Stephen Vysocky, thirty-four, recently gained a lot of attention when he tweeted 2 photos of himself taken 3 years apart, depicting his dramatic weight loss journey.
“3 years ago vs today,” Vysocky wrote as a caption.
Stephen described the physical and mental barriers he had to overcome in order to become the healthiest and happiest version of himself to MensHealth:
“I started gaining my weight when I was in middle school,” he explained, “I would get picked on a lot for various reasons and I didn’t really have any friends. So, I turned to food for comfort. Little did I know that I was ballooning. Middle school was rough, but high school was even rougher. Kids got meaner and my bad habits of eating fast food and overeating for comfort had consumed my life. I’m not sure what my weight was in high school, but in clothing sizes, I was pushing a 3XL. I went through most of my adult life trying to break my bad habits but was consistently failing. I became very depressed and continuously turned to poor food choices for comfort.”
Even though Stephen continually attempted to lose weight through both diet and strenuous exercise, he described the cycle of starting to work out, seeing some changes, and then falling back into his old, unhealthy habits. He hadn’t found his wake-up call…
In 2018, after a breakup, Stephen started gaining weight again. His heaviest recorded weight was 505 pounds (229kg), although he does admit that he could have been even heavier as he couldn’t find scales that could accurately measure his weight.
Until eventually, his best friend Daniel dragged him to Planet Fitness and told him that the only person who could change his life was him, and nobody else.
“It was hard,” he said, “There were definitely days I didn’t want to do it, but I always pushed myself to go to the gym. I would stumble and fall, but then I’d get back up, and tell myself it’s just one bad day, and not to let it consume the goal I had set for myself. One bad day is not a bad week or month.”
“I started out with light impact cardio like the elliptical machine,” he explained, “I remember the first day at the gym I could barely do five mins without huffing and puffing and feeling like I was going to die. But as time went on I worked myself up to being able to do a full session on the elliptical and then began some very lightweight training. After I started a good rhythm at the gym, I really focused on my diet. I cut soda out of my life completely. I also eliminated all fast food. If I was going to commit, I had to commit 100 percent or this was never going to work.”
What’s even more inspirational, he did it all without a personal trainer!
And to brighten your day even more, his tweet sparked others to share their journey:
Congratulations, Stephen! He has proven exactly what hard work and dedication can result in.