Getting My Life Back with MyFitnessPal & RunKeeper

RunKeeper
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Getting My Life Back with MyFitnessPal & RunKeeper

You may have read about the first leg of my weight loss journey on the RunKeeper blog. I wanted to take this time to update you on my progress (I’m up to 390 pounds lost!) and also dig a bit more into the tools that helped me on my journey: MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper.

Changing My Life

On October 13, 2012, I decided to change my life. I was 30 years old and living at home with my parents. I sat in the basement playing video games all day and ate nothing but fast food. I was an alcoholic, drinking a fifth of vodka mixed with soda each night. I had become morbidly obese, topping out at 625 pounds, and was consuming over 7000 calories per day. Depression had taken over my life, I dropped out of college and worked one dead end job after another.

One day I began playing a game called Draw Something and was randomly matched up with a woman named Jackie Eastham in London, England. We immediately got along and began to develop an online friendship, later through Facebook and eventually video chat on Skype. I didn’t tell her how big I was and never told her that I was an alcoholic. My depression bottomed out and I decided to tell her everything one day. I expected sympathy from her and got exactly the opposite. I found out that she had a disease called Myotonic Dystrophy and she has to stay active and healthy in order to keep the symptoms at bay. She said that I was ‘pissing my life up the wall’ and that there were so many people out there that are fighting to stay alive and then there was me, completely throwing it away. She had become a close friend to me and I was afraid of losing her. It turns out, this was exactly what I needed to hear.

Developing New Habits

That day, October 13, 2012, I quit drinking cold-turkey. It took me a couple of weeks to get over the withdrawals and I began to eat healthier. I changed my eating habits little by little and began to count calories using the MyFitnessPal app. I found it easy to use and best of all; it was free! I found out how much salt and sugar I was consuming daily by inputting my meals into the app. I used it to lower my sodium intake and immediately my weight started to go down. I lost 100 pounds in the first three months! That averaged out to just over a pound a day. I later found out that most of it was water weight and by getting rid of the salt, I began to deflate like a balloon!

Once I had a good grasp on my eating habits, at Jackie’s urging, I started to exercise. I couldn’t do much at first and I decided to approach it practically. I woke up a little early and walked in place for five minutes every morning. Once I was comfortable, I began to add to it a minute at a time, sometimes a few minutes until I was up to one hour every morning. Jackie had once said to me that I would take to exercise like a fish to water. She couldn’t have been more right.

I was now hooked on exercise and I found the endorphins addictive. Eventually, I graduated to walking outside, and I was too bashful to do it during the day because I didn’t want the neighbors to see, so I woke up before the sun rose and walked in the dark. At first I could only make it halfway down the street and back. It was a bit painful on my knees and feet, so I could only do a little at a time. Eventually, I was walking 5 miles every morning. I also began cycling and was hooked on that as well.

I wanted to track my distances so I could get an idea how many calories I was burning. Once again, I looked up free apps and came across RunKeeper. I found that I could enter my height and weight while the app tracked my speed and distance. I began to log my eating, exercise and weight loss using both. I found that I had an obsessive personality and before I used it for my drinking. Now I used my obsessiveness to help keep me on track to getting healthier.

Two Years Later
18 months later, I had lost 390 pounds—and haven’t looked back. I never ran a mile in my life and I waited until I was 31 to do it. I ran my first 5k on Thanksgiving morning last year, and have run several 5k’s and 10k’s throughout the year. This Sunday, October 19th, I will be running my first half-marathon in Detroit.

Jackie is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I feel that she saved my life. I don’t think I’d be around today if it weren’t for our chance meeting on Draw Something. Who’d have thought that a random internet relationship could evolve and change a life, but it did to me!

In less than two years, I’ve gone from 625 pounds to 235 pounds. I’ve gone from a size 60 waist to a size 38. I’ve gone from never being out of the country to flying to London and also Paris. I’ve gone from barely being able to climb a flight of stairs to climbing the Eiffel Tower. I’ve gone from walking in place 5 minutes to running a half-marathon.

Jackie and I now run a Facebook weight loss support group with thousands of members from around the globe (and soon will have a website at team383.com). Now that I have my life under control, we hope to reach out and help others. I have also begun to do motivational speaking.

You never know what kind of curve balls that life is going to throw. All I can say is, never give up, because inspiration can be right around the corner. Keep your eyes open and your head up. It’s never too late to turn your life around!

I just celebrated my second birthday, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Brian Flemming now lives a happy, healthy life and looks forward to even more accomplishments in the future!

About the Author

RunKeeper
RunKeeper

Track your pace, measure workout distance, chart weight loss, crush training goals and more with LifeHacker’s 2012 Best Running App! RunKeeper is the simplest way to improve fitness, whether you’re just deciding to get off the couch for a 5k, biking every day, or deep into marathon training.

Together, RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal will help you meet your health and fitness goals. RunKeeper provides the workout tracking and guidance to keep you out and moving. It keeps tabs on just how many calories you burned while pounding the pavement and will automatically credit those to your Net Calories count in MyFitnessPal.

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166 responses to “Getting My Life Back with MyFitnessPal & RunKeeper”

  1. Avatar sheena says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Very motivational. Congratulations on taking that step and making those changes.

  2. Avatar Hoggster says:

    I was looking for inspiration to help me kick start my new weight loss plans and this is it! Thanks for sharing your amazing story!

  3. Avatar dadkins77 says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! kudos to you!! I am also battling with weightloss and so far its a losing battle. After reading your story I decided to give it another try.

    • Avatar WestEast says:

      It’s not a losing battle, you’re just forfeiting. Sound cruel? Maybe, but you need to know that everything that happens to your body is in your control. YOU will make the decision to exercise or not and YOU will make the decision to eat healthy or to eat junk. Don’t you for a second think that this is just fate.

      You find someone to keep you honest, and you get right back to work.

    • Avatar Susan Page says:

      I have tried off and on for years to lose weight. Finally last October I decided I was going to do it and in one year I lost 65 lbs. However when I started in October I was walking 3 miles a day I was working out watching what I was eating and for almost 2 months I didn’t lose weight. I gain some at first which made me mad and I wanted to give up again but this time I had a friend working out with me. So I kept going to the gym and I kept watching what I ate. Then suddenly almost 3 months after I started I lost 10 lbs almost over night. Then 3 lbs then 8 lbs. I was so surprised because even though my clothes had been getting too big my weight wasn’t going down. Then suddenly it dropped like crazy. In the last year I discovered that my body will drop weight in 3-8 lbs all of the sudden. Then I will gain a pound back then stay the same then suddenly in a week it is down 4 lbs. So I just keep going and know eventually it will drop again.

      • Avatar Máiréad says:

        I know this is an old comment, but it’s important. It doesn’t matter a damn what those tv shows or their “experts” say, for many people weightloss is not a gradual decline, it’s a series of plateaus and drops. I know that’s the case for me, although it’s less dramatic than your case.
        I urge anyone who’s feeling disheartened at not losing consistently to keep using monitoring apps like MFP over the course of a few months, and keep tracking. Although the week or monthly change might be small, when you look back over 3/6/12 months it can be very dramatic!
        Sticking to my old Dailyburn app (RIP) and MFP are the only things that have worked snd allowed me to lose nearly 27kg in the past 18 months.

  4. Avatar Jackie Vassallo says:

    wow what a great inspirational story! congrats to taking control of your life!

    • Avatar Smokeybibmajiw says:

      Congrats, a bit hard to believe without gastric bypass or a lap band. Too much loss in a short time. But if you say so. Again no matter what all you did it worked. Congrats and welcome back.

      • Avatar Mike Reed says:

        All GB and LapBand do is artificially restrict calories. For someone that has the willpower to do it on their own it’s absolutely possible. That’s not a dig on GB/LP users, it’s just a statement that there’s no magic in either of them other than eating less.

  5. Avatar castle says:

    Gives me goosebumps! What an inspiration.

  6. Avatar Deb says:

    So proud of you and all your accomplishments! What an inspiration you are!

  7. Avatar Heidi says:

    Very motivational, and appreciative of you being open about this! Thank you

  8. Avatar paulsz28 says:

    Nice work! I’ve lost 30 lbs myself, which has really helped my knees. Things I did to “fast track” the weight loss and eventually change my eating habits permanently are: 1) reduce bread/pasta/cracker intake and up the fresh fruits and vegetables (bell peppers and kale are two of my favorites – you can add them to ANYTHING, or just eat them by themselves); 2) don’t add salt to anything you eat (there’s plenty of salt in everything you buy); 3) only eat poultry and fish for your meats (you can get back to steak/ham once you get the weight off, but the leaner meats really help melt the weight); 4) only drink water; 5) exercise by playing games (calesthenics and body-weight exercies are great, but if you do sprints, dribble a soccer ball, jump rope, etc., you’ll again really melt the fat). These are things that worked for me, and are still working. I’m heavier than I was when I got out of college, but I’m in better shape (different body composition now – more muscle, still a little more overlying flab here and there than i’d like, great heart condition and low resting heart rate).

    Thanks for sharing the inspiring store and links.

  9. Avatar Prabhu says:

    Inspirational indeed! Also appreciate the fact that you guys are helping out others!

    I too was obese and down with depression just 4 months ago. One fine day I took the call to change everything. I burnt 26 pounds in 3 months. Not a great feat as yours, but definitely something.

    To me, fitness/workout is not just about feeling good or looking good. It has become a way life and I have gotten addicted to it already. It gave me a new definition to life. I am more happy these days. My happiness is less dependent on individuals and more on what I can control – my workout sessions.

    Keep going! Change lives!

  10. Avatar noof says:

    I just start my new habit last week . And I can feel the changes. Thinks for sharing ur story and congratulations. And hope for me the best in my journey.

  11. Avatar Andrew Y says:

    That is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. Avatar Hanieh Razzaghi says:

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way 🙂

  13. Avatar Franny says:

    What a wonderful story and what an amazing accomplishment! Be proud of yourself, your accomplishments and achievements.
    It is great to read something like this and it helped remind me why I keep doing what I am doing.
    I think it is awesome that you found your support and motivation in an unexpected place. Sometimes amazing relationships, support, and understanding comes not from those closest to us but from those we meet in random ways.

  14. Avatar tracy boone says:

    What facebook group? Would love to jpin:)
    Very inspirational! So proud of you and for you!!!

  15. Avatar MG0518 says:

    Wow – you are a prime example of what’s good about humanity – and will no doubt be an inspiration to all the lives that you will be touching from here on out. Congratulations on your amazing journey, I can’t wait to hear about your upcoming adventures!

  16. Avatar Cridland says:

    GREAT story, Brian! Congrats! I did something similar and lost 100 pounds. Just completed my first triathlon, and planning the upcoming 2015 race season! Keep it up! Thanks!

  17. Avatar Linda Singleton says:

    That’s so inspiring.

  18. Avatar TheHairdresser says:

    Wow! So inspiring, Brian you rock, you just rocked my boat, thanks for sharing….and congratulations to you ☺

  19. Avatar HelpingHand says:

    Thank you for this story, it’s truly inspiring. I know I didn’t fight the battle you did, but I also decided I was done and lost 40 pounds to be a healthy weight. Now I struggle with someone very dear to me who has over 200 pounds to lose. He says he’s trying and I know he is to an extent but I feel like he’s given in to what everyone’s told him and believes he can’t lose it. I realize that the key to weight loss is the mindset. How can I help him?

    • Avatar Nonaligned says:

      Hi HelpingHand, from what I have experienced, if your friend can quit sugar (including in the form of drinks) and stay under the right amount of calories per day for his level of activity, height and weight, he can and will lose weight. If he cuts his carbohydrate intake significantly and raises the amount of good fats in his diet in the first few weeks, he will see several pounds lost right away and that should give him some encouragement. The initial encouragement really helps! There are lots of free weight loss support groups online like MFP and also SparkPeople. I hope this has found you, and that it helps.

  20. Avatar Kim Braxton says:

    AWWWWESOMENESS!!! Congratulations on the weight loss & congratulations on living again. What an inspiration.

  21. Avatar helsbels says:

    Well done you. You will be such an inspiration to many many people and for some, you will be a life saver 🙂

  22. Avatar Louise Yon says:

    Thank you for sharing, I needed this tonight…..can you tell me more or less what was your diet during your weightloss journey…I also need to lose 100kg

    • Avatar wasupdoc says:

      Cut the CARBage food. Thats all there is to it.
      Note that fibre although strictly is carbohydrate it is not digested so doesn’t really count. Thats why you can eat as much leafy greens as you like with every meal

      • Avatar Erika Norring says:

        I switched out my carby food with healthier options like whole grain whole wheat bread and stick to once slice a day with my normal breakfast. Also, when I decide to indulge a bit in pasta I go for whole grain there as well. Carbs aren’t awful if you’re eating the right kind. Cheers!

    • Avatar Jan says:

      Just eat less and Exercise more. It’s the most simple thing to hear and the hardest to do.

      • Avatar Laura Mccammon says:

        That’s what I do I workout 7days 40 min
        To reach my goal and I see a big difference already!!!

      • Avatar linda says:

        That’s a little simplistic. The expanded answer is eat more quality food and less wasted (or in my case waisted) calories. I find that drinking water, eating more fresh foods, fish, chicken, and limiting myself to 4 oz portions is simple and not so hard to do. I also cut back on white foods: bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. I’m 6, 5’4″ and 124 lbs. Took me 6 months to lose it, and over 20 years to keep it off. I still have treats but find they’ve changed–fresh fruit, ice cream mini cones.

        • Avatar Tenneia Mincey says:

          Also getting to the core of why we overeat. Its psychological. I think that was touched upon in the article as well. The writer of thge article stated he had an obsessive personality. There is a book entitled Overeating by June Hunt which is very informative and deals with the topic of food addiction. Life-changing read. Check it out.

  23. Avatar TheRunnerDad says:

    Well done sir.

  24. Avatar Elizabeth Faulkingham Alteri says:

    I’d love to know how your half marathon went! I’ve lost 112 pounds through diet and exercise and on September 28th I too did my first half marathon!

  25. Avatar Lexi says:

    Very inspiring if you can do it I can too. I only want to loose 20 pounds and have been pushing it off for almost two years now. Very motivating!

  26. Avatar Jaime says:

    Congratulations, your story is truly motivating. I to spent years waisting my health and punishing my body with food and alcohol. My motivation came from my loving wife who never stopped believing in me.

  27. Avatar Vicki Clabough Wilson says:

    I am a cancer survivor and need to lay off the sweets and lose about 20 lbs. Very inspirational story. I am motivated to climb the Eiffel Tower!

  28. Avatar Angela says:

    Amazing, inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it!

  29. Avatar Mandi says:

    Very inspired, well done! Thank you for sharing x

  30. Avatar Tammy says:

    I use these two apps and have found that it is the best thing for me 🙂 6.5kgs down and counting 😀

  31. Avatar Steph says:

    U r inspiring!!!!

  32. Avatar deby says:

    awesome…& you and your friend are a blessing to each other & to everyone!

  33. Avatar Mike says:

    Thanks for sharing. I need to get started. How do you get through the holidays. Particularly the Thanksgiving meal?

  34. Avatar ChristinaRN says:

    Good job!

  35. Avatar BankerMel1 says:

    What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing

  36. Avatar Anonymous says:

    And you got hot! Holy hottie!

  37. Avatar Renee says:

    Thanks for sharing. I myself need that. What is the name of your facebook page. I need morw inspiration

  38. Avatar HardyHemmingway says:

    Truly inspiring 🙂

  39. Avatar Vijay says:

    Excellent Story… Congratulations to you…. Highly inspiring… Thank you again…. I have gone from 96kg to 80kg in 8 months… was tough initially but its now an addiction.. have gone from walking just 500 mts to 10km one stretch with less than 8.5 min/km pace…. gone to biking from 2km to 60km every weekend in one go… and this weekend am going to attempt 100km brevet…. WE CAN DO IT !!! Just need some one to prep you up… God bless…

  40. Avatar Marie Cheney says:

    The only thing I said was…. Oh S……… Sorry!!!! But I want you to know how impress I got.
    Congratulations!!! You are an inspiration!
    Enjoy your body, your clear mind and everything around you.
    Thank you for sharing your story !!!! 😉

  41. Avatar Sandra says:

    Very Inspriational story. Good for you and keep going!

  42. Avatar Yvette Giddings Wahl says:

    This story is so motivating. I have been fighting weight loss for about 10 years now. I’m diabetic and dealing with high blood pressure. I start I stop, it gets very frustrating at times. I need a good support group to help me make this a life style change not just a diet. It’s tough doing it alone. I know I must and have to make the choice. But it will be nice to know There is others out there trying to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish. Thank you for sharing your story. I really needed this.

  43. Avatar maurice says:

    What is your facebook page? You are me now, and im 30 and have everything you have except being a gammer lol love to be following you

  44. Avatar Nicci Nunu Taylor says:

    I’d love to know what your facebook page is so I can follow you

  45. Avatar Aquarin says:

    thanks for your story. You are a good example for us who is trying to very harf to loose weight. you inspire us to work harder.

  46. Avatar Kasey says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, it gives me hope! Congrats to you and looking forward to your website.

  47. Avatar lv83 says:

    adorable, inspirational and honest. Just goes to show that baby steps are the way forward – well done you!

  48. Avatar Dawn says:

    I too have a weight problem that also includes depression and other issues and I have health issues that could all be forgotten if I could find the motivation to change , I have no motivation and financially I don’t have the means but I would love to change these things, your story really touched me and I know it can be done with the right motivation!

  49. Avatar Sgarcia273 says:

    Thank you for sharing your story you are an inspiration

  50. Avatar Cynthia Grigalonis says:

    This is such a positive posting! Thank you. I struggle with weight issues all the time. It is very motivational and congratulations on your huge accomplishment, for I am sure there will be many to come!

  51. Avatar fanciladi says:

    WOW……….thanks from me, too, for sharing your story and quite a story it is!!! Unbelievable to realize that both of those pictures are YOU!!! Congrats!!! Keep up the fantastic work.

  52. Avatar Kim says:

    Wow. What a great story. It’s amazing how people touch us. It can only get better.

  53. Avatar Geraldine says:

    Thank you for sharing. Congratulations

  54. Avatar Phriezia says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I need to lose 140 pounds, I’m 53 years old, am 5 ft. 2 inches. I just lost my job and I am my elderly mother’s full time care giver. I am having such a hard time getting started. Where can I find your weight loss group?

  55. Avatar Lorie Ann Wise says:

    Great Job!!!!!! keep it up!!

  56. Avatar Jill Stanford says:

    Please update us with the group. Congratulations on your loss, of weight, hehe. 🙂

  57. Avatar KellyMonster says:

    Amazing story. Congratulations on turning your life around!

  58. Avatar Ricky says:

    I was the opposite I started fit and healthy was in the army 7 years ran half marathons and even a full marathon in Kuwait. While I was serving in Iraq. But gambling took over my life and depression and weight gain came into my life. I have stopped the gambling clean cold turkey now for 19 months am out the army and in security a 12 day job where I pretty much sit all day. I also loved computer games recently I got to 19 stone and that was a wake up call. I am now on a diet and training as much as I can in the last 2 weeks I have lost 7 pounds.

    Reading this story gives me more confidence to give me that boost to get as fit I was before. Also the exercise definitely helps push back the depression and I am feeling happier. So thank you for posting your story and may you continue to live a long healthy happy life.

    Kind regards Ricky

    • Avatar Genice Cook says:

      First I would like to thank you for your service to our country. Congrats on quitting gambling and for getting back on track with your weight loss goals. Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing your story.

      Best Wishes ~ Genice

  59. Avatar sandra says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am 35 yrs old, and I have Myasthenia Gravis. I’ve had since I was 24, but in the last yr, I’ve been hospitalized twice. I been extremely week, unable to do much. This week I decided to stop taking some of my meds cause I felt it was making me worst. Instead of getting stronger, I was getting weaker. Since Monday I’ve been drinking lemon water, taking Coconut pills and Cinnamon pills. I also been eating healthier and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my energy levels. So I downloaded My fitness pal app to help with my calorie intake. I came across your story will this app, and now I’m motivated to start exercising. Thank you!

  60. Avatar Larissa says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read this morning! Thanks for the inspiration.

  61. Avatar Aspire2BACat says:

    Beautiful ! Congratulations Brian. Good of you to give Jackie so much credit, and yes she may have helped get the ball rolling, but it was YOU who stuck to your goals, kept your eye on the ball, and put yourself in your current healthy state. Liken it to someone getting you that job interview that landed your dream job. That is all well and good, but it is YOU that has to meet the expectations set during the interview and excel at the job. Anyone who loses weight must always keep in mind that ultimately it was THEM that did it. No one else.

  62. Avatar Mar says:

    Gosh you’ve done so well. It’s the flabby skin on my arms I’m getting now hate it

  63. Avatar SteveIE says:

    Wow, big respect to Brian. Achievements like that take persistence, stamina and grit.

  64. Avatar Bob Smith says:

    A phenomenal success story! He motivated me to go to the gym today!

  65. Avatar ChereS says:

    I waited until I was 57 to start running so you are way ahead of me.

  66. Avatar Stockton Bear says:

    Thank you for such an inspirational story. I need to lose 2 stone (28 pounds) and feel I can do this now thanks to your blog! All the best for 2015.

  67. Avatar Scott Kight says:

    Congratulations on getting your life back. I am down now from 380 to 303 over the last 4 months. It is really simple math, what you eat minus what you burn equals your gain or loss. MFP has been instrumental in my journey so far…ONLY 60 pounds to go!

  68. Avatar srl311 says:

    Awesome!

  69. Avatar Scott says:

    Brian Thank you so much for sharing your truth It takes amazing courage and pure dedication to make that kind of transformation Im not anywhere near where you were but fast food and sugar has take a toll on me and at235 its a very unhealthy weight for me along with my boarder line type 2 diabetes.As Yoda says there is no try just do …happy new year and stay on the path brother

  70. Avatar tammy says:

    Ho Brian…. that’s awesome! I typo made the change 9 months ago… down 109 pounds work about 60 more I want to shed and am trying to work upa program with physicians and a dietician at work to start a support group. I have many coming to me fir inspiration and help and is wonderful to be an insulating. Thank you for All you guys do. I know there are so many like us who just want the help and am thankful I can be there fir others! I am thrilled to have read your sorry. Are you from Detroit? I lived there11 years. My husband isa huge support and is down toa great weight and normal lab values!

  71. Avatar Diane Marie Kraus says:

    Wow! Fantastic story!

  72. Avatar wansy says:

    Thank you for sharing. I am so proud of your success and commitment to weight loss

  73. Avatar Johnny Morris says:

    Wow congratulations. theres a good site called manvfat with lots of people with similar weight loss goals

  74. What a beautiful story of friendship and determination. Congrats!

  75. Avatar Desiree says:

    What an awesome and inspiring story! It is sooo hard to stay motivated sometimes but anytime I read stories like this it gives me hope.

    Thanks so much for your story!

  76. Avatar flower says:

    I have done everything no weight loss. For two yrs my bowels are so constipated from pain pills that no matter what the doc gives me it doesnt work. I cant go #2. I have to track it then dig it out by myself and that is very painful even natural foods doesnt work. So I have the fitband to track my activity and food which due to not going to bathroom I cant eat enough food according to my fitband. It just suts in my stomach and severe bloating. Anybody else can help me please. I been at a specialist and the meds dont work so she laughed and said well guess your going to be like this your disease is in your abs now

    • Avatar Nonaligned says:

      Hi flower, what the heck kind of specialist was that? That’s not helpful at all. Can your doctor refer you to a nutritionist? It sounds like you need some support with taking in enough water and fiber to keep things moving. If you haven’t had a colonoscopy that would probably be a good idea too. Best of luck, you deserve to feel better!

  77. Avatar Trexlers says:

    What’s the name of the group support on facebook

  78. Avatar Jazzyme2013 says:

    What an awesome story! Thank you for sharing your story,
    what an inspiration to so many! May God bless you. 🙂

  79. Avatar Kim Studeny Calhoon says:

    This is such an inspiring story! I enjoy reading success stories about striving to live a healthful life. I’ve done it for such a long time and the fun is that it is a great journey filled with fine-tuning and learning new ideas. Keep sharing – especially for those out there struggling. I want to please tell everyone trying to not give up! If you go to someone/someplace and they are not the inspiration or it’s not working for you, Don’t give up! Please keep going to the next place, the next person. I hope that person will be me and that I will completely jump on board and help.

    On another note, I know of a young lady that could use a coach – although I don’t know her really well, she is young and morbidly obese, but enthusiastic about life and working with teens and seems to be a person that would jump on board with a health coach. Please provide your thoughts on approaching someone who has NOT asked (me) for help. I am an older “mom-like” aged person (58) and this young lady is late 20s to early 30. She goes to my church. Just wondering. I really like her and she is incredibly beautiful-the transformation would be shocking.

    Happy New Year everyone. God bless!

  80. Avatar Laura Mccammon says:

    Hi everyone, in 1 month I have lost 5lbs every day I get on the treadmill and walk after 1 month I’m finally walking 40 minutes @ a 10% incline. Iam very proud of my self!!

    • Avatar Victoria Lively Martin says:

      This is awesome wth!!! Going to get a fit bit next week to help me!!

      • Avatar Keepontrack says:

        A Fitbit is one purchase I can guarantee you will not regret! I bought my Fitbit last spring and went from 2700 steps per day to 16000 average per day. Unfortunately winter in SW Ontario is snowy, icy and frigidly cold this year so I haven’t been getting 10000 steps per day – generally 6-7 including a workout but I am holding at my December 1st weight loss goal. The things I have found most crucial; logging my intake and paying attention to the total at the end of the day; drinking enough water – helps hydrate, dampens the desire to eat and helps mentally to concentrate; and most importantly; cut out the fast food! Restaurant or fast food is much higher in unnecessary sodium and calories as they don’t use lower fat or lower sodium ingredients. I now love to walk, drink water constantly and rarely eat out; feeling much healthier for it and so is my wallet! What I spent on my Fitbit has been paid back already. It’s a great incentive to keep going and the badges add up – I’ve now walked over 1000 miles/1600km and have my 150 stair badge – something I would not have thought possible a year ago!

    • Avatar tim says:

      Congrations. Keep going.

  81. Avatar Jane Sanderson-Sarwar says:

    Wow ! What an inspirational story. You are to be commended. You look much younger and much more handsome ! Way to Go !!!!!

  82. Avatar Master Seargent says:

    Can you help me? I need your help.

  83. Avatar Jem Benns says:

    Absolutely amazing, what an inspiration you are, well done !!

  84. Avatar jennifer says:

    Wow very inspiring

  85. Avatar Melissa Rau Molina says:

    what does a person who can not stand fish eat do? I like beef and chicken. I eat tuna but smothered in mayonnaise. Help.

  86. Avatar Rick728 says:

    All, I can say is, this story is very inspiring. I am 425 pounds but 6’5″. That being said, my BMI is still away out there. I will be getting a Fitbit shortly and have started watching the caloric intake. I will be using the app to track calories. I am 54 years old and I want to be able to move freely again. I will have to start very slowly, much like you did. I think the idea of starting slowly and building is key. I need small successes every week to keep motivated…..and literally not make it painful. Thank you very much for your story. I truly see there is a path I can follow and know that there were others who may have had even more challenges than I do and they were able to do it. I really have no excuses!

  87. Avatar Daniel Findley says:

    What about all the extra skin. Honestly, the reason I dont bother is because Ill have it just hanging there. Surgery to remove it is expensive.

  88. Avatar Carmen Reyes-Figueroa says:

    Your story is very inspirational, I found that eliminating as many sugars from ones daily diet is a good start to healthy eating habits and the rest follows. Kudos to you!!!!

  89. Avatar mcshez says:

    What a fabulous story. Congratulations to you for opening up and sharing your vulnerability with Jackie and with us, and taking such huge steps to change your life. You are inspirational!

  90. Avatar Camille Harris says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! You are an inspiration!

  91. Avatar Kathy Kimpel says:

    wow.. thanks so much.. you are an inspiration

  92. Avatar Bonnie says:

    well day one of trying to loose 40lbs I realy need to do this ugh I hope I can I don not want to hide my body this summer again! so today I strted out with a nutribullet smoothie

  93. Avatar Laura says:

    Great inspiring story! Your gift if hope to others will not return void. Bless you.

  94. Avatar Paul Deputy says:

    Mega inspiring story. I am already on my way and have decided that 2015 is the year for completion.

  95. Avatar Chris Pepergias says:

    I rarely go to Facebook and this morning I did so before my first priority, reading my daily newspaper and I stumbled across your post. You’re are a great story, congratulations I’m happy for you. I’m not over weight and thank the Lord that I’ve never been over my entire life BUT I’m terribly out of shape with high blood pressure that if I do not get under control asap I may not see my next birthday. I will keep your successful story in mind, thanks for your motivation

  96. Avatar Adria DL says:

    Thank you for sharing, it’s a great and inspirational story! We have to take care of ourselves, otherwise no one else will do it! Keep going and keep inspiring and helping people around the world. It’s amazing!

  97. Avatar Denise says:

    Wonderful.. you are an inspiration..

  98. Avatar Keith Whalen says:

    Great story. I’m going to book mark this and everytime I feel like giving up I am going to read it.

  99. Avatar John says:

    Last Jan I was told about My Fitness Pal by a friend who had lost 40lbs. So I wanted to trim down and started Jan 1..weighed in at 212 to start and by my birthday May 9 I had reached my goal down to 180…32 lbs lost counting calories, eating right, ect. I am back on the diet because I gained 8 lbs back and need to get that off before it goes any higher…Its really easy to do if youre determined, keep track of each calorie you put in your body. Good luck and thanks for the site…John/Charleston SC

  100. Avatar Juan 14:6 says:

    I just read your story, and am inspired by the way you changed when you were affected by your friend’s struggle to stay alive through exercise. I struggled to maintain a consistent weight for many years. It wasn’t until someone introduced me to the Bible as a means for achieving a healthy weight did I find success. I mean, the cravings for food were really heartaches that Jesus was ready to give answers to in His Word. My dad diets I gave up as they were temporary, and unsatisfying at best. Now I try to eat 3 nutritious meals a day, and focus on my Savior Jesus Christ who loved me and gave his life as a sin payment to bring this sinner into an eternal relationship with holy Father God. Now I’m free to live a satisfying life, and trained by past failures to avoid current pitfalls of eating so that food cravings (or any other vices) would not control my life.

  101. Avatar Juan 14:6 says:

    I meant “fad” diets not “dad” diets in my previous post

  102. Avatar Jodi Marie Jebron says:

    Thank you for sharing, you are such an inspiration! Would love to hear more about your group.

  103. Avatar Barb says:

    WOW, you look like a different person. Congrats on the huge weight loss!

  104. Avatar Ken Clifford says:

    What an Amazing story!!!!!!

  105. Avatar Sammy Costa says:

    You are absolutely amazing!!! You are an absolute inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  106. Avatar Mark says:

    Very inspiring! This has got to motivate others that they can do the same.

  107. Avatar Coleen says:

    Amazing story – way to go Brian and to Jackie for being there for you. Keep it up. My total weight I wanted to lose was 55 pounds, I’ve lost 40 pounds in 1 year and am having a hard time getting the last 15 pounds off. I exercise every day with toning and cardio, sometimes 2x a day (at work we have a gym where people teach classes like HIIT, Yoga, Toning, Bootcamp and Step) plus I go to the YMCA and take (Power-toning and Group Groove-dancing). I am going to add a TRX class end of this month. I’ve also taken kickbox and spin. I am obsessed about working out now. I have definitely toned and went from a size 14/16 to anywhere from a size 4 to 8. I really need to get rid of my mid section and work on my triceps. I sometimes get discouraged but I keep going. I also use the MyFitnessPal app. I did buy the Fitbit Charge but will be returning it for when the Charge HR comes out. I do try to make healthier eating choices but still cheat once in a while. Good luck to everyone out there how is doing this. This is a struggle and long-term life committment. For those that want too, start NOW! Little steps

  108. Avatar Drliz says:

    This is a truly inspirational story Brian. I’m so happy for your decision to get and stay healthy. My story is different of course but I find myfitnesspal one if the easiest things to use- I have tried them all over the last 20 plus years. I go up and down in weight constantly ( my closet honestly goes from size 4 to 18). I have only lost a total of 14 lbs over the last 3 months but I am very happy with that. My partner has decided to join me which really helps me to stay focussed. He loves food- I love to drink. Needless to say, once you look at the reality of consumption you really have to rethink lifestyle, portion size and choice. Again, thanks for your story. It’s amazing. God bless!!!!

  109. Avatar Leialoha says:

    Amazing!! I have been struggling with my weight most of my life, I’ve been hospitalized with food monitoring and still put weight on. Even at my weight in pretty active even though it’s painful at times. There are days where I can eat 2000 calories easily and most days my husband has to nag me to eat. I’m just not hungry. My Dr says I’m starving my body so it’s holding onto everything. But when I do eat I get told to be careful. I’ve never been a big fan of beef or fried foods or sugary drinks. So I guess I will take it one day at a time to see what actually works. So far in a year I’ve only managed to drop 40 lbs, then gained 10 back even though my food hasn’t changed. I’m not giving up though. People like you keep me inspired.

  110. Avatar wandalawrencesangare@hotmail.c says:

    Hello I am diabetic and I am having a hard time stopping the sweets. Even though I know they are not good for me. I need to loose about eighty pounds. I need help!

  111. Avatar Faye Denton says:

    Oh, my goodness ! You are an inspiration, for sure. Bet you have to beat the girls off with a stick now. Smiles to you.

  112. Avatar LostInErie says:

    I recently lost 73 pounds with MyFitnessPal app. I’m 65 years old and it took me 9.5 months. My secret: Portion Control + Counting Calories.

  113. Avatar joseph says:

    I am winning my battle so far against weight loss lost 100 so far in 4 months got another 130 to go though before i feel at least comfortable lucky for me unlike Brian is i still had some mobility like i weightlift and walk sometimes but weirdly walking is harder than the weightlifting

  114. Avatar Bonnie Merida says:

    My name is bonnie I have been very ill for the last 11 1/2 years I have put on a lot of weight . I can’t seem to loss I keep gaining. I don’t know what to do can you please help me.

    • Avatar Nonaligned says:

      Hi Bonnie! Have you seen your doctor about the continued weight gain? It could be as simple as cutting calories or reducing the amount of “white” (non-whole-grain) sugars and other carbohydrates you eat. Even people with Type II diabetes have learned to control their symptoms and get their blood sugar down through diet. You can do this! Join MyFitnessPal or another online support group or a local weight loss group to find help. Best of luck to you!

  115. Avatar danny says:

    I weigh over 500 lbs and have not left house for 15 years. I am 48 years old and live with my dad who is not in very good health. know I will die if I do not do something and am very scared

    • Avatar Nonaligned says:

      Hi Danny, I’m so glad you reached out on this page. Even though you didn’t see responses right away, many people have seen your message and are sending positive thoughts to you. You can change, absolutely. Please join an online support group to find help and inspiration, like MyFitnessPal or SparkPeople, and let the ideas there guide you toward better health. You can do this!

  116. Avatar Black Star Ranch says:

    MFP has been instrumental in my weight loss as well. It’s real simple: Be honest, limit and log what goes down the throat, and you lose weight. I learned within the first week the disadvantage of devouring your entire day’s calories at breakfast. The sickening mistake of eating those 6-jelly donuts/cinnamon rolls in the AM was never repeated.

  117. Avatar Fernie Aguilar says:

    This is awesome! It gives motivation to lose weight. I too been trying to lose weight but its kind of challenging since I’m disable with spinal bifida and don’t walk too much. I’m taking baby steps by watching what I eat and exercising. I walk here and there but its hard since I have a bad knee and use crutches. I use the my fitness pal app and it is somewhat helping. I am just keep doing strategies to get to my goals. anyone with ideas or suggestions is more than welcome to comment.

  118. Avatar Kachi says:

    Thank you Bryan for sharing your remarkable story. I’m inspired and highly motivated to get off the couch and get going. But I’ll like to know how you took care of excess skin and all that kind of stuff. Thank you again.

  119. Avatar Emmie says:

    Well done!!

  120. Avatar Dr Jo says:

    Word of caution for anyone else battling alcoholism: stopping alcohol cold turkey (especially if you’re drinking 30-40 units a day like the author) can be very dangerous – leading to blackouts or fits, which, if you choke on your own vomit, can be fatal.
    Always see your doctor prior to stopping for anti-seizure medication, or if that’s not possible, reduce the amount drunk gradually.
    But well done author!

  121. Avatar celticchick says:

    I found it on FB under Brian Flemming’s Weight Loss Journey….

  122. Avatar Tracey Elliott says:

    I am on to many meds. I may be only 51 But don’t sleep, feel 90 and hurt all over. ( Tendonitis in my left elbows and knee, Osteoarthritis in my hips and right knee) I am now 5’3″ ( shrinking) and 297lb (Weight gone up) How do I get over the hurt of walking? Is exercise at bed time ok?

  123. Avatar adwordsgirl says:

    That’s a really beautiful story. Good for you!

  124. Avatar WandaSoWavvy says:

    you have totally inspired me I’m only 220lbs but I’m 5’4, in my 50s and on HBP, Cholestrol meds and I’m not a diabetic type 2, so my goal is to loose 20-30lbs, and get off these meds.

  125. Avatar KiwiBee says:

    WoW!! You are FANTASTIC!! I have just read your story out to my colleague and we are both in awe of what you have done! And you look gorgeous!

  126. Avatar Tenneia Mincey says:

    Fitbit is awesome! I love it. It helped me to lose 25 pounds through walking and eating healthy. I really enjoy how pratical it is as it responds to weight loss by walking more without the intimidation of sometimes complex workout regimens. You start out simple by walking and fitbit helps track that everywhere you may go. Every little step you take counts.

  127. Avatar William Neal says:

    is cosmetic surgery required to remove hanging, stretched skin after this much weight loss? is that covered by most insurance companies and/or is it expensive?

  128. Avatar Lovie says:

    Kudos and congrats on your weight loss and friendship with Jackie!!!! Perfect combo!!!!

  129. Avatar Linda Harrison says:

    what an inspiration you are! I am truly amazed at the difference! You are sooooo incredibly handsome! My daughter and I were just talking today about how being overweight hides a person’s beauty (outer)…of course you can be overweight and be a beautiful person on the inside but unfortunately that isn’t what people see initially…you must be so proud of yourself 🙂

  130. Avatar Little B Anne says:

    That is an amazing story! Congratulations! It’s all a process, not an event. Health is lifelong…be very proud!

  131. Avatar Tripta says:

    That’s amazing wish that would work for me

  132. Avatar Keepontrack says:

    Well done; Brian – every success story gives inspiration to me to keep going. I’m not a runner but I am a walker and walk as much as possible. Keep it up – you’ve done a phenomenal job and hopefully others that are in the place you started will see that it CAN be done. All the desire in the world to change bad or poor habits will go nowhere if you don’t actually take the step to make the change. My step was the purchase of a Fitbit which has helped me so much. A simple gadget that I had laughed at 2 years earlier and now I kick myself for not getting it then. I now know how much my intake is, what my output is and can walk 2 hours and still want to keep going. The first month for me was a wake up call – a half hour walk and I was ready to collapse. By the beginning of August I had my first 25000 step badge and 125 stair badge – something I never thought possible!

  133. Avatar Linda says:

    Brian, I almost cried reading this blog. What you have done, most people in your position only wish for, but never act. I don’t know if you realize it, but you have been gifted by our loving God with a second physical life. I pray you also have found new life in Christ. He can only make it better!!

  134. What a champion. So proud of you!

  135. Avatar Charlene says:

    Great story. I started my weight lost journey during the summer of last year. I would exercise, but it was not consistent. I would drink lemon water everyday no matter what time of day it was. I noticed that it was helping. I lost like 7 pounds without changing my diet much. I was weighing at least 167 before I started doing this. Previously I was 173 which was the highest I have ever been. I realized that I was tired of being tired all of the time and not feeling like myself. So when I decided one day that I had to be serious. I weighted my self I was 167 lb and I didn’t like that even though I had lost 6 pounds before I got serious. I lost another 6.8 pounds. Oct 6, 2014 was when I really got serious and was determined to started eating healthier and exercise. At that point I was weighing 160.2 lb. On the sixth of this month it will be five months since I have stuck to working out and trying to eat healthy. My weight has fluctuated over the past four months. I haven’t lost much since I started consistently working out. I started out working out 3 times a week for 20 minutes. I did that for about two months, then I started working out for three days a week for 40 minutes. Now I am working out four times a week for 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. I am at a stand still right now. It is tough, but I think that I need to drink more water, and cut some more things out of my diet. I have noticed that I have gained some muscle so maybe that is why I am not seeing much change on the scale. I am currently 159.8 lb. I keep going from 158 to 160 and then back down again. Do you thing that when I lost a pound of fat I am getting a pound of muscle?

  136. Avatar Cookie says:

    Your story is awe-inspiring! God bless Jackie for pushing on and helping you, and may God continue to bless you and keep you and inspire you. I hope to re-inspire once Amanda school in June. Thanks for the encouragement! Cookie from jersey

  137. Avatar Keith says:

    Awesome story Brian. You have encouraged me to do better at losing my weight. At 234 lbs. I am a type 2 diabetic because my doctor never told me that my blood glucose was high. My new doctor said if I can lose some weight that I can maybe within a year not be a diabetic anymore. Heres hoping. Thank you for the inspiration Brian.

  138. Avatar Tillman says:

    I like the story. I discovered myfitnesspal last memorial day and have lost 30 pounds and gained 25lbs of energy. lol

  139. Avatar Dany says:

    Amazing story! Great ambition ! Very inspiring!
    Ideal Protein protocol is also the best weight loss program. I lost 38 lbs in 10 weeks. Very disciplined protocol combined with myfitnesspal when tracking food.

  140. Avatar Linda Giammarinaro says:

    What an awesome story of motivation! God bless you!

  141. Avatar Melanie says:

    What an awesome story–he’s a hottie! 🙂

  142. Avatar Amy says:

    thank you for sharing. it’s hard to be so transparent, and I appreciate that greatly!

  143. Avatar Jess Andrienne. says:

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  145. Avatar Steven Elizabeth says:

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