Enjoy Tims Amazing Weight Loss Story. It has been a long Journey but His Lifestyle Change has brought a whole different level of health and happiness to his life!!
I’ll start from what I can remember. I have always been a large kid. Maybe not a particularly huge baby but I definitely knew how to eat. I can’t really blame my parents for what we were fed as out of four siblings, I happened to be the fat child. I can’t really attribute anything specific to why I was so large at the time. I know it certainly doesn’t help one’s self esteem when you are made fun of for being fat and Asian growing up.
Tim Featured on Kctv 5 News
I was diagnosed with juvenile type 2 diabetes back in my late junior high years. For those that don’t really know, diabetes (at least for type 2) is the inability of the body to produce sufficient insulin to regulate the absorption of sugars that your body uses. This diminished capacity forces the excess sugars to build up in your blood. Over prolonged periods of time, maintaining uncontrolled high blood sugar causes damage to your body, from your eyes, to your legs and feet, and even cardiac arrest. The best example I can give is that high blood sugars are like broken shards of glass continually scraping and ripping at your veins, arteries and tissues. Your body is continually fighting this onslaught of damage which is a reason why diabetics take longer to heal from injuries, cuts, the flu and even simple colds. If you want more information regarding diabetes, please go to www.diabetes.org.
At my heaviest, which were during my collegiate years, I was sitting around 310 pounds. I think part of my weight stems from growing up and trying to figure out my sexuality. I really knew who I was back when I was quite young, but of course I didn’t have the words or knowledge to describe it. I did come out late in college and that actually was the beginning change in life for me. The bad thing was that I still found comfort and love in food so though losing some weight after college through my 30s, I was still hovering around 280 pounds.
Tim Conquering the Red Hill!!
After college, I tried doing every fad diet and attending the gym and even hoped the support and inspiration of good, close friends such as Darin Coffman, Steve Curran and Lane Feuer would help inspire me to lose weight and make better choices in life. At one point, I did get down to 245 lbs but even then it was all just cardio. I was still eating poorly and making bad decisions. It was an unhealthy way to go about changing my life. Then, shoulder injury, major illness and shoulder surgery took me out of the gym for a long while and I was unable to get myself back into the swing of things. It is crazy easy to go from 245 lbs back into the 270s when you stop the cardio and maintain poor eating habits.
Now the fun part. I’m now 41 years old. Countless warnings from Dr. John Verstraete, other doctors and supportive concern from my friends still have not put me in the place I need to be. Diabetes has taken quite a toll on my body. Along with the weight, I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stasis (poor circulation) in my left leg, and the beginnings of diabetic retinopathy (eye damage). These health issues are a serious matter if one really wants to continue to live a productive life. I shouldn’t even use the word productive here, more like an enjoyable life. Keep in mind that with all of these conditions, at the time, I always thought just taking more medication would keep me happy and healthy. That being said, my version of happy and healthy involved 36 units of insulin daily via shot to the stomach, four additional diabetes medications, two high blood pressure medications, a water pill, high cholesterol medication and a pill for my kidneys to protect them from damage. Sheesh!
After getting my last “diagnosis” for stasis, I Googled that condition and saw the end result and realized: “If I don’t change things, I will lose a foot, be blind or be dead within a short period of time.” Do I really want to go through that? Do I want my friends and family see me suffer and go through that? I always believe that you have to be ready to make the changes necessary to be successful in anything long term, weight loss is no exception to this mindset. Just because someone actually loses 100 lbs doesn’t mean they will keep it off. I finally decided that my life is worth something. It’s worth something to me. I am worth everything and deserve good things.
That is why I am on this journey. Self worth is my journey. So, with that in mind, I set out to do what I could control. My weight and nutrition. In turn, that should affect my health issues in positive ways. I felt, for me, that I needed to find a personal trainer so I could feel accountable to someone and a person that could help guide me along this new road to discovering a person inside of me I’ve never found. I decided to talk to Micah Lacerte of HitchFit for this role. I met Micah randomly at Bally Total Fitness many years ago. I saw him working out and just walked up to him to ask him some advice. He made such great impression on me as a person and as a supportive friend when I first met him, that it made sense for me to reach out to him if he was doing personal training. He is all about doing things in a healthy and managed way through diet/nutrition, weight training and of course cardio, cardio, cardio. An interesting thing to note is that Micah told me later that he would normally not talk to anyone at the gym. He just focuses on his workouts and blinders are up.
So on January 11, 2010, I started my very first personal training session with Micah and began my change in eating habits. I could barely do anything, or at least that’s what I felt like during my first session. I think the thing that really put me into such a focused mindset was something Micah said at the end of my first session. He said, “Timmy, I thought you would be a big whiny baby”. When he said that, I was like “WTH?” From that point forward, I was determined never to allow him to see “that” person. I just did as much as I could without complaint. I pretty much went cold turkey. Complete diet change with basically no cheat meals allowed. As much cardio as I have been able to do. Fighting off two different illnesses and trying to adjust my insulin medication to compensate for all of the changes occurring.
In early March 2010, I went from being only able to do 10-15 minutes of cardio to nearly 45 minutes to an hour of elliptical trainer. Micah says I am getting stronger with every session and my stamina is radically improving. I’ve now lost 23 pounds of mostly fat over the last 7 weeks. I am on track and doing things in a manner that my body can adjust to.
At the end of my official time with HitchFit in June 2010, I dropped 51 lbs of fat!! I tried carrying two 25lb barbells around for a bit and dang, that’s heavy. Just trying to understand how my body supported that weight boggles my mind. The BIGGEST change, however, is my health status. Remember all my health conditions and required medications? I went from running a pharmacy to… NO MEDICATIONS. I am free from insulin and all of the plethora of pills that I needed just to “live life”.
Now almost 2.5 years since I began this journey of health and well being, I can say without a doubt that my happiness is centered around my health. This has not been an easy road, and I never expected it to be. I’ve had additional setbacks with another shoulder injury and surgery and refused to let myself slide back into the drought of desperation that took over in the past.
I am now able to nearly jog a full 5K. I never thought I’d ever say something like that or DO anything like that in my life. I mix up my cardio between swimming laps, elliptical trainers, walks and jogs with some interval training in between. My shoulder is getting back to normal so my weight training regiment is back into swing.
I believe with everything, that the people you place around you are almost as important as your focus and self determination to better your health and wellness. This journey has never been about 6 pack abs or pecs of steel. For me, this has been about health and being able to live life. Along this road of adventure, I’ve been fortunate to not only be in the company of wonderful HitchFit trainers like Diana Lacerte and James Hanton, but have been blessed to meet and be humbled by WBFF athletes with their own stories and transformations.
I am not alone in the fight for health and wellness. The mantra of the HitchFit team is not a sales pitch. It’s a pitch to save your life by making lifestyle changes so that you live life and not let life slide by in a blur.
I am so close to breaking into the 180’s and I know I can do it. I don’t really want to focus on the numbers anymore but my eventual goal is around the 170lbs mark. This is not a race, it should never be. This isn’t the biggest loser. It’s about making life choices that will impact your future. I don’t know if I’ll ever step on a WBFF stage but I know that the HitchFit and WBFF family would stand up and cheer if I did. All I know is that I used to weigh 310 lbs at one point in life and now I’m 120 lbs lighter. I’ve won my life back and I’m so happy that I am crying as I type these last few words. I hope this is helpful to at least one person. If I can help one person, I know I’ve made an impact in the world. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you informed of my next milestones and life changes.
BELIEVE, TRANSFORM, INSPIRE!
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