ANdrew McLane was worried that he might not live to see age 30.
About one year ago, at age 23, McLane decided that the old fallback attitude of “I’ll deal with it later,” wasn’t going to cut it anymore. He tipped the scales at more than 450 pounds and was almost at the end of his rope.
These days, he’s down close to 242 pounds, with his goal of weighing 210 within reach.
That amazing amount of weight loss didn’t come without a lot of soul-searching, hard work and ongoing medical advice to ensure McLane wasn’t losing too much, too fast.
“It’s hard,” he said. “I don’t want people to think it has been easy for me.”
McLane enlisted the help of Beth Alden of Kickstart Fitness, first looking into Alden’s annual ‘Biggest Loser’ boot camp program on the advice of his wife, Danielle, and then deciding that personal training with Alden was his preferred option.
“I show up every day,” McLane continued. “I’ll take a day off if my body tells me to, but we work at it, and it’s hard.”
The difficulty in losing so much weight — and being able to keep it off over this time — comes not just during the workouts.
McLane has to overcome his self-consciousness when it came to his weight and appearance — and has been able to resist temptation the rest of the way. There are tough days where he could back off. Or there are food temptations.
Yet, he has stuck with his regimen — which includes cooking his own food at home and stopping the many drive-through meals he once indulged in each week. As a busy, successful real estate agent, McLane said the unstructured hours led to him making bad meal decisions. The once athletic young man — he played football, soccer, baseball and more in high school — had been gaining 20 to 30 pounds a year since he graduated.
“The old Andrew used the drive though and sat a lot in front of the TV for hours and hours,” he said.
He still watches TV, and he still enjoys the odd burger and beer with his pals — but those choices not longer dominate him. With Alden’s guidance and encouragement, he’s making better choices — and gaining the support of family and friends.
McLane started hitting the gym, slowly at first, making it a positive experience, rather than a burn that wasn’t fun and kept him away. He credits Alden for her patience and understanding of what he wanted to accomplish.
In his first couple of months being more active and eating better, McLane was losing up to 20 pounds a month. Being driven to make this lifestyle change, he increased his activity, lost more weight and consulted with his family doctor to ensure he was healthy.
“He has never stalled out in the whole year we’ve been together,” said Alden.
After failing at diets before, the difference this time, he said, was motivation over his health and his commitment to a lifestyle change that has him eating five or six times per day (main meals and small snacks), but eating healthier. Sticking with Alden’s plan, he said, allows him to keep on exercising.
“The transition, for me, was results-based,” he explained. “I could see the change happening.”
McLane started adding workouts and runs on his own time, cut his TV drastically and is cooking his own food each day, and not feeling deprived.
As of May 5 this year, it will be one year since he started losing weight and getting healthier. On that day, he and Alden plan to run a half-marathon to celebrate. It’s a big change from where he started. He’s also considering speaking to others about making such a grand change in lifestyle.
“Now, I don’t want to preach to people, I just want to let people know I know what it feels like to weigh so much.”
He admitted he still has worries about his size, and said each step is a battle, waged gradually for lasting results.
“People need a forever plan for this kind of change,” Alden added. “It’s about eating well and keeping healthy and fit.”
Vital in McLane’s — or anyone’s — success, she said, is family support.
He added while his goal is to get down to 210 pounds, he knows this change is a life-long goal he has to maintain, if he is to be successful.
“It’s do-able,” he said was his main message to others. “It’s going to be hard at times, but it’s do-able. I wish I would have done this 10 years ago.”