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Name: Gabe Evans
Before Weight: 435 pounds
How I Gained It: I was raised in Texas, and I grew up with southern cooking, deep fried anything and an unhealthy amount of fudge. As I kept putting on weight, I was sleeping more, I was walking my dog less and I was not able to keep up with social activities with my friends. During a normal day, my typical exercise would be walking from the subway station parking lot to the subway, and then back again at the end of the day. I would maybe walk down to a convenience store or find something close for lunch at work, but that was it. My body just couldn't handle it. When you're carrying 435 pounds, you find yourself not wanting to drag that all over town.
Breaking Point: One of my huge turning points was realizing how much I was denying myself because of my weight. For example, I used to be a Six Flags fiend. I loved roller coasters, amusement parks, rides and all that stuff! But I realized that I hadn't gone to one since high school, and it was entirely because of my weight. I never got turned away from a ride, but it was a mental barrier that I had put in place that made me not want to try to do these things, out of fear of being turned away.
Just over a year ago, I was directing a music video with a friend, and we were operating a Steadicam, and then we were going on a lift so we could get an awesome shot for the end of the video. And I wasn't able to see or participate in either one of those things, entirely because of my weight. It wouldn't have been safe for me to get on the lift, and the vest for the Steadicam would not even come close to fitting me.
I was no longer happy. I'd always been happy, but I had hit a point where my weight was creating a wall to my happiness, my healthiness and my life. I came out to Los Angeles to be a filmmaker, and I couldn't be the filmmaker that I wanted to be. I wanted to see my friends and do things, but I couldn't be the friend that I knew they deserved. I wanted to be a lot of things, and the answer was turning my focus from what I could do for people into what I deserved to be doing for myself.
One night after work, I was sitting in my car in my apartment's parking garage. I didn't want to get out of the car, because I didn't want to exert the effort to walk up the stairs and go to my recliner and sit down. I looked around my car, and there was a mountain of fast food wrappers. I realized that I hadn't been to the grocery store in months. I had only been eating out. And the physical evidence of that was now consuming me. I felt like I had gotten to a breaking point in an abusive relationship, and it was time to cut it loose and find something that was a better fit.
How I Lost It: I haven't been counting my calories, and I haven't been working out like you see on a weight loss reality show. I've been losing the weight while going to work and living a normal life. Everyone asks me what my secret it, like they think it's one thing that they can change to see success, but for me it wasn't.
The main thing that I had to change to lose the weight was my relationship with food. We live in a time where fast food and packaged foods are king. Food isn't special anymore, and you don't savor it. Once I started looking at my food like a long-term relationship instead of as a one-night stand, I was able to dive into my weight loss journey.
Once I changed my perspective on food, I was able to make healthier food choices. I was able to cook delicious and fresh meals for myself, and I was able to use creativity in my cooking, a very refreshing revelation!
In addition to my food choices, I have been exercising. I go to the gym three times a week in the morning for about an hour, and I work on resistance training so I can build my muscle in order to boost my metabolism.
At around 100 pounds. lost, I hit a major benchmark for myself, but it also showed to the people around me. The people around me saw the level of my motivation and dedication, and they saw my true colors. I was offered an opportunity to leave my technical support job, and I did. I have since become surrounded by like-minded people, professionally and personally. I am now working for a celebrity trainer who continues to teach and inspire me along the rest of my journey.
I was speaking with my mother on the phone, and she said, "You realize that I've known that you've had this in you forever. Look at all of your talents. Look at all of the things you have excelled at. You've just started using your talents to improve yourself, because you're worth it."
I am a filmmaker, so I have been documenting my progress along the way in a documentary called "Why Am I So Fat?," and I have been able to turn my passion for filmmaking into a way to keep me motivated in my journey as well as a way that will provide information and inspiration to others once the project is complete.
It hasn't been an easy path, because it's not easy losing 200 pounds. But it has been an amazing one. I have learned so much about myself and my health, and it's something you can't fully express until you're doing it. I have so much energy, and the results have affected my life in so many positive ways; it's unbelievable to me. When you focus on yourself and your health, you see the results in every aspect of your life.
After Weight: 232 pounds
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