Ken’s Story: How One Man Lost 300lbs and Got His Life Back
Ken’s Story: How One Man Lost 300lbs and Got His Life Back
Amidst all the “New Year, New You!” campaigns, it’s easy to get lost in get-fit-quick promises and fad diets. We’re sharing how one man lost 300lbs with hard work, dedication and healthy eating. From 580lbs to athlete, Ken’s story is like no other.
The new year can be a great time for people looking for the opportunity to make a change. There’s all sorts of buzz going on about healthy living. In fact, after the holidays, it seems like everyone around you goes from snacking on cookies to carrot sticks.
However, it can be a double-edged sword. This is also the type of year companies come out with advertisements for fad diets. They tell you they can guarantee you will lose 30lbs in 30 days. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that’s just not the way it works.
As someone who lost 75lbs and kept it off for over 6 years, I have an immense amount of respects and admiration for people in all stages of this journey. People don’t talk about the emotional part of being overweight. No one tells you that to change your life, you will have to confront everything that led you there in the first place. And you need help.
It is hard.
But you know what? It is freaking worth it.
And I want to tell you something else. Anyone can do this. You may not believe that yet, but I promise, you can.
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Who Is This Ken Guy, Anyway?
Meet Ken Miller. One of the most inspirational men I have ever met.
Ken is the owner of local CrossFit affiliate CrossFit Tempe. He works full-time training athletes to become the best version of themselves.
Ken is your average guy – married with about a zillion dogs. He loves lifting heavy things and also loves when that heavy thing is beer. Although most people imagine weight loss success stories ending in perfection, what I love about Ken is that his journey is 100% real. He still enjoys his life, goes out and doesn’t workout 6 hours a day to maintain the 6 pack abs that everyone things are a part of a success story.
That’s what I love so much about him. He is a real person. That’s what brings people of all fitness levels to his gym. It’s the reason he is able to reach so many people and change so many lives.
“I spent my 20s eating and drinking my life away. Work, pizza and beer was my daily routine. Before I knew it, I was 32 and weighed 580. I couldn’t sleep in a bed, or I’d suffocate, my knees and back always hurt, and I was always covered in sweat. Even worse then my health was my self-esteem.
I thought about dying every day and cried myself to sleep every night. On August 17th my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and died 3 weeks later. Before she died, she made me promise to get healthy and be happy. While she was in hospice, I was watching TV next to her, and a commercial for the Crossfit Games came on. I was fascinated by what I saw. It was something I had never seen. I was so used to the boring typical gym way of doing things.
Two weeks after she died I walked into my first CrossFit gym, and my life was changed forever. I loved every second of it and started working out 5 to 6 times a week. After two years I lost 300#.
After getting a second lease on life, I decided to spend the rest of my life paying it forward and helping others improve their fitness, so I started a CrossFit gym and have been living my dream ever since.”
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Healthy Weight Loss Tips
- Include strength/resistance training. Ken says he wasted a lot of time trying to lose weight just doing cardio. While that’s not always the case for everyone, research shows that strength training makes a huge difference. Not only in weight loss but body composition, too. And you know what? Getting stronger feels fantastic. It gives you another way to track your progress when you hit weight loss plateaus, and it makes you feel like a badass!*
- Take rest days. Wait, what? I know, you were thinking you have to workout 7 days per week. You don’t! Also, you shouldn’t. 1-3 rest days per week give your body time to rest and catch up. You need that time for your muscles to rebuild you break them down during your workouts. If you struggle with rest days (guilty), try doing some active recovery, like taking your dog for a leisurely stroll or going for a very easy bike ride with your kids.
- Balance your calories and activity. So the answer is working out as much as possible while eating as little as possible, right? Yeah…no. If you count calories, you don’t want any more than a 500-1,000 calorie a day deficit including your workouts. This is a bigger topic than one small bullet point, but the short story is this: if you don’t eat enough, your body will shut down. You won’t lose weight, and you’ll get stuck, sick and/or injured. Eat when you’re hungry. Choose nutritious foods, but don’t deprive yourself of getting the fuel you need.
- Log your food. If it works for you. This is an incredibly helpful tool for many people. It can also make you crazy. It’s always good to check in every so often and get an idea of what you’re eating throughout the day to help see what you can improve on. However, if this triggers negativity and guilt for you, skip it. It’s okay. Really.
*Note: There are countless forms of strength and resistance training you can add to your routine. You absolutely do not have to choose something as intense as CrossFit. Just bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc. are equally beneficial!
Red Flags to Avoid When Trying to Lose Weight
- Crash diets. How do you know something is a crash diet? When you have to buy their specific food products. If it promises rapid weight loss in a short amount of time. Honestly, almost anything you have to pay for. There is only one diet that works. Eat healthy nutritious food and burn more calories than you consume. There are a multitude of ways to achieve that (calorie counting, Paleo, Whole 30, intuitive eating, etc.), but the concept is the same. And it does not include shakes as a meal.
- Going too hard too fast. I know you want to give 150% right away and you can give 150% commitment wise without completely shocking your body. If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, your body needs time to adjust. Start with a workout plan that feels maintainable – not something that makes you want to quit after 5 minutes. I promise, there will be time to ramp up your workouts. For now, pace yourself. Once you’ve been going for a few weeks at a moderate intensity, you can dial things up a bit. This gives you something to work toward.
- Not eating enough. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but that whole “If you don’t eat enough, your body will go into starvation mode” thing is real. Your diet should not make you feel like garbage. Healthy people eat plenty of food often. Starving yourself can quickly lead to binging in the evenings or on weekends once you can’t take it anymore. You are changing your lifestyle, not doing a temporary quick fix.
It’s time to take your first step. I’m not going to ask if you’re ready. You’ve made it this far. You are ready.
To help you and people like you achieve their goals, we’ve created our Start Your Weight Loss Journey program. Through this program, you can send in questions and receive free answers from health and fitness professionals.
You can ask basic questions or even ask for help building your own workout plan. No strings attached. We just want to help you.