It’s easy to fall into bad health habits, but when your poor choices begin to affect your everyday life it’s time to make some serious changes.
For over ten years, Nicholas La Monaco neglected his body. He routinely ate fast food, never exercised, and ignored all of the warning signs staring him squarely in the face as he aged. One bad decision lead to another, and before he knew it, the 5’7″ tall man weighed 300 pounds.
One November morning in 2017, Nicholas finally hit a low point and realized something needed to be done. His wife had tasked him with building a shelf for their kitchen. When he finished the project with extra wood, Nicholas resourcefully decided to build himself a small stool so that he could sit down to tie his shoes.
The next morning, he realized the implication of building himself a stool simply to perform the simple task of putting on his shoes. In despair, he sat down on the stool and began to cry.
“We often don’t give thought to the small choices we make each day, or how closely our health affects every aspect of our life, and I was no different,” Nicholas explained.
“I faced one stunning and painful realization after another over the next few days. I didn’t have a ‘big frame,’ I wasn’t a ‘burly guy,’ my thick beard and open buttoned flannels weren’t an attempt at style but to try and hide myself. It wasn’t ‘always hot’ in everyone else’s car and house, I was just fat and overdressed. I was now 5’7″ and 300lbs and it was severely effecting my health and lifestyle.”
Nicholas made the decision then and there to change his life, not just for himself, but for those he loved too.
“Not after the holidays, not next Monday, NOW. I knew that ten years of complete negligence could not be undone in a week. I knew that no miracle berry, supplement, tea, superfood or ‘detox’ could lighten anything but my wallet. I knew no extreme diet like keto or paleo could provide anything but temporary results. And most of all, I knew that I couldn’t realistically change all of my bad habits overnight.”
Nicholas began making small changes every week, starting with ditching the fast food he’d previously indulged in. Slowly he added in more healthy habits like exercising at least three days a week, reducing his portion sizes at mealtimes, and cutting out sugar. Eventually he even started cooking all his meals at home!
Just a few months later, he was delighted to find that he had already lost 24 pounds!
“So I kept pushing, I started counting calories, taking my exercise more seriously, tracking my progress weekly, cutting out diet soda, and most of all, staying dedicated and consistent no matter what life threw at me. Nothing would halt my journey. If a week went by without progress, I tried something different or made a change.
At the start, it was only about losing weight, the number on the scale, and something physical. But as the months went by, I began to learn more about myself than I ever imagined. I learned that my weight gain was merely a symptom of a larger problem of self neglect. I learned not to take excuses, not from myself or anyone else. I learned that the path to a better life lay in my attitude and choices, not my body.”
One year later, Nicholas found himself healthier than he’d ever been. He lost 150 pounds and went from a size 3XL clothing size to a size small. His waist went from 44 to 28 inches. Interestingly, things you never think about being affected by weight loss also changed, including his glasses, shoes, and wedding band.
Nicholas was also rediscovering his self confidence. After hiding from life for years, his energy levels soared and he found himself speaking and communicating with others more easily. At his brother’s wedding, he stood in front of the guests and gave a speech without worrying about what he looked like. Instead of hiding when the photographer’s camera came out, Nicholas stood up straight and proud, inspiring all who saw him with his newfound spirit.
“It is at this point I no longer refer to it as weight loss, but as life gain. It isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. There is no end to this journey, because it will be a lifelong endeavor. I am instilled with a new spirit, confidence, and happiness which is beyond words, and I am humbled by the experience.”
Not only does Nicholas look like an entirely different person, the true changes that happened were more than skin-deep. Just realizing that he was hiding behind his weight was an eye-opening experience, and dropping the pounds was just the physical evidence of a mental journey that was clearly years in the making.
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