132 Pounds Down, 'I Have Nothing to Lose But the Weight'

2SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/19/2010 5:21 AM   :  353 comments   :  23,012 Views

"Ryan, there's a story inside your heart that people need to hear," said Annette Plante, a registered nurse and fitness trainer from Meriter Home Health in Madison, Wisconsin. "And that story is that you have believed a lie all your life. And the lie that you've believed is that you are not valuable and that you are not worthy of being loved and accepted for who you are."

When the scale read 800 pounds, Ryan (SparkPeople.com member MADTOWNBUDDHA) decided it was time to change his life. Hundreds of pounds from his ultimate goal, you might think that Ryan feels depressed and overwhelmed by the journey ahead of him. But that couldn't be further from the truth. His positive attitude is infectious and he's made real progress in just a few months. And with the help of SparkPeople, his hometown, and Annette, his home health nurse, he's well on his way to reaching a healthy weight for the first time in his life.

Recently, Ryan sat down with WISC-TV in Madison to share his story and ask for help. ("A lot of this seems to be about being willing to let people in," he says.) We wanted to share Ryan's story with you because we think he is a true inspiration. If you have trouble viewing the video below, visit the Channel3000.com website.



After seeing this video, we immediately reached out to Ryan to offer our support and to learn more about his journey. We think that his can-do attitude and progress so far is nothing short of amazing. While Ryan is the one asking for help, we think that he is going to help so many more people by taking this journey himself and serving as inspiration that they can do it, too.

I had the opportunity to interview Ryan via email last week. Here's what he says about his a-ha moment, his workout routine, and how he maintains a positive attitude.

Coach Nicole: It sounds like reaching 800 pounds was your "a-ha" moment. Was it the number on the scale itself or something else that triggered you to change your life?
Ryan: It was absolutely the number, I could not believe that my weight had gotten so high, I was devastated emotionally and when my doctor said that my most recent blood work showed that I had developed diabetes, that was it. Things needed to change way before this, but that was my turning point—even though at that time I had no idea on how to make these changes on my own.

CN: How has asking for help made a difference in your weight loss this time around? Do you have any advice for others about seeking support or asking for help?
R: My fiancé took the initial critical action by getting me hooked up with a local hospital's home care agency. Since we started working with them, and allowing these changes to happen, it has become crystal-clear that any success I'm having is credited to a team of people, not just me. I really want to be successful with this, and surrounding myself with loving, supportive people who know how to help me get there has been key!

CN: Many overweight and obese individuals struggle with exercising because it can be painful, uncomfortable or tiring. In the video, we see you exercising under the direction of your nurse/trainer. What are your workouts like and how often do you exercise? What advice do you have for people who struggle to get active?
R: I've made a lot of progress in these last few months with being able to move more, feeling comfortable on my feet and mentally becoming friends with exercising. I am currently doing sit-ups every morning (I do them on the edge of my bed), keeping my core tight, breathing, helping my back muscles and getting a nice warm up to get up and do my walking cardio. I do 5-8 laps back in forth in our apartment building hallway, each session shakes out to about 100 yards on my feet, so a football field—not as much as many people, but I'm going for consistency and endurance burning. I do this every day. Later in the day, I usually do either some weight training sets with dumbbells and/or resistance bands.

I have to always remind myself that I have to push myself to do more, but also to balance that drive to lose all my weight by next week with the reality of my situation. Steady consistent progress so I won't get burnt out or injure myself, so that I can keep going. I try to look for all the progress I am making instead of focusing on what I can't accomplish YET. I would just say that making these new habits, folding them into my busy day-to-day life, needed to be at the top of my to-do list—period. Having a plan, feeling fired up and just starting to try and move more is how I started. I had to accept that this is for the long haul and what I'm learning now is just like training for the future. So I try to exercise every day. My trainer has told me to take one day off and also to work at mixing it to avoid getting burnt out.

CN: What are some of the small, simpler changes you made that have made a difference in your lifestyle and weight loss?
R: Well, I eat. Sounds crazy, but I never used to eat multiple meals each day, so a big change has been starting each day with breakfast and eating when I'm truly hungry. Being able to identify genuine hunger cues took a little time. I'm also drinking plenty of water and moving as much as I can. Tracking my food every single day helps me learn to understand more about what my body needs for fuel.

CN: Beyond losing weight, what are your bigger goals? How will weight-loss help you achieve these goals and dreams? Does it help to focus on the bigger picture rather than the weight loss alone?
R: Big goals would be to get healthy enough to expand my business life and be able to afford a modest home with an in-ground pool in a beautiful, warm climate. It helps to look ahead and dream, and feel the hope growing in me that if I can be successful with changing my life and losing all of this weight...there's probably not much I can't do in my life!

CN: How do you maintain such a positive attitude?
R: I've been through a lot in my life and I've always been an observer, looking at people that seem happy despite life's ups and downs. It helps to look at everything I do have going for me instead of everything I'd like to be different. There's just no other way to be. I have to keep my head up, don't get me wrong. I do struggle with getting discouraged, sometimes a little bit each day, but I've made it to the other side of a lot of really painful stuff in my life. So in my mind, there really isn't anything to be scared of anymore. I have nothing to lose but the weight!

CN: How has SparkPeople.com helped in your journey?
R: SparkPeople has been a huge tool. It has provided me an anchor in this whole process. I really try to use it for everything it has to offer more and more. I've gained some new SparkFriends that consistently support me and I've done my very best to share my day-to-day happenings honestly and openly. SparkPeople has given me an outline, a framework to learn, to track and see my progress and a real encouraging place for me to huddle up with other people who fighting the same battle. I could never get it done on my own, but by being an active member of SparkPeople, I get to tap into that extra strength and hope I never had on my own.

CN: What is the biggest obstacle or setback you've overcome so far?
R: Just mentally sticking with it every day. For a month or so at the start, I really had no faith in myself. Today, I trust that by following the plan and trusting the process, I can and will be successful getting healthy and losing weight one step at a time. It's still my biggest obstacle, but I'm able to navigate my way through the crap my head tells me and make the healthy choices today. Huge—absolutely huge—for me!

CN: Anything else you'd like to share with the people who are reading this?
R: Hang in there. Don't give up no matter what. Push yourself. Give yourself a chance to learn about how you can change, ask for help and make a solid decision to be tenacious. Go into this new beginning with clarity, clear thinking and some compassion for yourself. You are going to struggle; it's going to be hard and confusing. But if you expect that going in, it's a little easier to roll with. I have a long, long way to go and by no means do I think I'm qualified to be telling anyone anything about how to do this, but this has been my experience so far. I've lost 85 pounds since Sept. 2009 and 132 pounds since Jan. 2009. My A1C has come down from 11.6 in Sept. 2009 to 6.2 as of early Feb. 2010. My blood pressure was 112/68 last Thursday at my weekly weigh-in. All of those changes help me believe that the change is real, I can continue making progress…it's just going to take some time.

Can you relate to Ryan's story? Does he inspire you?


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   Speak Up and Be Heard, Win $100 SparkCertificates

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • NAOMI1950
    353
    ryan, your story was very moving and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you - 1/9/2011   1:21:14 AM
  • 352
    Saw you on the Channel 3 news this morning. Rock on! You are amazing and and inspiration! Look forward to hearing more about how you are doing. - 7/9/2010   9:24:12 PM
  • 351
    wow! ryan! keep up the hard work! you are worth it!
    you are doing great!
    i go to water fitness class 2-3 times per week and it is a good thing!
    good health to you! - 5/9/2010   11:26:30 PM
  • 350
    How Inspiring!

    I must disagree with you on one thing however . . . you credit your success to your team of supporters but I don't think you are giving yourself enough credit! It doesn't matter how many people you have helping, YOU are the one that is making the change in your life and YOU are being successful! Your humility is to your credit but I think you deserve a big WAY TO GO RYAN! - 5/2/2010   5:16:11 PM
  • 349
    Hello Ryan I want you know we SP are behind you and truly an inspiration to us.
    Keep it up and take one day at a time. You are definetly in prayer! - 4/8/2010   10:24:57 AM
  • 348
    You are amazing! And over a hundred pounds lighter because of your own efforts and hard work! Keep it up. You are doing great. - 4/5/2010   6:48:04 PM
  • ALAELARIA
    347
    Thank you for sharing your story with us :) - 3/30/2010   3:08:53 PM
  • 346
    Ryan

    Congratulations on your intestinal fortitude! Great work and wonderful attitude. God Bless, and best of luck on you new life journey!

    Bonnie - 3/12/2010   10:24:56 PM
  • SUSANGO123
    345
    I can totally relate to Ryan. I have lost 118 lbs, so far. It really is reminding yourself that this is a journey that you are on everyday of your life. Some days may be harder than others, but in the end, it is worth it. Way to go Ryan! - 3/11/2010   8:45:38 PM
  • 344
    Wow, Ryan! You made my day! I've really been struggling with getting my health back in control and kept using the excuse that being 100 pounds overweight with arthritis in my back, hips and knees and constant pain in my feet made it difficult to exercise. After reading your story, I realized I have absolutely NO excuse. If you can do it starting out at 800 pounds (and I'm sure it's painful for you as well), then I can make it a priorty, too. Thanks for sharing your story. I've added it to my favorites and will follow your journey and can't wait to hear about your progress.

    After I get back from food shopping, I promise I'll spend at least 10 minutes on my recumbant bike. Thanks for the motivation! - 3/7/2010   11:31:22 AM
  • 343
    Ryan, thank you so much for sharing your amazing story! You are doing so great in such a short period of time! I think we will all have days where we get discouraged but we can't let that take over..we have to look at what we've accomplished so far. There is no doubt that you will achieve your goal because you have such a great attitude! I'm so proud of you for being willing to open up and share your heart with the rest of us!
    Keep up the good work! You are such an inspiration to me and so many others. I am excited to be able to keep up with your weight loss journey on Spark People. I'll be praying for you along the way. You are awesome!!
    - 3/5/2010   11:44:23 PM
  • 342
    Simply amazing, and oh so strong! Ryan, I wish you all the success in the world.! - 3/4/2010   8:26:49 AM
  • 341
    Wow you are on an inspirational journey. Thanks for much to you and your team for sharing the story. - 3/3/2010   12:11:02 PM
  • 340
    Ryan, good luck on your journey! Nothing is impossible as long as you take a chunk at a time. It's the journey that's most important, the destination is bragging rights! - 3/3/2010   9:28:26 AM
  • 339
    Thanks for being so real & transparent and for sharing your story!!! You ARE an inspiration. You ARE a valuable and amazing human who deserves the best! I pray you have continued success on your journey! Again, THANK YOU! - 3/2/2010   9:26:51 PM
  • JUSTFORME101
    338
    good job Ryan....glad you are doing so good.....you are truly an inspiration.... - 3/2/2010   12:55:15 PM
  • 337
    WAY TO GO RYAN! You are an inspiration to so many already. I wish you success in your journey and I believe you will reach your goals! - 3/2/2010   12:41:13 PM
  • BOBBI97
    336
    Ryan:) Thanks for sharing your story with us you are awesome and you are doing great keep up your great work you are being heard we are all here for you & knowing what you are going though you are and inspiration to me thanks. - 3/2/2010   11:40:16 AM
  • 335
    Hi Ryan,
    Just wanted to let you know i will be thinking about you and sending positive and encouraging thoughts your way.
    Keep on going, this is a journey that you will succeed.
    I too am on the same journey ..
    love,
    Natalie
    =^..^= - 3/2/2010   10:25:45 AM
  • 334
    You really are an inspiration. Congratulations on your progress so far, and best of luck getting the rest of the way there! - 3/2/2010   1:02:52 AM
  • STARLING6
    333
    Ryan congratulations and thank you for sharing your story to date. Annette Plante should also be congratulated as she realized what a very valuable person you are and certainly worthy of being accepted and loved. Through your efforts we can all have more faith in our selves. - 3/1/2010   11:49:00 PM
  • 332
    Great work Ryan. Thanks for sharing your story and your positive attitude. Maizey - 3/1/2010   10:37:27 PM
  • MEL7967
    331
    Ryan,
    I myself too, have been through a lot in my lifetime. I'm only 30 years old, I have two busy busy boys, and yet I'm not fullfilled. I have always had issues with my weight. I currently weigh over 320 lbs and have gained over 100 within the last 4 years. I keep telling myself tomorrow, or next week....maybe someday. I sometimes cry because I selfishly didn't want my kids to get made fun of cause their mom was "big". I am not using the "f" word.....I dislike that one greatly. I have made unhealthy choices which allowed me to become the way I am at this moment. I was reading your story and every time I try to think I can do it, something in my head says "you'll never get there, it's too much". I am glad to have read your story for it has given me faith, hope, and has encouraged me. My boys don't need to suffer because of my choices....I'm a paren't they're going to have to "suffer" anyway with my choices. I was picked on because of my size as a child, and my mom was a bigger lady so I was picked on for her choices. I do NOT want my kids to go through that pain and carry that with them. I just want to thank you again! Hang in there and you are doing a great job!!!

    Thank you,
    Melissa - 3/1/2010   7:56:40 PM
  • 330
    Don't look back and keep going!!!!! An inspiration to all of SP. - 3/1/2010   1:01:49 PM
  • KLENORE
    329
    Go - Ryan - Go! I'm so impressed and encouraged by your determination, success and positive outlook! This is just the beginning of wonderful changes in your life I'm sure. - 3/1/2010   12:40:14 PM
  • 328
    Congratulations on your incredible success!! It's people like you who inspire me to keep trying...after all, like you said, I have nothing to lose but weight!!

    Thanks for sharing your story! - 3/1/2010   11:13:45 AM
  • TIANELA48
    327
    Hey Ryan I have lost 100 pounds with gastric bypass but now am gaining some back lets talk occasionally i am now working out on my WII and watching the junk food. the snacking is wht gets me, I cant eat alot but i eat often so my blood sugar doesnt take a nosedive. Just fyi, I has extremely high blood pressure and blood sugar before the bypass and losing just a bout 25 pound s solved that My husband cut out most bread and lowered his intake of tortillas and starches and lost about 40 pounds quickly. ( His diabetes is now controlled) send me messages and keep on trying - 3/1/2010   10:49:38 AM
  • 326
    Sure puts things in perspective for me...man I got it easy...good luck to you and keep up the great work :) - 3/1/2010   8:31:43 AM
  • 325
    I was very ispired by your story. You know when you felt like the inside of you did not feel like the outside, that is me. And when i have dreams i dont dream of me obese, but i am a normal size. My inside and outside dont match either. Can i add you as a spark friend. - 2/28/2010   10:23:59 AM
  • 324
    Ryan thank you for sharing your story, i was amazed by your positivity and i can relate to the feeling that it is not your body.
    Keep up the good work! You definatly inspired me !! Thank you! - 2/28/2010   9:48:15 AM
  • 323
    I'm so very happy for you and congratulations to you on your taking charge of your health. Rhonda - 2/28/2010   9:27:03 AM
  • 322
    Keep it up Ryan, I know you can do it. If you are brave enough to share your story, you are brave enough to stick it. You did the hardest part and that is starting in the first place. - 2/27/2010   4:58:46 PM
  • 321
    Fantastic - you are truly an inspiration to me. - 2/27/2010   3:13:00 PM
  • 320
    Wow! What a great job you are doing! You are indeed a great inspiration.
    Keep up the great work you're doing! - 2/27/2010   1:45:21 PM
  • MAMABUTTERFLY1
    319
    A truly inspirational story! One of the most touching parts for me to read is about how you aren't hiding away like many of us tend to do but you are willing to be out there and let people help you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. - 2/26/2010   8:40:15 PM
  • 318
    YOU'RE THE MAN....GREAT GREAT JOB DUDE!!!! - 2/26/2010   7:02:42 PM
  • 317
    Ryan, sure glad you are working to turn your life around. I certainly can't relate to you, since when I got to 214# that was my LIMIT. I refused to go into a LANE BRYANT store (fat women's clothes) and I had red marks around my waist since the rubber in the waist of my 16P pants were rubbing me raw. But, I knew if I went in there and bought an 18, that I'd be in a 28 or bigger before I blinked as there would be no stopping. I just refused to do it.
    Glad you are getting this off. I hope you read "SHRINK YOURSELF" by ROGER GOULD, M.D. on emotional eating. And Dr. Atkin's Diet, since addiction to carbs is such a problem. - 2/26/2010   3:51:49 PM
  • NOBODYSPECIAL39
    316
    You are an inspiration, Ryan. Keep up the amazing work :) - 2/26/2010   1:48:50 PM
  • 315
    Thank you for sharing this with us! Keep up the good work! - 2/26/2010   12:42:02 PM
  • 314
    Thank you for sharing your story! You are amazing and you should be very proud of yourself. I will keep checking in to see how you are doing.
    I will think of you and you awsome effort as I walk my journey.
    Keep it up. - 2/26/2010   12:14:13 PM
  • 313
    Thanks for sharing your story. You will keep me going! - 2/26/2010   10:12:57 AM
  • 312
    Ryan,

    Thanks for such a motivational story. You are a true inspiration to all of us who need to lose. I wish you all the success in your journey. I know you will do just great with the positive attitude you give.

    - 2/26/2010   10:07:30 AM
  • 311
    Ryan I am new today as of 2/26/10 I want to say, I wish you well and in health shall prosper, good luck and God bless you.... - 2/26/2010   7:50:55 AM
  • 310
    You are AWESOME! Thanks for the inspiration! Keep Sparking! - 2/26/2010   12:02:33 AM
  • MELMEL76
    309
    You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Good luck with this journey, and remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have a lot of people supporting you and if there is anything that I personally can do to support you more, let me know. Congratulations on your current weightloss, just keep looking forward and keep your eyes on the ultimate goal. Good luck. - 2/25/2010   4:40:01 PM
  • NJSOREN
    308
    Thank you for the inspriation. I have had a rough 24 hours and all I have wanted to do is eat. After reading your story I have been revitalized to get back on track!!
    Thank you and keep it up. - 2/25/2010   4:01:15 PM
  • 307
    Ryan, I know so many other have said it, but you are such an inspiration! I'm so happy for you and I wish you much success! - 2/25/2010   3:36:16 PM
  • 306
    WoW! You are most definitely an inspiration! Awesome! - 2/25/2010   3:03:51 PM
  • KEVVLYNN
    305
    You are a great inspiration...makes me want to stay on track! Thank-you so much for sharing your life with us : ) Great Job!!! - 2/25/2010   2:47:58 PM
  • 304
    Ryan, your story is astounding and spoke to me more than you can imagine. Thank you so, so much, from the bottom of my heart. I'm so grateful that you've shared your story. I think it's EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. - 2/25/2010   11:24:04 AM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 4! Get a FREE Personalized Plan