It’s no secret that most people have wanted to tone up or lose weight at some point in their lives.

I believe there is only one way to go about it and it’s not with pills, fad diet plans, or unhealthy eating habits, trust me I’d know. To date I’ve lost 140 lbs, going from a total of 350 lbs to a current 207 lbs at 6’7.

For a long time, I had tried to lose weight but I realized that I didn’t know what I was doing, and ultimately found it too intimidating to start on my own. I lost maybe 30 pounds in total because I didn’t ask for any help and I didn’t make hard sacrifices.
Foot shot of man lifting a dumbbell off the ground

At the time, I would have sworn I was trying but looking back on it now, the hard truth is that I wasn’t. I’ve always compared it to handing out 5 resumes and complaining that you can’t find a job. If I truly wanted a job I would have done everything and more but I didn’t, I only handed out 5 resumes.

I didn’t get my act straight until an incredible opportunity came my way in the form of two friends on Facebook. They were advertising a free pilot program that provided 2 months of diet and exercise plans. I had nothing to lose.

I’d like to say it was easy once I got started but I’d be lying. It was a difficult process made worth it because of the progress I was making. I originally set a goal of 60 lbs over four months and at the time I thought this was quite lofty. When I surpassed my goal and lost 100 lbs in four months it refreshed my conviction; I was surprised and it felt great. Over the next year I would eventually come to lose another 40 lbs.

girl taking measuring tape to her waist

This may seem like a lot of weight and while that is true I am not some fitness genius. I understand the basics but I can’t make you a meal plan, and I can’t tell you how to work out. There are experts that devote a lot of time to understanding these things and there is absolutely no shame in asking for help. It can be scary to just jump in and do this on your own, especially when you don’t know how to properly start, but having somebody there to help you makes everything more manageable.

Once you start, this whole adventure is a matter of willpower. It’s a matter of saying no or in some cases saying yes, and doing things you may not enjoy for the sake of your goal. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There will be tough times but that’s when your willpower will get you through.

Man in superhero shirt lifting weights

The most important thing is to focus on your limitations and figure out how you can overcome them.

My limitations were that I am a picky eater, I can’t handle certain textures of food. This meant that I had to change how I did things, starting with drinking my eggs in the morning. For the first month, I had to drink my lunch every day too, a smoothie made of avocado, black beans, and tomatoes. It looked like the colour that cardboard turns to when it is wet, and yes it was as unpleasant as it sounds.

Fruits, veggies, spices

I don’t mean to scare you off, as odds are you won’t have to blend half of your food. All in all, the best advice I could give would have to come in two parts. First, get somebody to help you, preferably have them draw up and explain a set of meal plans if they can. Second, live for your goal, the cheat meals, and the little things in your day-to-day life. You can’t be strict all the time because that it isn’t sustainable. You need to cheat every now and again, and you need to manage your cravings.

Pizza being served

This is about building a sustainable healthy new lifestyle, not about a quick fix that you can’t maintain forever. When I wanted sweets, I bought Sour Patch Kids gum because it curbs your craving without ruining your plans. I got to eat a custom-made pesto pizza every day because I learned how to make it correctly and work it into my lifestyle.

So, as you can see, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but its not all that bad. Weight loss is both a learning and a growing experience and you can get through it with enough willpower, drive, and help. There’s a whole new world in front of you and it’s shining, shimmering, and splendid.

Girl overlooking mountains

Ultimately the important thing is that you are happy, healthy, and confident. While weight loss is what helped get me there it may not necessarily be the solution for you.

If this does interest you take a look at our Services page. Our Flexible Health Plan may be able to help get you started by covering the cost of a nutritional assessment or diet plan. Additionally, our Student Lifeline gives you a chance to talk to counsellors about a variety of issues.


Pesto Recipe

  • 2 C. Fresh Basil, Chopped & Lightly Packed
  • 2 C. Spinach, Lightly Packed
  • â…“ C. Pine Nuts
  • 3 T. Water
  • 2 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Ground Pepper to Taste

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Pesto has a variety of uses, but I put it on a tortilla shell with veggies and some feta, to make a healthy pizza alternative.