Wellness Wins is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Ben Pamment is 6 feet tall, and currently weighs 163 pounds. After experiencing anxiety and depression caused by an injury and increasing weight, he was determined to change his life. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
I had been quite overweight for as long as I can remember. I was sitting at about 240 pounds while I was actively playing sports, so I had some level of fitness. I badly injured my knee and required an operation, and I ballooned up to 312 pounds. I developed depression and anxiety. I would hide away in my room hoping everything would eventually get better, avoiding going out and attending family events. I was extremely unhappy with life in general.
The changed happened when I could no longer tolerate the depression and negative emotions. I had tried many times and failed before, but this attempt was different. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to overcome, but I was determined to live a better life. The first two weeks were a real mental battle that I had to pass in order to stay consistent and get to where I am today.
I set small goals that I knew were accomplishable so I wouldn’t fall off track. I stayed below 1,800 calories a day, eating a varied diet consisting of things like oatmeal, bread, eggs, fish, chicken, fruits, vegetables and nuts. I initially tracked my calories with an app, but now I can do it intuitively.
I worked out for about 30 to 40 minutes at a pace that would push me but allow me to stay focused and not give up. I set my own cardio plan in place using a stationary bike, cross trainer and treadmill. I began to work hard on changing myself for the better.
As I slowly lost weight, I would post it to social media, and the support I got was overwhelming. It made me not want to give up. I became a role model for others, and I didn’t want to let people down. I needed to keep pushing to be the best version of myself I could be.
I have mentally become a very strong person now. My social skills and energy levels have improved. My whole outlook on life and the way I go about my day radiates positivity — it has been the greatest experience of my life. Everyone around me has noticed this change, and I have become a better version of myself that I never knew existed.
My cravings for all the food that I used to rely on have completely gone away, and my diet and workout feel extremely easy and sustainable.
My eating is strict, but I allow a lot more food intake now, as I know I can maintain my weight through my active lifestyle. I usually have cereal for breakfast, a sandwich or wrap for lunch, and a protein with vegetables for dinner. I have a protein shake after workouts and I snack on fruit, nuts and beef jerky. Sometimes I have more indulgent foods on Saturdays. When you diet five to six days a week, one day of bad eating isn’t enough to alter all the hard work you have done during the week.
I still exercise six days a week, but it isn’t as demanding as when I was going through my rapid weight-loss phase. Now I’m more focused on balance and maintaining muscle.
I also make sure to drink plenty of water. It keeps me hydrated and keeps my energy levels right where they need to be. After a gym or cardio session, I like to go for a daily walk to keep my body active and always moving.
One thing I struggle with today is my ongoing knee rehabilitation. I still cannot run, but I work through this by continuing various exercises that don’t put too much pressure on my knee. Losing the weight has been the best thing for it.
My No. 1 piece of advice is: You only get out what you put in. Start slow and set very small goals that you know you can achieve. When you do achieve them, you will feel amazing and continue to set more and more goals. No matter how long it may take, stay focused and enjoy living a healthier lifestyle.
Need more inspiration? Read about our other wellness winners!
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