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People lose weight in a variety of ways. If you look all over Facebook and the web you will see amazing before and after pictures. Some are by eating clean, some are by eating dirty. Some are of people who work out for six minutes a day and some workout for two hours a day.

It is silly for people to say that there is only one way to lose weight or work out. There is enough evidence to prove that people can lose weight by eating fruits, vegetables, Twinkies, Subway and a variety of other items.

But my weight loss story has very little to do with the food I eat or the type of workouts I do.

It has more to do with determination and fighting my fears…

When I walked into the gym over five years ago I did not feel like I belonged. Sure, I just lost 50 pounds by eating better, but I was still 370 pounds. I still could not put on a seatbelt or wipe myself without twisting and turning.

I remember that day well, I wore untied Adidas shoes and my only pair of 5xl Reebok shorts and sweatshirt. I bought them at Casual Male XL because it was the only place I knew of that carried my size. They were very nice to me at The Casual Male XL> They helped me pick out my George Foreman shirts and always kept my Harbor Bay 60 inch waist pants in stock.

I looked around the gym and was intimidated. I saw people who were much thinner than I was. I felt like everyone was talking about me. I felt like everyone was laughing at me. I truly hated being there.

I saw a chest machine so I read the instructions on the side. It did not look hard until I realized I could not fit on it. I looked around to see if anyone noticed that I could not. I am sure they did. I did not try another machine after that and went to the cardio room.

The cardio room looked scary. All of these machines with stairs and those elliptical machine. Most had a 350 pound weight limit. I was still over that. But I had to try something.

I saw a treadmill. Everyone knows how to use a treadmill! There was one open. So I got on. My back started hurting real bad so I had to get off. I looked and it said I went for 48 seconds.

48 seconds. That is what the big red digital numbers said. I could not even make it a minute. I could not push myself to fight my back hurting to last!

I left the gym and felt defeated. Like a failure. Sure I lost 50 pounds but I could only last 48 seconds at the gym. Why go back? So people can laugh at a “fat man”? It was bad enough I was the largest person at Weight Watchers meetings, why embarrass myself more!

I drove around for 30 minutes because I did not want to be home after five minutes. I did not want my wife to think I did not go to the gym. When I got home my wife was waiting by the door. She looked at me and said “How was the gym?”

This is what weight loss is about. I was defeated. I hated eating less just to still be enormous. I hated the fact that I felt like people were laughing at me at the gym. I hated the fact that if I lost 100 pounds I would still weigh more than Chris Farley’s highest weight. I hated the fact that I had to lose 150 pounds just to buy clothes at a normal store. I hated the fact…

I stopped. I looked at my wife and said…

“Really good. I got a nice workout. I am going back tomorrow.”

I went the next day to the gym. I went on the treadmill for over a minute that time.

And the next day I was able to go for two minutes.

Then after a while it was ten minutes.

After that I saw an elliptical machine. I was still well over 300 pounds and saw the weight limit on the machine was 300 pounds. I did not care. I went on and did two minutes. Two minutes turned into five a week later. Then ten. Then twenty minutes!

Then I went on some weight machines. I did light weight and read instructions to get a feel for each machine. Once I was able to do that, I used the same motion with free weights.

Today I way much less than 400 pounds. A short workout for me is an hour and I try to do at least two hours a day. Not because I need to but because I want to. Every time I walk in the gym I remember how it was for me five years ago. When I look around the gym I see determined people every day as well.

People want answers when it comes to weight loss. I just have a story.

And the moral of my story is that 48 seconds can truly change your life.

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