COM: Were there any supplements that you took during your journey?
I was focused on fat loss, so I took protein powder. It helped, however, I was told I was using it wrong. Now I know much more about supplements, and I continue to use protein powder as well as multivitamins.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s the biggest challenge you faced?
I was really craving junk food when I first started my journey. But I trained myself to swap out bad foods for healthier alternatives, and in time I was craving junk food less and less. I began drinking tea instead of soda, and I started eating fruits instead of sweets.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your biggest secret to success that you want to share with others?
There’s no secret. I changed my nutrition intake, I changed my activity level, I educated myself on the human body and I was persistent in the face of physical challenges that I thought I couldn’t overcome. I did not give up or give in, no matter how bad I wanted to. In addition, I started training correctly, which led to greater muscle development and, eventually, fat loss.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your life like now?
I’m currently a full-time student at Umpqua Community College. I want to get very serious about proper nutrition and training, and I want to share my knowledge with the students and student athletes of Elkton High School.
I use LIVESTRONG.COM when researching articles relating to a specific topic, such as shin splints (fought through those; they suck), healthy recipes, exercise technique corrections, etc. I am beyond thrilled that I am finally lean, thin and healthier than I was two years ago. However, I also feel like what I did was simply necessary.
I like to go by the ATHLEAN-X training and nutrition program, but I didn’t rely on it for my journey. I didn’t even find out about it until a few months ago. Due to my overall improvements, I feel happier and am way more self-confident. Additionally, my metabolism has fired up, I developed stronger and more toned muscles and I have the energy needed to get me through the day and through my workouts. I’ve worked so hard to be the best I can be — and now it’s happening.