At 32 years old, Tyler made a life-changing decision- he was going to join the gym. After gaining weight throughout college and after graduation, Tyler decided it was time to take control of his health and his happiness.
“Something snapped in me one day. I looked in the bathroom mirror and just started crying. I hated my reflection. I was so out of shape, I was insecure, and I was lonely. When I first started working out, I weighed 450 pounds.”
Over the next two years, Tyler lost 220 pounds. “My original goal was to get down to 240, but once I got there I decided to just keep going!”
That determination is a theme throughout Tyler’s story. He started his transformation by hitting the gym, frequently working out on an incline treadmill and not stopping until his shirt was drenched with sweat. He also began lifting weights, and increasing his number of daily steps.
“I try and hit 20,000 steps (about 10 miles) a day. On Sunday I only had 15,000 steps and I was really disappointed in myself. But that’s okay, you have to take those days off every now and again. I ended up taking 34,000 steps the next day, though. I’m competitive with myself.”
That competitive nature ended up being one of Tyler’s greatest assets. After a treadmill workout he’d take a picture of the treadmill screen so he’d know what to aim for the next day. He said after about a month of going to the gym, exercising turned into a habit.
One important rule Tyler made for himself was that he wouldn’t try and change his workout and eating habits all at once. He would start with one, and gradually introduce the other. He started with intense workouts, and a healthier diet followed suit. It is the combination of both that has helped Tyler maintain his incredible results.
“I’m a real clean eater now, and I started checking my macros (macronutrients). Have someone track your fats, proteins, and calories. That means no food is off limits. I can eat an entire frozen pizza if I want to as long as it fits into my macros for the day. There’s a lot of trial and error in the beginning, but it pays off.”
While Tyler’s determination was the driving force behind his lifestyle change, he was grateful for the community and support he found at Xperience Fitness. After working out consistently for over a year, Tyler plateaued at 260 pounds. “At that point my weight just stayed there, I couldn’t get it down.” rather than give up, he changed up his game plan.
“I joined the Tactics Class at Xperience Fitness in July, and started working with A.J. She changed up my workout plan every three weeks, and with the new routines I went from 260 pounds down to 230 pounds.”
When asked what advice he would give to others starting their fitness journey, Tyler replied,
“I would say set small goals for yourself. You eventually want to reach larger goals, but you should have something to celebrate every week. Have a reason to pat yourself on the back.
Don’t try to build Rome in a day. You can’t build Rome in a day. I started with working out really hard, and the healthy food came later. It’s a process.” In addition to that, Tyler want to remind people that “a day off is not a failure- you have to let your body rest, you have to let your muscles rest.”
Since achieving his fitness goals, Tyler’s life has changed drastically. In fact, he says his weight loss has changed everything. “I’m more confident than I used to be, I don’t need a seatbelt expansion when I go on an airplane, I can fit in the seats at the movie theatre, I can sit in a chair at the Timber Rattlers game instead of having to sit at the bleachers. Once you get used to being big you kind of forget all the things you could do when you were smaller. Buying new clothes has also been awesome. I can go to a regular store and find clothes that fit me. I went from a 5XL shirt size down to a large, and a waist size of 58 down to a 36.”
Another big motivator, Tyler recalled, were his children.
“I’m a single dad, I have two kids. My kids used to be able to run from me and I couldn’t catch them. Now when we play tag I can catch them, and that’s awesome.”
“One of the greatest moments for me during my fitness journey was when my youngest son (who was six at the time), had a father’s’ day activity at school where he had to describe his dad, and one of the words he used to describe me was ‘skinny’ that felt amazing.”
Throughout all of his hard work and training, Tyler has developed a true passion for health that he is happy to share. “If anyone reads this post and sees me at Xperience Fitness, you can absolutely come up to me to ask me about my story (even if I’m in the middle of a workout)! I’m super passionate about health, and I’m more than happy to help you find your start and be an advocate.”
Great work, Tyler! Thank you for showing us how hard work and dedication pay off!