Before: 320 pounds
After: 186 pounds
Height: 6’ 1”
Busy with work, Randy Jeffreys consistently skipped breakfast and overindulged in fast food. “For lunch, I had a triple cheeseburger, big fries, a big coke, chicken nuggets, and maybe a Frosty,” says the 34-year-old, a Raleigh, NC resident. (Search: Worst fast food) For dinner he would pick up more fast food on the way home, plus drink around six Dr. Peppers a day. With his twice-daily fast food habit and no physical activity, Randy hit 320 pounds.
The Turning Point
In October 2011, Randy went to urgent care with foot pain. After the nurses checked his vitals, they found his blood pressure was at stroke level, his blood sugar was four times it should be, and that he had type 2 diabetes. “It didn’t sink in until the nurse started running through all the things I couldn’t do anymore, like no fried foods and soda—everything I was used to had to change and I felt like my life was over,” says Randy. But the nurse broke it down for him: if you don’t change, you won’t be around for your two-year-old son and wife because you won’t live past 40. “It was an easy choice,” he remembers.
The Eating Habits
First, Randy changed his diet and started counting calories. His doctor suggested he use an app called Lose It to help him track his calories. “I plugged in my normal day of food into the app and realized I was eating 4,500 to 5,000 calories a day,” Randy says. “I’m a cold turkey kind of guy, so I cut out soda completely, switched to grilled food, and had a target of 1,200 calories a day.” Now, he eats breakfast every morning, and makes smart swaps like a baked potato instead of French fries.
Video: Organize a Healthy Kitchen
Randy started with small, realistic exercise goals to avoid getting discouraged quickly. “My initial goal was to walk 45 minutes on the treadmill at three miles an hour for three to four days a week,” explains Randy. Eventually walking turned into jogging, and then running, he says. He also got involved in a local running group, and started running 5-K races. In November 2012, Randy completed his first half-marathon, which he completed in under two hours. “My proudest moment was seeing my son at the finish line with a sign that said, ‘I’m proud of you daddy,’” he says.
“When I cleared out my entire closet because all my old clothes didn’t fit anymore, it was a really good moment for me,” says Randy. “I lost 140 pounds over a year, and I never thought I could that.” Now, his main goal is to be active with his son, and promote a healthy lifestyle for him.
In addition, losing weight cured Randy’s type 2 diabetes within four months of his diagnosis. “The doctor was shocked, and said I’m a poster child for what to do and how to react to bad news,” says Randy. His blood pressure also went down and he’s no longer on any medications.
Make it a habit. “Routine really helped me, so identify a [diet and exercise] routine that will work for you,” says Randy.
Accept that you will have setbacks. “You’re going to have a lot of pitfalls, but it’s the journey of learning the dos and the don’ts,” Randy says. “Determination is important.”
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