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!
Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey.
I actually started on SparkPeople in 2009 and lost nearly 121 pounds from my highest of 509 pounds I had a lot of success in the process of losing weight but I really didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know a lot about nutrition or exercise and basically succeeded by just not eating much. After that, I gained back around 78 pounds over the next two years until I found my way back to SparkPeople in May 2012.
This time, I was better prepared with diet and exercise knowledge that I could put to use in my journey. I started by just eating better and cutting out a lot of bad stuff. I walked and tried to be more active in general but I didn't start an exercise program until I lost some weight so it was easier on my knees and feet.
After six weeks of just eating right, I lost 33.9 pounds. I finished the Insanity workout program in August 2012 and lost another 30.4 pounds. After Insanity, I finished the Tap Out XT workout program in November 2012, and lost another 43.4 pounds. I finished the P90x program in February 2013 and lost 26.4 more pounds Then, I finished the Les Mills Combat program in May 2013 and lost another 8 pounds. Now I have set up my own exercise routine consisting of a hybrid of the four programs and have lost nearly 12 pounds in the first two weeks.
That puts me at 154 pounds lost since May 2012 and 197 pounds down from my highest weight in May of 2009! SparkPeople has played a huge role in my weight loss. It helped me at first by just tracking my food. It really taught me how to eat and how important a balanced diet is. Eventually, I got more involved in the community by writing blogs and posting on team boards. I have met some really great people along this journey.
Do you have any personal fitness goals you're working to achieve?
I have been working on a C25K (Couch to 5K) program in hopes of working my way up to running my first 5K!
What advice would you give to someone just beginning a weight-loss program?
The first thing I would say is learn everything you can about health and nutrition. There is so much information out there to help you along the way. If you want true, lasting success, you have to be willing to make a lifestyle change. It is much more than just a diet. Then, find what works for you and stick to it. Give it 100%! If you want to see success, you have to commit. It won't be easy! It will take work! It will be worth it!
Do you have a personal mantra, quote or saying that keeps you motivated?
The title of my SparkPage has been "Embrace the Possibilities." To me, that encompasses the entire lifestyle change journey that I have been on. We all have it within us to be who we want to be; sometimes we just have to embrace the possibilities in our lives! I also like: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone," "Earn It," and "Be the change."
How has your life changed since losing weight and improving your health?
My life has changed a lot! I really enjoy going out with friends and being involved in activities. I play a lot of basketball and golf and try to get outside as often as possible to be active. I have no problems running around with the kids and having fun with them. My activity and energy has increased dramatically and I even enjoy being in pictures, for the first time, with my kids and friends. I feel more optimistic about the future and what it has to offer now than I have in a long time! I have a renewed passion for life and all the possibilities it has to offer!
Way to go, Brad!
Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.
Have you lost weight and kept it off using SparkPeople.com? We'd love to share your story. Email us: sparkpeoplesuccess (at) gmail (dot) com
* Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.
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