In his early twenties, Mark Ryan was a fit competitor who participated in rigorous sports including hockey. Ultimately, the activity that kept him in such good shape, would ultimately lead to his weight gain. After receiving multiple injuries, Mark slowly gave up competitive sports. Over the next decade, his physical activity waned, but his eating habits remained the same, leading to significant weight gain and depression.
Today, thanks to the weight loss program, Jenny Craig, Mark feels better than he ever has, and even took up biking, which allowed him to raise $1,000 for Multiple Sclerosis when he participated in the MS: City to Shore Ride.
This is Mark’s 100 POUND true weight loss story –
When Mark became sedentary, his poor eating habits caught up with him in a big way. “Fast food was my downfall,” he admitted. “I would get two loaded hamburgers for lunch with the super-sized fries and super-sized regular soda.” Thankfully, a visit from an old friend, led to Mark’s turnaround. “I had not seen my good friend Tony in quite a while,” Mark remembered. “When he walked up, it was like a scene out of the movie ‘Big,’ when Tom Hanks turns into a little kid and his suit is too big! He looked fantastic and had lost so much weight, but hadn’t had time to buy new clothes. When I asked him how he did it, he said, Jenny Craig.”
Instead of going on a half-hearted diet, Mark contributes his ultimate success to finally learning “how” to eat. His Jenny Craig consultant, Julia, gave him the tools he needed to make smart food choices. “She worked with me every week to help me with portion control, substitute suggestions, dining-out coping mechanisms and how to add in activity into my lifestyle,” he explained. “My consultant taught me about Volumetrics – adding fruits, vegetables and dairy so that I felt fuller on fewer calories.”
After nine months on the plan and increasing his activity at a pace his old sports injuries could handle, Mark met his 80 pound weight loss goal. He felt so good, he decided to make it an even 100. During that time he also found a new sport to call his own – biking. “I dusted off my mountain bike, which I hadn’t ridden in at least a decade, and took it with me on a summer family trip, he explained. “I was hooked. Now I consider myself a cyclist.”
Mark’s advice to others who are struggling? Take the I.M.E.D approach:
- Inspiration – Find that one moment that makes it all click in your head. For me, it was seeing the success my friend had with Jenny Craig.
- Motivation – Get off your couch!! Go in and visit a weight loss center. Find one that works best for you! After you start having success, challenge yourself. Walk 20 minutes a day. Add time and new routines as you go. Keep your expectations realistic.
- Education – Once you find a program, then educate yourself. As silly as this may sound, at 43 I had to learn how to eat healthy.
- Discipline – Stay focused, driven and determined. Go for a lifestyle change. The payoff is more beneficial and rewarding.