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Name: Quentin Gilbert
Before Weight: 235 pounds
How I Gained It: I started gaining weight after high school. Throughout high school, I was active, working out and playing football, but I kind of just went with the flow. I didn't know much about weight training, I just knew if I lifted, I would get stronger and (hopefully) bigger. After high school, I went on to college and kept working out a little, but eventually I started to get lazy. I started going out more and eating a lot more unhealthy food. I never really noticed I was gaining weight because I always wore oversized clothes.
I started dating this young lady and stopped doing any kind of activity at all. I was eating anything and everything -- and being from southern Louisiana and living in Texas, you can only imagine the "good" food I was eating! When people said I looked big, I just figured I was big in the sense of "muscular" big. Boy, was I wrong!
Breaking Point: I will never forget it. I went to play flag football one hot afternoon, and I was sweating like never before. I couldn't breathe, so I was bent over a lot trying to catch my breath. I just remember going back to my apartment, lying down on the floor thinking, "I have to do something about this."
How I Lost It: Ironically, I was working at GNC at the time, but I didn't know where to start. No doctor had ever said I had a problem. I joined Weight Watchers. I went into a meeting not knowing what to expect. I was the only young man in there with a bunch of women.
My goal was to get down to 200 pounds at least. I was eating a lot of their frozen meals or cooking anything that was on my list, which was basically an explanation of how many points a chicken breast would be, for example. In the beginning, I would eat up all my points for the day, and then it would be 7 p.m. and I'd be starving. I would eat a lot of sugar-free popsicles or drink a lot of water. Weight Watchers also taught me how to eat at a restaurant. And I basically cut soda out cold. Since 2007, I think I've had maybe one soda. After a month, I had lost a total of 35 pounds, following the diet and working out a little and shooting the basketball around.
My girlfriend and I also broke up at the time, and instead of sitting home feeling sorry for myself and eating, my love for fitness really kicked in. I moved back to Louisiana and seven days a week, for about an hour, I would be working out. Even though I was losing weight, I didn't have much muscle definition going on. A good friend who was as passionate in the gym as I was helped me make more diet changes that added definition, tightened everything up and improved my cardiovascular fitness all around. I started eating seven small meals a day, with a big healthy breakfast of oatmeal, eggs and the occasional slice of toast. I have protein shakes for snacks, chicken or steak with sweet potatoes and salad for lunch. I limit salt as much as possible.
I keep a keychain in my drawer from Weight Watchers that says I completed the program successfully and reached my goal. I am more active than I have ever been in my life, even when I was 19 or 20. Losing weight also led me to meeting my wife -- having a six pack didn't hurt! I play recreational sports and people tell me I'm fast; I've never been called that before. I ran three 5Ks and plan on doing more in the future. I'm also planning to do a physique competition.
Now, I am training not only for myself but also for others; I am planning on getting my personal training certification so I can be more knowledgeable in the fitness industry and open a gym. Helping people has really become a passion.
After Weight: 175 pounds
The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
As told to Sarah Klein.
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