09/06/2013 08:17 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I Lost Weight: With Motivation From The Right Trainer, David Brown Lost 55 Pounds

David Brown

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Name: David Brown
Age: 47
Height: 5'10"
Before Weight: 220 pounds

How I Gained It: I had absolutely zero drive to do anything. I got done what I had to get done each day and that was it. There was no direction, no personal growth anywhere. I became more and more depressed each day, which made me more and more sedentary, which made me more and more depressed ... and so on and so on. The only way I could feel remotely good was to be under the influence of alcohol. Before I knew it, I had a six-to-12-beers-a-night habit to go along with my smoking habit. As a single man living alone, it was easy to grab a pack of smokes, a 12-pack and some fast food on the way home from work and disappear into my house every night and self-medicate until I passed out. It came as no surprise that my weight ballooned. What was a surprise was the helplessness I felt to do anything about it.

Breaking Point: I had relied on anti-depressants long enough. Especially given that it seemed that they weren't working. For more than 10 years I thought about starting an exercise program, but felt powerless to do so. I read in several places that one of the things exercise will help improve is mood. I guess in the back of my mind I always thought it wouldn't help my depression. Then I had an "aha" moment.

Something in my brain just clicked. If getting physically fit and healthy wasn't enough motivation to start an exercise program, getting some relief from my depression was. All of the sudden instead of feeling helpless, I felt very empowered. The universe was telling me I was on the right track.

How I Lost It: I had tried many times to begin diet and exercise programs on my own, but repeatedly failed to keep it up. I had seen the Fit4Life Studio on a street I drive down every day, so I started to think seriously about joining a program with someone to help me. I made a call to the trainer, Chris, and after meeting with him to discuss a program, decided he was right for me.

I explained to Chris where I was coming from and where I wanted to go. I half expected him to tell me that I was fooling myself to think I could do this. But instead, without hesitation, he said it could definitely be done.

For that first year or so, I thought he wanted me to succeed even more than I wanted it for myself. But after a while, I found strength and courage in myself that I never knew I had. I finally put down the cigarettes I had loved for so many years, I brought my relationship with alcohol into a less destructive place and I dragged myself to the gym.

Major obstacles arose that threatened to derail my efforts: the discovery that I have COPD, a broken foot, depression that flared up to fight for its own survival. Chris always knew that I was stronger than any of that. His constant positive energy, along with his diet, motivational reading and video recommendations, and his occasional emails and texts for no other reason to remind me that I should be proud of myself really made the difference.

Over time my goals have been set, met and reset and met again, over and over. I now somehow crave workouts and healthy foods. My hard work, Chris’s guidance and encouragement and my own faith and steady prayer have quite literally saved my life.

I honestly do not know how I had so much time to sit in front of the TV and drink beer every night. I now have a strong desire to be productive with my time, keeping my mind and my body busy with things that contribute positively to my life and to the lives of others. Although I have felt undesirable and unlovable for so long, I now have a far better attitude about myself and tons of confidence that I can someday lead a fulfilling love life. I'm actually excited when I think about my future. What is important to me has changed. And now, even though I have less free time each evening after I work out, I actually get way more done, and with way more enjoyment than ever before. Life is fun again!

Current Weight: 165 pounds
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