Wellness Wins is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
David Aishou is 5’7” and currently weighs 160 pounds. In 2015, after his family voiced concerns about his growing weight, he decided to pursue a healthier lifestyle. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
I have had issues with my weight since elementary school. My family, especially my mom, used to always tell me to stop eating so much because I'm getting really fat. And it was hard to play sports with my classmates since I couldn't run. I wouldn't really get picked for teams, so I would just walk alone or sit down and watch.
I decided to change at the end of my freshman year of high school. My mom told me that she's not going to bother me anymore about my weight because she's so tired of saying the same thing over and over again. That affected me because I never heard her say that before, and at that time I realized it was time to make a change.
I had countless weight loss journeys and have failed miserably. What was different is that this time I knew I couldn't let my mom down.
I did research on YouTube about how calories impact weight gain and loss and then looked up online calorie calculators. I used that as a guide to tell me how much to eat to lose about two pounds a week.
The first step I took was to eat at my recommended calories and walk in the morning for an hour a day. I would say it was the hardest weeks of my life.
I would fast until lunchtime. Then, after school, I would eat the rest of my calories. I did that all the way until I graduated. I wasn't in control of my food because I didn't do the shopping or cooking. I usually would just eat what my mom had made that day. So I had to estimate the calories of whatever food we were having and then I’d adjust portion sizes. It was difficult, but it worked for me.
What kept me motivated was everyone telling me that I was looking better. Also I would buy new clothes so that really helped me stay motivated.
I felt a lot better physically and emotionally. I get a lot of compliments now and people are nicer to me now. But I still find it disappointing that people judge you based on how you look. I feel like I could do anything now, and I can say that I am glad I made that change.
After losing weight, I started to get into more strength training. I wanted to get stronger, so I looked up basic exercises to gain muscle. I already had dumbbells, so I did that five days a week. Then I got into boxing and saw that it's a good workout for strength and endurance. Now I do both six days a week.
I do intermittent fasting and eat all of my daily calories in one meal. I can say that it does help me a lot. One meal a day is not for everyone. It could end up as a binge day if you do it wrong.
Some of the common foods I eat are wheat bread, oatmeal, chicken, red meat, protein bars, protein powder — all the basic muscle-building nutrients. I didn't have any cheat days while losing, but now I have a cheat once a week.
I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and hearing people compliment me on my progress keeps me motivated.
I still struggle with self-confidence. When I was big, I was always nervous talking to new people or going up to women, so I feel like that's still with me today even though I am healthy. So I’m trying to fix that. I try and get out more often, hanging out with friends and meeting new people.
Don't let anyone stop you from making this huge change. You have the power to drop the weight. You need to have the right mindset. The first few weeks will be hard, but after that it gets much easier. When you meet your goal, you will thank yourself for everything.
Need more inspiration? Read about our other wellness winners!
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: