By Rebecca Drew
THIS INSPIRATIONAL man has lost a whopping TEN-STONE in just four years after he was shocked into transforming his lifestyle and eating habits after spending years avoiding the scales.
Growing up Josh Fenn (28) from Oregon, USA, was overweight due to his lack of understanding of his favourite foods’ calorie content, with his go-to items on the menu often being the highest in calories and when cooking at home, he would serve up generous double portions.
Josh was always a positive person who had a great circle of friends around him but behind the smiles, he struggled with self-confidence and body image. It wasn’t until he was on a family holiday in 2011 when he decided to weigh himself on the hotel scales that he realised he’d reached 22st 7lbs and was a XXXL shirt size.
This was the wakeup call he needed and when he returned home he proceeded to try every diet going to lose the weight including cutting sugar and carbs, diet pills, meticulously counting calories and excessive exercise. However, Josh managed to achieve and sustain his weight loss by simply eating less and moving more. He is now a svelte 12st 7lbs and wears size M.
“I was overweight from a very young age, I think the biggest factor was simply not understanding the amounts of calories in different foods, or how many calories I should have been eating,” he said.
“My ‘default’ food choices looking back now were always the highest calorie item on a takeaway menu, or eating double the proper food portion when cooking at home. Essentially just eating too much and not moving enough.
“I have always been a pretty happy and positive person, but from a very young age, probably six or seven years old, I had always lacked self-confidence and struggled with a lot severe body image issues.
“Most of these struggles were throughout my teen years too which amplified the problem I’m sure. I was fortunate to never have dealt with any bullying and always had a strong community of friends but the struggle was there internally.
“During a vacation in 2011 with my siblings I had weighed myself on the hotel bathroom scale to find that I had gotten to 315 pounds. Seeing that number start with a three was the ‘final straw’ and I knew I had to make some changes. Like most people that aren’t comfortable with their weight I generally avoided scales and didn’t have one at home, I had no idea how severe the problem had been.
“I tried just about every and any way to lose weight over the years. Cutting sugar and carbs, excessive exercise and cardio, fat burner pills, counting calories.
“Most things I tried worked to some extent but by the end of my weight loss and after years of learning the calorie counting seemed to be the most mentally and physically healthy way that was still successful. People always want to hear my ‘secret’ or ‘trick’ to losing weight, but it really was as simple as everyone dreads; eating less food and moving more.”
Losing weight has changed Josh’s life immensely as he is capable of doing more than he ever thought would be possible. To achieve his results, he ditched fast food, sugary drinks and no exercise for watching his calories, walking every day and lifting weights five to six times a week.
Josh now shares his advice and weight loss tips on YouTube and has 14K subscribers. He delved into the problems he faced on his weight loss journey.
“Everything I’ve learned and talk about on my YouTube channel these days helping other people lose weight comes from all of the failures I experienced throughout my weight loss. Generally though, the toughest part of losing a significant amount of weight is ‘sticking with it’ and adhering to the diet long term,” he explained.
“It’s important to go through that trial and error to learn what works and doesn’t work, it’s all about keeping yourself accountable and making things as simple and easy as possible so you can stick with it. Adherence is everything, the classic ‘tortoise and the hare’ story is very real when it comes to weight loss, we tend to want to overcomplicate and make things extreme because we want to lose weight as quick as possible.
“The extreme measures and changes I made were always the ones that made me fall off track.
“It’s been so long now since I was at my heaviest it’s tough to relate to my old diet most days. Most of the changes are the usual things you hear; eating more fruits and vegetables, cutting out sugary drinks, cooking at home most of the time, prepping my own lunches to bring to work.
“The biggest change though is just the amount of food and calories I consume. The ‘junk’ food can still fit into a healthy lifestyle, it’s just more of a focus on portion size and moderation for those types of foods.
“I moved in 2016 to a new part of the country so most people around aren’t aware of my past or my transformation. When they find out they’re usually pretty shocked and say something along the lines of me seeming and looking like I’ve always been a thin person.”
For more information see www.beardedfatloss.com