Wellness Wins is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Michael Bayerle is 6’2” tall, and currently weighs 185 pounds. He finally reached his breaking point after a lifetime of struggling with his weight. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
Ever since I can remember, I was overweight. As a child, I knew that I looked different than the
other kids. Weight has always been an issue for me. I had been depressed about my weight for a long time and had just completed a binge that left me feeling horrible about myself. I decided to weigh myself for the first time in a few years and was shocked when the scale read 355 pounds. I knew something had to change.
The biggest factor was choosing a diet I could stick to. I have tried, and failed, at so many diets throughout the years, I was at a loss as to what diet would be best for me. I decided to give the ketogenic diet a try. I could eat enough food to keep me satiated, while cutting out all carbs. I paired the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting (IF), and began pouring off weight. I did not begin exercising for the first three months, at which point I had already lost 50 pounds.
A typical day for me was to eat my first meal around noon and stop eating after 8pm. As I am a late night snacker, I started going to bed early to combat urges. When I began to start exercising, I started taking classes at Orange Theory. The classes absolutely helped me learn how to exercise and lift weights properly.
As I was losing weight, I felt amazing. My energy levels increased, my quality of life went sky high. I just felt so much healthier. I began to wake up early without an alarm, and my body acne cleared up 100 percent. The biggest thing that helped keep me motivated was people noticing my weight loss. My friends, family, and colleagues would tell me how much weight I lost, or how good I looked, and that was the biggest factor in keeping me motivated.
I almost gave up many times, though. Every now and then, I would get powerful urges to binge. And I would give in sometimes. The most important thing about these slip-ups for me was to stay motivated. If I faltered, I would get right back to it the next day.
My life is completely different since the weight loss. I have begun to follow my old passion of acting. I am helping many other people on their weight loss journeys through my new fitness Instagram (@bayfit.gif), and my quality of life is on a level I did not know existed. I am, for the first time in my entire life, happy with the person I see in the mirror.
It’s mostly the simple things that surprise me. I was convinced up until about a week ago that I was a size large t-shirt. Well, just for fun I decided to try on a medium shirt, and it fit. This was a recent moment that was simple, yet overwhelmed me with joy.
These days I am focusing on packing on muscle. I strength train, with a trainer, twice a week. I also do a lot of high-intensity interval training (HITT). I am no longer on the ketogenic diet, but I eat very balanced diet, and eat around 3,000 calories a day.
The biggest daily habit that keeps me maintaining my lifestyle is not slacking, even though I am in shape. It is easy to rationalize a binge when you have lost 170 pounds. Sometimes, I do indulge in fast-food or ice cream, but I have to keep things in perspective.
Since my weight loss, many of my friends have reached out to me asking for guidance to help achieve their weight loss goals. I am now working with about five people who I talk to on an almost daily basis, guiding them on their amazing journey. One of the people I have watched on their journey just got taken off of all of their diabetes medication. That inspires me.
The biggest thing I struggle with is my addiction to the gym. I have replaced my addiction to food with an addiction to working out, and there are days where I am absolutely overdoing it. I
have now given myself one full day a week where I do not go to the gym, and do not track calories.
The best advice I can give is to just commit immediately. Don’t say, “I’m going to start my diet tomorrow.” Say, “I am going to begin my weight loss journey today.”
Need more inspiration? Read about our other wellness winners!
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