“I’m No Longer a Couch Potato—I’m an Athlete!” says Jonathan B.

jonthan success story 1

When we hear about Fitbit users who’ve reached their goals, we love to share the news! Jonathan B. faced his obstacles head on to reach his goals! Here is Jonathan’s success story, in his own words.

“Fight! No matter what happens in the next 24 hours I want you to fight and never give up. You hear me?”

Those were the words whispered to me on November 4, 2013, and they shaped the last year of my life. You see, that was the day I was rolled back into an operating room for a gastric bypass surgery. Everyone was scared of what would happen once I came out of surgery. The doctor was preparing everyone for the possibility that I would wind up in the ICU for a couple days or longer.

It was a surgery that not only saved my life, but gave me a new body and a new lease on life. I never went to the ICU. Though I had no major complications from the surgery and my recovery was a breeze, that comment about fighting has stuck with me this last year. It has become my motivation and my credo.

No matter what happens, each and every day I need to fight. I need to fight to get my body back.

One year ago, my life was miserable. I weighed 512lbs and everything hurt. I can remember not being able to fit into chairs and the constant worry that one would break as soon as I sat down on it. Work was overly difficult. I was dejected and depressed.

Something needed to change. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Then something truly amazing happened to me. My mom sat me down one day and told me that she was so concerned for my health, and that if I chose to have weight-loss surgery she would pay for whatever my insurance didn’t cover. Then a close friend told me how concerned he was for me and how I used to be so full of life. For some reason, I was shocked. My mother was willing to pay thousands of dollars just to get her son back. It floored me.

At this point, I started to fully realized I was a shell of the person I once was. I was capable of so much more and I had let it all slip away.

The biggest thing I was concerned about, and probably spent even more time studying than anything, was the diet and exercise requirements post-surgery. I knew my life would be changing, but I had no clue just how much. The typical post weight-loss surgery patient will be on less than 600 – 800 calories a day. With so few calories going in, I was also required to do some physical exercise for an hour every day.

jonthan success story 2Enter Fitbit Flex

I needed a way to track every bit of food and exercise I was doing every day, and if I wasn’t careful with a fine balance of calories in verses calories out, I would get lightheaded, dizzy, and feel really sick. I needed to keep my calorie intake/output just right. This has been my dance every day for the last year.

That is where the Fitbit came into the picture. After some research, I knew that the Fitbit Flex had the features that would best meet my needs. It had the ability to track my steps in a day, it could take into account the variety of exercises I was doing, and it based the number of calories burned on my height and weight.  Plus I knew it would be more accurate than most devices on the market.

It also gave me the ability to log the food I was eating with a large database of foods, restaurants, and the calories for all of them. With my Flex, I have been able to carefully navigate those often stormy waters of calories in and calories out as I continue to ramp up my training. It will play an even more integral role in maintaining that delicate balance.

Since I started this amazing journey, I have lost almost 210 lbs. In the last year I have gone from couch potato to athlete. I have walked a 5K and a 10K, got my first road bike and my longest race to date has been 38 miles. I did a ¾-mile swim in the Ohio River and placed 6th in my age group.

These are all amazing things, but I have even more planned. I feel as if I’m just waking up from a bad dream. I want to run my first 5K and 10K in the next 6 months. Then a half marathon at the Flying Pig this next year, and hopefully a full marathon at the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2016. Other future goals? The Cincinnati Triathlon, a half Ironman race in 2016, and a full Ironman in 2017.

And my ultimate goal: a 585-mile single-track mountain bike trail.

These personal goals are to prove to myself that my body is capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. I spent so much time neglecting it that I now want to see what it is truly capable of.

I want to prove that anyone out there can take back their lives; it just takes a choice. I am not special. I’m just some regular guy that made the choice to get healthy.  I want to help motivate others to greatness.

You can follow along with Jonathan’s journey on his blog, where he’s proving that anyone can take back their life.

Want to celebrate your health and fitness victory with others? Share your success story for a chance to appear on the Fitbit blog!

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