Obese to Beast

ObesetoBeast Age | Height | Weight | Bio | Images ...

The reason that I’m actually here, well you guys know that I like to edit here. But they’re actually filming kind of like a behind-the-scenes thing for actual like CrossFit. I’m like filming with CrossFit. That’s crazy.

As a YouTuber, you’re your own boss. I’ll wake up in the morning, go to the gym, film a video, edit a video, make some Instagram posts, do my CrossFit workout, edit the rest of it, make the thumbnail. The reason I even thought about watching YouTube videos on fitness was because the way that I learned how to play drums was through YouTube videos.

So I was like, OK, well if I learned how to play drums from watching YouTube, why can’t I learn how to lift or go to the gym or lose weight from watching YouTube? And then one of my friends was like, “You need to make a YouTube channel.” He really pushed me and was like, “You have a story that can help a lot of people.” My childhood here was kind of, it was a little bit rough at the start. My mom was, she was a drug addict at that time and we were actually, me and my siblings were taken away from her when I was three years old. And luckily she got clean after a year, so we were put back with her, which is something that really doesn’t happen very much, so super thankful for that. But we dealt with being, you know, a really low-income family, so we were in government housing and we tried to find food as cheap as you possibly could to feed as many people.

The reason that I’m actually here, well you guys know that I like to edit here. But they’re actually filming kind of like a behind-the-scenes thing for actual like CrossFit. I’m like filming with CrossFit. That’s crazy.

As a YouTuber, you’re your own boss. I’ll wake up in the morning, go to the gym, film a video, edit a video, make some Instagram posts, do my CrossFit workout, edit the rest of it, make the thumbnail. The reason I even thought about watching YouTube videos on fitness was because the way that I learned how to play drums was through YouTube videos.

So I was like, OK, well if I learned how to play drums from watching YouTube, why can’t I learn how to lift or go to the gym or lose weight from watching YouTube? And then one of my friends was like, “You need to make a YouTube channel.” He really pushed me and was like, “You have a story that can help a lot of people.” My childhood here was kind of, it was a little bit rough at the start. My mom was, she was a drug addict at that time and we were actually, me and my siblings were taken away from her when I was three years old. And luckily she got clean after a year, so we were put back with her, which is something that really doesn’t happen very much, so super thankful for that. But we dealt with being, you know, a really low-income family, so we were in government housing and we tried to find food as cheap as you possibly could to feed as many people.

And then the way that we ate, my mom was so busy working all the time that it’s not like we sat down and ate dinner again, it was like she would make food and then you’d go and get the food, right? And so if you wanted seconds or thirds or in my case fourths, like you had to eat fast, then you got more. And honestly, I probably ate fast food 80 percent of the time was was my diet.

I was addicted to soda. I probably drank over a two-liter every day, easily easily over a two-liter every day, and I was just so uneducated with it. I just started gaining weight slowly and then in high school I was definitely the biggest kid at the school.

I look back and I’m like, man, I wish I had this same mindset that I do now then. Because I went out and I tried out for football and that was my first time ever in a weight room. I never lifted or anything and then I’m the biggest guy there, right, and they’re telling me to squat 135. I had never put a barbell on my back or touched a barbell. I tried to squat, it doesn’t happen.

Like I started kinda like freaking out, hyperventilating. I racked the weight. This guy kinda is like, “Man, you’re the biggest guy here and you can’t even lift that?

Like, why are you even that big, like what are you used for?” I remember I left that practice and I walked home. And like, I never played high school football. I was probably about 300 pounds when I graduated, around there.

And I gained weight so fast after. The only time I would really leave my house was if I was going to work or if, I was in a band at the time, if I was playing a show. And so I just became really, really sedentary.

And it’s crazy because I didn‘t even notice it. It’s only something that I notice now looking back on it. At my heaviest I weighed 360 pounds. I was wearing a size 5XL shirt and 56-inch pants. My feet started to really scab, I was definitely like, I had really black eyes, and as anybody when they’re that heavy, I was just really lethargic, really just no energy.

This sounds crazy, but I was 20 years old and I was literally terrified of being home alone because I was like, if I have a heart attack and nobody’s here, what am I gonna do? And I was 20, like with the rate of how much weight I was gaining every year and in my head feeling like I’ve done everything I can to try and lose it, or every time I try and lose it, I end up gaining more. I just felt like there was nothing I can do. I got to a point at my heaviest where I was just, I was OK with dying before I was 40. I actually had been binge-watching Miami Ink on Netflix.

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There were so many really, really cool tattoos that people were getting and I remember just the whole time thinking like, that’s a really nice back piece. It’s so silly but there’s just these little things that people were getting that made me feel like I can’t do that and it’s because of my weight. In my head I realized this is my fault. Like, I’m doing this to myself.

The choices I’m making have got me to this point so I just need to make different choices and see where I can go, right? Because again like I said, in my head I was gonna be dead before 40 anyway, so why not give it a shot? And it was that night watching Miami Ink, eating a double entree plate of orange chicken and fried rice from Panda Express with a large soda, and their sodas are huge, I ate the whole thing and drank the soda because I was like, I’m gonna wake up tomorrow and I’m gonna start like, this is it.

I implemented what I call the common sense diet. Cut out soda, cut out junk food and cut out fast food. Which sounds kind of simple, but at the time, that was most of my diet. It helped me a lot because at the time when I first started, I had really not much money at all so I couldn’t afford a gym membership so I wasn’t able to go to the gym. And so it showed me your diet is so much more important than what you’re doing at the gym.

Over time it just kind of morphed into me wanting to research more and then learning more. And once you know things, it’s a lot harder to make bad decisions. When you’re as heavy as I was, if you just make a small change you’ll see a big result. I made that small change, saw a big result, was more motivated to make another change to see more results, and then it just kind of compounded and it was like a domino effect. I had posted a couple pictures of the loose skin after you lose weight and I would get questions about it.

So I remember when I first started my YouTube, I told myself like, I want to make a video about my loose skin to show people that were following me, at this time I think I had like 4,000 subscribers, I was just trying to show them the question they were asking. I put it up and then it just blew up and went completely viral. And that’s the day that my life really changed. [Ellen:] I love this young man. After losing an incredible 160 pounds, our next guest bravely posted a video of himself revealing his biggest insecurity. [John:] When I ended that video and I said, “I’m comfortable in my skin,” I meant that. I am comfortable in my skin and I love this skin.

This skin is a battle scar from where I’ve been and where I was. I made it, so I was that big, you know, that was a choice I made and it was a choice that I made to get smaller and to lose the weight. I was really down with the thought of going from one extreme to the opposite, like going from morbidly obese to literally being on stage with your shirt off. So I ended up doing a men’s physique show. It was good for me because I was able to really see that I am capable of that, but at the same time I never want to do it again, because it was just, you become really really focused on food, and through losing the weight I started struggling with my relationship with food.

I kind of developed a binge eating disorder and that was really, really tough to deal with, especially because when I was dealing with it I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know that people dealt with it. I just thought there was something wrong with me, which in my head I was like, well, it makes sense, you know, you were 350 pounds, now you’re, you know, 190-180 pounds. Obviously your food’s gonna be jacked up. There was a point in my life where I really felt like I was just never gonna be able to eat normal for a long time and it was a really scary thing for me because people would ask me, “Are you ever afraid of gaining the weight back?” And I would say no, but in my head I’m like, I don’t know, man, because I can’t go on like this forever.

So doing the physique show was kind of scary because I was kind of still struggling with that. It definitely got better, like I was able to work on it and so I felt like I was strong enough to do the show. So, you know, I dieted down, I did the show. And look who showed up? My brother.

Well, if I don’t see you, good luck. And my brother actually came and he watched me compete. And it’s funny because he actually met his girlfriend now at the show and she did CrossFit. He was kind of interested in it.

He was interested in her and he started doing it. Seeing how much he fell in love with CrossFit, like he was in right at the start. I ended up going to his gym.

I just fell in love with it. CrossFit has that community aspect of like, you are doing the same workout as all these other people, you’re suffering together, and it makes the gym less of an isolated thing. Especially being a YouTuber, I’m alone a lot of the day, like going to my CrossFit gym and seeing my friends there, seeing my brother there, seeing everyone there, it really is a family. On top of that, just physically for me, going from being obese I obviously couldn’t do much with my body. And then going into bodybuilding, I was able to change my body, but I still never felt very functional.

And then going into CrossFit, I did my first box jump and then in that workout I think I did 30. I’ve been able to do a muscle-up. Look, all of these things, as silly as it sounds, I never thought I would do ever with my body, and I’m still learning stuff daily. My relationship with food now is better than it’s ever been for my entire life, and for me that is honestly the biggest win. Now I eat to perform and I eat to feel good.

Looking at the top athletes, it’s shown me that that is capable by a human. So like, not saying I’ll ever be Mat Fraser, but you know, who doesn’t want to be Mat Fraser, but not saying I’ll ever be there, but why can’t you get closer, right? Like if everyone else even at the top is getting better and better and better, why can’t the people in the middle get better and better and better?

And I never want to just use the fact that well, you used to be 360 pounds so why aren’t you happy where you are? Yeah, I’m happy where I am, but just because I was there doesn’t mean I can’t go this way further and try and get as fit as possible. It’s funny looking back, how I didn’t even want to look at myself in a mirror and now I have to watch myself for hours when I’m editing videos. I’m just so much more confident now and if I were to see where I am now when I was 20 years old, I honestly wouldn’t believe it. Having such a radical change from really being afraid of dying before I’m 40 to being like, I’m in the best shape of my life now and I’m only getting more fit.

Before, the future for me, I didn’t like thinking about it and the future was not very bright at all. And now I just get so so excited to think about like where I’ll be in a year, in two years, in five years. Like, so excited.

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