All Entries For men's success stories
Brad Milligan (BRADMILL2922)
Weight Lost: 197 pounds
Hometown: Jeffersonville, IN
What was life like before losing weight?
I was a big kid and a big teenager. Being 6'7", I was never going to be small. I never enjoyed exercise much, but I did it because it was part of playing sports. I was always an athlete growing up, including playing baseball in college. When sports ended for me, I stopped exercising. I steadily gained weight in my 20s from lack of exercise and poor diet. When I was at my highest weight of 509 pounds, I didn't feel like doing anything. I didn't want to go out of the house and hang out with friends because I was embarrassed of myself. I really couldn't participate in many sporting activities or physical activities in general because it made me tired. I had no energy.
What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My main motivation was my kids. I am a single dad of three children and I wanted to be around for them, be more active with them and set a good example. I realized that the way I was going, that wasn't going to happen. I had a lot of "dieting" stops and starts over the years that failed every time. I had lost myself and who I was. On May 4, 2012, I weighed in at 466 pounds and I decided that on May 5 (Kentucky Derby Day around here), I wasn't going to do this anymore. I came up with a plan of diet and, eventually, exercise that I thought would help me lose the weight. No shortcuts. No fad diets. No trainers. No surgery. No diet pills. It was going to be hard work and I knew I needed some help along the way which is where SparkPeople.com came in. I set a goal to lose 167 pounds, which would get me down to 299 pounds. I would be less than 300 pounds for the first time since college! Read More ›
Brett Day (brett_day1981)
Weight Lost: 136 lbs
Hometown: Bridge Creek, OK
I completely destroyed two discs in my lower back after an accident at work. I had surgery to fix the problems and ended up having a spinal fusion at one level and an artificial disc at the level above the fusion. As a result of the surgery, I ended up with a condition called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), which is a rare type of nerve damage. RSD is progressive and is incredibly painful in the afflicted limbs. I had a hard time moving around because of the pain in my back, and quickly became very unhappy. This led to comfort eating. I gained a lot of weight, and ended up weighing 334 pounds.
My life then was quite miserable. I faced so many challenges, not only because of my injuries, but because of the extra weight as well. I became incredibly self-conscious. I hated the way I looked and did not like going out very much, and I certainly did not like having my picture taken. Because of this, I missed out on many family outings and trips. I could not play with my children like a good parent should be able to do, and even going out and about to do daily chores was a struggle because I would get so out of breath.
After I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted to help control the pain of RSD, I knew I had been given a second chance to become the husband and father I knew I could be. My family was my biggest motivation. I knew that I had to change so that I could be around for my wife and for my children. I knew that if I did not change my ways, then I would not be around to see my children grow up. At the time I also suffered with alarmingly high blood pressure and was told that I was pre-diabetic. My dad passed away due to complications from diabetes, and I knew I did not want to go down that path.
My “A-Ha” moment came on October 23, 2011. Read More ›
Meet Bob (username PLEINRC), a SparkPeople member who has lost nearly 70 pounds! Find out what makes him tick and how he got to where he is today.
What is your age? 49
How long have you been a SparkPeople member? How did you find SparkPeople? I have been a member since January 2011. SparkPeople was recommended to me by a friend who is also a member.
What is your favorite feature on SparkPeople? There are a lot of great features. I use the Nutrition Tracker the most, and the Fitness Tracker is another favorite. I like SparkPoints, too—they help keep me motivated.
How much weight have you lost? I've lost 66 pounds.
How long did it take to lose the weight? It took 9 months to lose the weight gradually. The benefits are incredible. I'm enjoying having more energy, lower blood pressure, and better health overall. Read More ›
Meet Raul Robles (ROCKMAN6797), a loving husband and father who has lost 150 pounds with SparkPeople! Find out how he stays motivated on his journey to healthy living.
What is your age?: 53
How long have you been a SparkPeople member? How did you find SparkPeople?: I have been a member for over two and a half years (since December 2009). I was introduced to SparkPeople.com by a person I was taking a pre-bariatric surgery health class with. We were discussing the concept of tracking calories and this person suggested your site. I was intrigued by the name and signed up later that evening. THE BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!
What is your favorite feature on SparkPeople?: I love the food tracker, the fitness tracker, and most of all, the community support the site offers. The vast majority of your members are extremely positive and helpful!
How much weight have you lost?: 150 pounds! I would like to lose another 10-15 pounds, but am more concerned with building up muscle and working away the flab I still have.
How long did it take to lose the weight?: Approximately 14 months
What was your ''light bulb'' moment that made you decide to lose weight?: The moment I decided to lose weight was when my wife told me she was scared that I was on the road to an early death. My wife has always supported me, and never badgered me about the weight that I slowly put on. When she shared that fear with me, I knew that I needed to make a change. I want to be with my wife for many more years, and I want to see my daughter and son grow up, marry and provide us with grandchildren!
What was your biggest obstacle while trying to lose weight?: Read More ›
It is my pleasure to introduce to you who don’t know him, Greg Gaul aka Ksigma1222 who has lost 155 pounds!
Greg is one of the most fascinating people I’ve had the honor to meet in person. He wears his heart on his sleeve and genuinely cares about others. He has lost so much weight and made so many healthy changes! We both spoke at the 2009 SparkPeople convention, and we have maintained a friendship since.
He is such an inspiration to me that I call him “Rockstar.” He has spoken at conventions, been on local television, hosted workshops in his hometown, been featured in both SparkPeople books, and I venture to say I don’t believe he is done yet.
He was born in Omaha, NW, but lives in Topeka, KS, where he is the Safety and Security Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. At age 38, he is married to his wife Melinda and had daughters Hannah (9) and Rachel (7) and son Jesse (2). His hobbies are running, swimming, cooking, playing cards, pop up books, shopping, and anything that keeps him moving and living. He joined SparkPeople in October 2007. Read More ›
When I first started my journey at 385 pounds, life was difficult. Like the proverbial frog in hot water, my mind made slow adaptations to accept the limitations that each successively heavier weight imposed on my life. Limitations that would be accepted as the new normal.
I was growing larger every year but somehow I still saw myself through skinny glasses. I was somehow OK with systematically retiring clothes to the dark part of my closet, OK with not being able to comfortably climb stairs, OK with the tightness I felt in my chest with every small exertion.
Somehow I found a way to cope and if I ignored it long enough, it would all go away… somehow.
But pictures, pictures don't lie.
Pictures have a way of ripping off the mask of self-deception. I never looked good in a picture so rather than deal with a "Kodak confrontation," I would simply avoid cameras or find something to cover up with when having my picture taken.
Finally, I could no longer hide from the truth, I was out of control.
Slowly, I started making changes. As the weight started coming off, each day became a gift, each package containing some ability that I had lost along the way. I was slowly getting my life back. While the scale was slow to move for the first few months, the changes were real nonetheless. Within weeks, my clothes were fitting a little better and I certainly felt better.
The first 30 pounds brought some profound changes. Day to day tasks were not so difficult.
Tying my shoes was no longer classified as an endurance event.
Stairs were becoming easier and less like mountain climbing.
I even jogged my first mile after months of wheezing my way from mailbox to mailbox.
After 50 pounds, I regained enough mobility and had built enough endurance to complete my first ever, real, live, genuine running event, a 10K. Wow, ME, a runner? Who would have thought? Read More ›