Many people have a specific moment where it hits them that they’ve got to do something to get healthier, but that didn’t happen for Tim K., a quality representative for a pharmaceutical company in Indianapolis, Indiana. “Sure I was sick of the way I looked in the mirror and in pictures—I weighed more than 300 pounds!” he says. “But I kept eating fast food, drinking beer, and just eating way too much.” His unhealthy diet was combined with a whole lot of inactivity. “I sat on a chair at work all day long,” he says. “I was focused on being a dad, not on myself.”
But Tim’s dissatisfaction with his appearance kept growing. “Then one day last year, my ex-wife (who I’m still friendly with) called to see if I wanted to do a 21-day diet with her,” he says. “I didn’t want to do a fad diet, but it got me thinking about how I could stand to do something.” On top of that, Tim was in pain just walking and had heard that losing even five pounds could help reduce the pain from his joints. “Five pounds didn’t seem so tough, so I decided to lose it and see what happened,” he says.
While his ex-wife started her diet, Tim made some changes of his own. “I cut my calories down from around 4,000 a day to between 2,000 and 2,500,” he says. “I also started drinking water instead of diet coke, included fruit like pineapple and apples in my lunch, and limited myself to one beer if I really wanted one.”
A few months into his new diet, Tim got the push to do even more when his daughter gave him a Fitbit Zip. “I started seeing how much I could move while I was at work,” he says. “There are tunnels connecting my office building to other buildings. Round trip to one building and back was three-quarters of a mile, so I started doing that a few times a day, then adding in flights of stairs. I got to the point where I was doing seven to nine miles a day!”
Ten months into his new lifestyle, Tim added trips to the gym. “I have a trainer who works my core strength,” he says. “I’m getting so much stronger and have lost 91 pounds so far!” Along the way he’s dropped eight pant sizes, has taken 100 pieces of clothing to Good Will, and had to buy a whole new wardrobe. “One guy at work went from calling me Timbo to calling me Slimbo,” he says.
Even more impressive are his stats since getting a Fitbit tracker in May 2015. “I’ve logged 5.4 million steps, 2,434 miles, 9,000 flights of stairs, and burned 1.17 million calories,” he says. “As much as I love those big numbers, I also love the little victories. Someone who has never struggled with their weight may not realize it, but it feels amazing to be able to use the normal arm cuff when the nurse takes my blood pressure.”
Tim’s Advice for Others:
Don’t tempt yourself. “Instead of buying a gallon container of a snack I love, like Goldfish, I get the single portion bags out of the vending machine,” he says. “When it’s done, it’s done.”
Come up with a set schedule. “I love walking a loop at work, so I always get in early and do half an hour of walking before work starts, then another chunk of walking at lunchtime,” he says. “Other people have noticed and now I have one coworker who walks with me in the morning and another who walks with me in the afternoon.”
Allow yourself a day off. “I average 135,000 to 145,000 steps a week, but last Sunday I only did 1,800 steps,” he says. “Some days you just need to take a break—and that’s okay.”
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This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.