HEALTHY LIVING
12/03/2012 08:42 am ET

I Lost Weight: William Lockley Faced A Health Scare And Lost 115 Pounds

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Name: William Lockley
Age: 32
Height: 5'11"
Before Weight: 300+ pounds. I am really not sure exactly how much more than 300 I weighed, the scale went to 300.

How I Gained It: I was king of fast food. I ate one or two meals a day, spaced about 10 hours apart, with a ton of calories and little to no nutritional value. The fast food restaurants knew me personally, because that's where my two meals came from, with extra-large everything. I would routinely go through a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi a day. I avoided veggies at all costs, unless of course there was cheese covering them.

Being an athlete my whole life, I was very active. Once my sports career ended, my activity level slowly diminished, but my appetite continued on course. I thought I'd never be thin, I didn't have that body type, I was "big boned." I carried the mentality that I had been big my whole life, it doesn't really matter what I eat, I'm supposed to be this way.

Breaking Point: One day in March of 2008, I was watching television and the left side of my body began tingling and went in and out of numbness. Having a background in sports and fitness and being a certified personal trainer, I knew the numbness and tingling could be signs of a serious health problem. At 27, I felt this was incredibly early to be having those symptoms and, fearing for what was to come, I immediately decided to alter my lifestyle.

How I Lost It: I began a workout and nutrition program that I developed, and in a matter of nine months, I was down to 162 pounds. The first question I always get is "Did you have surgery?" The answer is a resounding no. I have since kept the unhealthy weight off and have been an advocate for proper nutrition and fitness.

I cut out fried foods, processed foods and sugars. When I say I cut out sugars, I went from Pepsi to Diet Pepsi. Diet Pepsi isn't any better, but it was step down from the loads of sugar. Eventually I backed down to green tea and water. I slowly reintroduced veggies into my meals and found that I didn't mind them so much!

One thing that definitely helped me lose and keep the weight off was a food journal. It opens my eyes to exactly what I’m taking in. One of the main things I started doing was eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.

I called a close friend who had always been active and asked to join him on his workouts. We worked out at 5 a.m. everyday. Because he had a limited amount of time, we maximized the 45 minutes by following a full-body, high-Intensity interval training program. We also did a fair amount of Tabata training.

After my first workout, I sat in the corner trying not to throw up. Pushing yourself is great, but you have to be smart and realistic about your present condition. I tried keeping up with my training partner and felt defeated when he was bouncing around from exercise to exercise. This was an eye-opening moment for me. I had to learn to take a step back and accept where I was. If I didn't face reality, I'd be like the many who try and fail. I refused to fail, so I pressed on at a rate I was able to, not at the rate he was.

But I ignored the mental problems. The demons I’d faced for so long were still there, just waiting to come out. I weighed myself daily, and if I didn't lose what I thought I should, I'd instantly be upset. I refused to go out with friends because I was afraid I'd make a poor food choice and derail my whole journey. I took things too far and went from obese to borderline anorexic. I had most of the symptoms: I restricted food intake, I was always hungry but refused to eat anything outside of my plan and working out became my obsession. It took another extreme scare to bring me back to reality and merge the two extremes into a healthy life.

I had decided to walk uphill for 30 minutes for cardio. When 30 minutes was up, I felt great so I decided to go for another 30. When that was up, I felt a euphoric high that I never felt before. I was on top of the world. I wanted to see how far I could go. At this point, I had stopped sweating and started feeling a little light-headed and nauseous. I called it a day at this point, and headed home to eat. It was about 6 p.m. and, up to this point in the day, I had consumed somewhere around 1,000 calories total. On the way home, I was very dizzy. When I got there, I started cooking my dinner -- a turkey burger without the bun and carrots. I went to shower and had a hard time standing up because I felt so weak. Once I finished my shower, I went back to the kitchen to get my dinner, sat down to eat and took one bite before I put it aside. I was "full" -- or so I thought. I asked my mother to bring me water and, when she did, I downed it faster than a frat boy at a party. Another cup, same result. After the fourth cup, my stomach said no more and my living room turned into a scene from The Exorcist. I had pushed myself to extreme exhaustion and dehydration. I went from one extreme to the other, because I never addressed my inner demons.

Now, my life is completely different. I am the same person I've always been, but in a different body. For years, I fought the idea that I had to share my story because I never really saw what was special about what I did. To me, it was something I had to do for myself. But after hearing numerous people tell me that because I was able to do it, they believe they can too, I realized there was more to it than a selfish need to keep my story private.

I truly believe my life's calling is to evoke a change in people who look like I once did, to give them a face to relate to and believe they're able to duplicate my story. When I was overweight, I'd hear trainers and fitness professionals say "Do this, do that," but I felt like they didn't understand me or what I was going through -- they were talking to the skinny people! My goal is to become the face that the overweight population can look at as an example of someone who is talking to them and does understand exactly what they're going through and has faced the long road and came out on top.

To me, a diet is a set of rules or restrictions. Once you come to realize healthy eating is a lifestyle, the weight falls off. And if you fully immerse yourself in the lifestyle, it'll stay off. Anyone can do it if they only believe in themselves.

Current Weight: 185 to 190 pounds
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