I recently became a You’re the Cure advocate to not only share my story about the importance of heart-healthy lifestyle choices, but to inspire those who may not be making the healthiest choices. It is never too late to make healthier lifestyle choices.
My weight loss pursuit started in December 2009. I was 19 and at a mental, physical and social low in my life. I lacked self-confidence and self-esteem. My poor self-image left me feeling socially awkward and plagued by shyness. This description is a mere shadow of the person I have become today.
In December 2009, after being disgusted by photos of myself, I knew it was time to make a change. I made space in a room in my parent’s house and bought an inexpensive elliptical machine. I started out exercising for five minutes a day and gradually worked my way to 40 minutes per session. My tip to beginners, we all have to build our aerobic base, so don’t get discouraged. Instead, take your time and be patient.
Nutrition is pretty simple. Eat less + exercise more + refuse to give up = results. That’s it! There is no magic pill that will give you a model body in two weeks. It takes time, dedication and discipline.
Now, almost five years later, my measuring cups and digital scale are my best friends in the kitchen. I care enough about making healthy lifestyle choices to make sure I am putting the right food and portions in my body.
In December 2009, I weighed 263 pounds. In October 2010, I weighed less than 200 pounds. Not only did my weight decrease, but my cholesterol and blood pressure improved as well. Now I have the tools to stay fit. I look and feel my best. Making lifestyle changes isn’t easy, but the results certainly are worth it. Believe in yourself and don’t give up!
I appreciate the American Heart Association because they provide great research and resources to help people in their mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. I am living proof.
- Written by Jonathan Riley and originally published in 2014