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Name: Derek Lavigne
Before Weight: 275 pounds
How I Gained It: I was always the heavy kid growing up, from middle school all the way up through college. I was large, but never so big that it was affecting my health or social life. I was an on-and-off athlete, but was never able to get into a healthy regimen that I was able to keep up with. I graduated high school at about 220 pounds, with hopes that in college I could take some of those pounds off. I was wrong.
Over the next three or so years, I had zero self control, and I was eating fast food at least once a day. My diet consisted of what was easy, and I never stepped foot in the kitchen to prepare food for myself. I was always ordering takeout or delivery. Over those few years, I packed on over 50 pounds, and I knew it was time for a change.
Breaking Point: For the longest time I kept telling myself that I was young, and that I had time to take this weight off. My family has a history of diabetes, and there came a day when I said to myself enough is enough, it is time to make a serious life change. This was about three days prior to the new year, so I decided to make my resolution for the year to lose 20 pounds.
How I Lost It: After a multi-week cleansing period, I had already dropped about 10 pounds, and I was just getting started. Seeing the weight come off just through a stricter diet motivated me to get into the gym and keep working hard. Over the next six months, I focused on a weight-lifting and cardio regimen, spending 60 to 90 minutes in the gym daily. If there was a day I was very busy and unable to make it to the gym, I made sure that I was able to walk a few miles during lunch or early in the morning, just to stay active.
Along with staying active, I completely overhauled my eating habits. I ate three square meals a day consisting of lean protein and vegetables, along with a protein shake after my workouts, with room for a little snack at some point during the day. Over those six months I dropped another 50 pounds, and the weight kept coming off.
I have to thank my brother; he was very encouraging and would often work out with me to keep me motivated. After a while, it became more second-nature then a chore, and now I love going for a run or lifting.
I was able to drop from a size XXL to a medium, from a size 42 pants to a size 35. I donated my entire wardrobe to charity and started fresh. I finally felt good in my own skin and was no longer embarrassed to take off my shirt at the pool or the beach. I was constantly getting compliments from friends who always knew me as the chubby kid. I am in the best shape of my life and I am so glad I took the initiative before it was too late.
After Weight: 185 pounds The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
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