Bryan Young, 25, never really thought to do anything about his weight. He was always a big guy — a former high school power lifter.
Cheeseburgers and chocolate were two of Young’s favorite indulgences — items he later learned to live without.
Weighing in at 350 pounds in June 2013, Young finally realized that he needed to do something about his habits.
He started running and began to notice some of the weight come off. In the beginning, he couldn’t run the entire distance nonstop, but said he realized that was OK — “You’re going to have to walk sometimes.”
For Young, numbers made sense. Mentally counting calories and keeping track of his running pace became a sort of game.
After moving into an apartment without roommates, Young felt he could finally tackle changing his diet head on. He was on his own, so there would be fewer pitfalls coming into his pantry.
A friend who studied nutrition helped Young prepare a diet tailored to him — which he sticks to almost religiously.
“I could eat the same thing every day if I had to,” Young said.
As of April 2014, Young weighed 240 pounds and was working toward gaining some muscle and getting back into running during warmer months. His next goal is to run the Columbus Marathon.
After Young initiated his lifestyle change, he began to crave the chance to work without sitting all day long. Instead of changing his line of work, he took on a physically taxing, part-time job. Four days of Young’s week are spent going between his first job, the gym and his gig in a store warehouse where he spends most of his time on his feet lifting merchandise.
Young mentioned that coworkers have been very supportive of his changes in diet and physical activity — though all of the office goodies can be hard to turn down. But after learning to ask himself, “Are you really hungry or do you just want to occupy your hands?” it’s not the hardest thing to do.
Do you have any tips for others?
Realize that it’s a full lifestyle change … it’s not just a temporary diet … a lot of people don’t realize what the word diet is … and [that] you’re actually making a lifestyle change, whenever you make this change. Pick something … that you know is something you don’t mind doing 24/7.
What’s your weakness?
I will go with ice cream as my number one weakness.
How did your mindset change?
It kind of changed in the fact … that it was really something that I actually wanted. I really decided that I wanted it and I wanted it for me. I wasn’t doing it for anybody else. I wasn’t doing it for any other reason.
Fun fact At the time of this interview, Young had gone 11 weeks without a cheeseburger.