• Years of unhealthy eating caused Isaac Martin’s weight to climb to more than 350 pounds.
• To help him lose weight, Martin committed to cycling, running, and cut out junk food from his diet
• A year later, Martin has now successfully lost more than 100 pounds and is aiming to complete a marathon in the near future.
When he returned from a vacation to Amsterdam just before his 26th birthday last year, Isaac Martin recalls, something in him snapped. He got on the scale, and was shocked to see that he weighed more than 350 pounds—the heaviest he’d ever been. “That was the turning point for me,” he says. “I realized that if I didn’t do anything now, I’d never become the person I’d always wanted to be.”
Martin, still 26, who lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom and works as the head of innovation for Social Chain, a social media marketing agency, says that he’d struggled with his weight most of his life. “I was always the fattest kid in the class, always the big man,” he says. Not having his diet in check, he adds, was likely the biggest contributor. “I could eat a huge amount of food, and while my weeks weren’t necessarily filled with bad eating, I never really maintained a healthy diet or lifestyle,” he says. “When it was good, it wasn’t great, and when it was bad, it was awful. Over time, it became a slow descent.”
Martin decided to start with a simple rule: No junk food. That made things seem easy and sustainable—even if, he admits, it wasn’t likely to work forever. He also started cycling to and from work, which wasn’t an insignificant distance—roughly 15 miles per day. At first, he saw immediate results, and the plan seemed to be working out. After an accident on his bike, however—in addition to winter approaching—Martin decided to put his bike into storage and switch to running a few days a week, working his way up doing 5Ks.
In the meantime, he continued to work on his diet, restricting himself to about 1,400 calories per day. The results were dramatic: “Over the past year, I’ve lost around 100 pounds. The weight started coming off fast, but then became steadier,” he says, noting that his motivation started to dip about halfway through his current progress. “One month, I only managed to maintain weight, instead of losing it. This was a huge demotivator, but I knew I had to keep going no matter what. I pushed myself twice as hard and started to see the results in the mirror.”
Martin says his next goal is to complete a marathon. “It’s something I never thought I’d achieve in my life,” he says, “and it’s something I couldn’t be more excited to attempt.” As for people hoping to mimic his progress? “Accept that it takes time. I’d been trying to lose weight for years, but I’d never tried to lose weight for one full year,” he says.
“Whereas before I’d try and lose as quickly as possible, this time I set myself a realistic goal.”
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