Adam Wedekind of Annapolis, Maryland was an active active child growing up, but the pressures of high school sports were enough to keep him from trying out. Instead, he turned to video games. This new, inactive lifestyle coupled with a poor diet led to severe weight gain, which left Adam the subject of frequent bullying.
To apease his parents Adam, now 22, tried to keep up his grades up so they couldn’t complain about his new hobby. He became so entranced with gaming that he drew away from all his friends and turned to people he met playing online video games for social interaction. He loved that he could be whoever he wanted online.
Post high school Adam went onto vocal college and kept up his gaming habits, which caused him to neglect his studies and eventually drop out. At that point he moved to Ohio to escape from his failures.
In 2009 Adam re-enrolled in college but still wasn’t dedicated to school and his grades suffered because of it. Despite his struggles, Adam’s mom continued to still support him. But even that encouragement left him at an all-time low.
“I hit a point where I didn’t want to leave my room.” said Adam. “I didn’t want to do anything, I played video games and I didn’t have any friends. I just sat in my room and I had no reason to leave. I was so depressed I even had suicidal thoughts.”
At 375 pounds, Adam was so heavy going up the stairs left him winded. If it wasn’t for concerns voiced by his mom and grandfather he likely would’ve never changed his course.
Wake Up Call
When his grandfather passed away in July 2010 from diabetes complications, Adam had a wake up call. “That was when I was like ‘OK, I need to change my life.’ I didn’t want to end up like that – not being able to help myself. So I basically told my mom I wanted to start working out and she got me a gym membership.”
Adam went all in. His first trip to the gym lasted two hours, which left him nearly immobile for days. Knowing he needed guidance, he employed the help of one of the gym’s trainers who set him on the right path. Fitness became an almost daily habit for Adam who took to exercise right away.
Unlike most people starting diet, Adam eliminated junk food cold turkey. Dropping soda was his biggest initial change, and a grilled chicken salad became his lunch of choice every day for the entire fall and spring semester.
“It worked for me. To me it wasn’t monotonous. Instead of getting pizzas and getting these horrible foods I would only eat at home.”
Adam’s mom pitched in and cooked him healthy meals like fish and chicken. He also cleaned out his pantry to rid it of any temptations. Instead of cookies, he began eating carrots. Adam’s simple approach? He never went on a diet, he just started eating better. A weekly cheat night helped him stay on track.
By May 2011 Adam had lost about 100 pounds and the next few months brought another 30-pound drop. By the end of the fall semester Adam had hit his current weight of 240 pounds and was getting in better shape all the time.
Around that time a friend recommended trying triathlons, so Adam signed up for his first one that summer. That’s when he really fell in love with it.
Shortly thereafter Adam moved back to Maryland to be closer to friends and family, where he also joined the Annapolis Triathlon Club – a group that raced a lot of Ironman distances. Adam naturally took interest and signed up for Ironman Arizona in November 2011. Since then he’s competed in a string of triathlons and continues to vigorously train for long-distance events.
Becoming an Inspiration
Since becoming a health and fitness buff, Adam’s had the opportunity to lend help to friends and family wanting to make healthy changes in their lives as well. This includes many of his old high school and gaming friends, who’ve sought his expertise on exercise and nutrition. Not to mention, he’s become somewhat of a celebrity on Redditt, where we originally caught word of his story.
Adam has also achieved several personal goals this past year. He fulfilled a lifelong dream in the summer of 2012 by training to become a firefighter and EMT in Maryland, where he intends to keep volunteering. He also began racing competitively, including Olympic distances. Nationals are in April 2013 and he hopes to be trained and ready to compete by then.
As for what his family thinks of his change, they’re all on board. “My mom loves it. She calls me all the time and tells me how proud she is. I made her a scrapbook for Christmas to commemorate two years of helping me,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been able to change my life without her.” Adam’s sister, brother and father have also been very supportive throughout his journey.
Adam is still currently in school, but he’s made a direction shift. He recently changed his major from computer science to kinesiology, which he hopes to put to use personal training. If that doesn’t pan out, he has a back up plan.
“I was thinking about becoming a pilot. I would meet the weight requirements, so now it’s more of a height issue. That’s always been a dream of mine.”
Besides apparently becoming the world’s fittest man, Adam has other goals on the horizon. He hopes to trim down to his goal weigh of 225 pounds, and in March he’s completing the Shamrock marathon – a Christmas present from his girlfriend. He also convinced his brother and his fiancé to join him in the Tough Mudder next June in Virginia Beach.
Aside from nailing down a few goals, Adam’s just enjoying life as a much happier person than he was before. “I wake up every day and it’s a better day than the day before. I gave up a ton of my time to working out and spent year not partying in college to train for Ironman, but it was all worth it. The day I did Ironman was the best day of my life,” he said. “Stick with it, dreams come true.”
As if we needed more proof of Adam’s newfound confidence, he now proudly wears an orange spandex tuxedo to all of the Baltimore Orioles games. “Now I don’t mind the attention,” he said. “I’m in a spandex suit! I’m all about doing whatever I want now.” Now that’s a life transformation we can all be inspired by.
January 9th, 2013