It took a Christmas party to shake Tim Kirkwood into changing his life. The 39-year-old tech support worker from Dayton, Ohio had always struggled with his weight. As he got older (remarried, had his first kid), he says, “I think I had just settled into life.” With a sedentary job and living check to check, food was a comfort—cheap food even better. Family life was celebrated with food: birthdays, Thanksgiving, church gathers, and yes, Christmas dinners.
“You get to a point where you just accept that you’re the big guy,” he says. “You feel like, well, this is who I am suppose to be.” His diet left him feeling tired and listless, so he didn’t exercise. At 36, he weighed 550 pounds; he used the freight scale at work to weigh himself. He felt mortified, but it wasn’t until he and his wife saw the photos from their Christmas party that they decided to do something. Kirkwood had two young daughters by then—he wanted to be at his best for them.
He and his wife started researching all the popular weight-loss diets. Figuring they loved meat and cheese, they dove fully into the ketogenic diet. They started reading ingredient labels, throwing out or donating anything they weren’t allowed to eat, and joined Costco so they could buy in bulk.
As the keto diet started to work, Kirkwood added another technique to his repertoire: intermittent fasting. “Fasting has helped break the mental connection I had with food,” he says; it showed him that he didn’t have to feel obligated to eat just because it was “lunch time” or “dinner time.” He even moved into extended fasts, with his longest being 98 hours. “I love the high I feel while fasted,” he says. “It’s almost euphoric at times.”
Even though Kirkwood wanted to get healthy, he didn’t want to spend his life in the gym. “I don’t like the gym,” he says. “Keto had the promise that you could lose weight in the kitchen, and tone if desired in the gym.” As he lost weight, he had more energy; he started riding his bike more, bringing his daughters along in a towable trailer. He did more yard work and home improvements. “So, daily life is my gym,” he says. “Motivation comes from progress. The more progress I see, the more motivated I am to keep at it.”
Between January 2017 and today, he’s lost just under 250 pounds. (It came off quickly in the beginning, though the loss has slowed in the last year.) He’s more confident in how he dresses and carries himself; even something as mundane as being able to wear a seatbelt can remind him of how far he’s come. Even still, he sometimes falls back into thinking of himself as overweight. “I don’t think a lot of people would fully understand unless they have been morbidly obese before,” he says. “But there are days where I still see the fat, I still feel like my clothes are going to pop a button, or that everyone is looking at me when I walk into the room.”
He’d like to lose another 50 pounds, and hopes to one day have skin-removal and tightening done. He encourages others where he was to get out there and commit to something, whatever it is. “You can’t expect different results by making the same old decisions,” he says. “But commit to making positive changes every single day.”
Author: Jesse Hicks
Source: Mens Health: How Keto and Intermittent Fasting Combined Helped This Guy Lose Nearly 250 Pounds