Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo Health series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Vinson Smith is 28, 6′1″, and currently weighs 242 pounds. But back in 2009, he weighed 500 pounds. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
I have always known my weight to be a problem. When reflecting on my past from early adolescence, I could see my weight was one of the cornerstones to my emotional imbalance that had a major impact on my life. This was the breeding ground from where my emotional eating stemmed from. After my father’s untimely death in 2005 due to cancer, my battle with obesity went to another level as I gained over 200 pounds in a matter of months. I was up to 500 pounds. I knew that if I ever wanted to achieve my dreams, I had to change. I made a commitment to myself, my future, and my family, and took the steps to fight my obesity with an extreme desire for greatness.
I started off like everyone does when wanting to lose a large amount weight: I became a cardio junkie! It wasn’t until I became a volunteer football coach for Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, that I began to focus on muscle development and growth. After gaining the knowledge of how human muscle systems work, I set out to change my body with more purpose. My workouts became geared toward meeting new fitness and lifestyle goals, and having goals motivated me. Every 20 pounds that came off, I felt like a new person. My mindset changed along the way. I had always wanted to accomplish my goals, but now I knew I could do anything if I worked hard enough. I never let my weaknesses get in the way of my goals.
I always had to order my clothes from a catalog (KingSize), so losing weight and finally being able to buy my clothes in a store was one of my proudest moments to date. I’ll never forget my first time shopping at Walmart for a size 4XL and 56x32 jeans.
Vinson before his weight loss (left) and after (right). (Photos courtesy of Vinson Smith)
Now that I have learned the skills required for weight loss, I can better assist those (like me) who want to live a healthier life. I can help anyone who has no idea how to get started on their physical journey. That is the most gratifying part.
My diet and exercise has evolved with new goals geared to the lifestyle I want to live. I believe in being flexible. I think that you can and should enjoy food; however, we need to try and “be good at eating bad!” So, while eating a hamburger or hot dog is not forbidden, I now understand that everything I eat will affect my weight and fitness goals.
I recently turned 28, and my focus is on what I want in life: a family, self-made wealth, and longevity. Having energy, being flexible, and maintaining my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being are the cornerstones of my lifestyle.
Nutrition is still something I personally struggle with on a day-to-day basis, especially if I do not take the time to consistently meal plan and prep for my workouts during the work week.
When I get off track, I quickly take three action steps: 1) Identify: I identify the “what” and “why” of the problem, then 2) Assess: the reason behind the problem and finally 3) Take Action: to correct the problem. Understanding the reality of your emotional eating (and old habits) is a huge key in getting things back on track.
Get started today! The worst thing you can do is wait until tomorrow! Start getting results, then speak to a professional. Develop a plan and finally take action to reach your goals. The best way to enjoy life and fitness is by starting your own journey.