A Pittsburgh man lost nearly 600 pounds in the last 10 years — without surgery or drugs. At the age of 16, Justin Willoughby weighed 799 pounds. As he was plagued with numerous health issues, he made a decision to change his life. Willoughby committed to living a healthier lifestyle — “One Step” at a time.
When he reached his highest weight, Willoughby suffered from chronic pain in his legs and back. Standing up was a difficult and painful process. Walking was virtually impossible. However, he was determined to succeed.
As reported by Today, Willoughby literally started his exercise routine with one step:
“My first exercise was just standing up and sitting back down… That was very painful. My back started hurting, my legs started hurting. That was a workout for me.”
Throughout the next decade, Willoughby increased his workout routine to 90 minutes. Although he dropped to 207 pounds, he eventually gained some muscle through weight training. His current weight is 235 pounds.
Justin Willoughby has made significant progress. In addition to exercise, he began eating smaller portions. He then modified his diet to include healthier foods. Although he eventually lost 600 pounds, Willoughby said it was a difficult struggle. He admits he had a strong addiction to food:
“I was always a little bigger… bigger than my classmates… I was starting to get addicted to food. I loved food. If I could do anything, I’d marry food. I loved it that much. I began to get addicted to it and I went to it a lot.”
Willoughby said he was often driven to eat due to stress and anxiety. Part of his new lifestyle includes healthier coping skills.
Now that he has reached his goal, Willoughby wants to help others. For those who struggle with their weight, getting started is often the hardest part. As a motivational speaker, Willoughby underlines the fact that he began with “One Step.”
In addition to his work as a motivational speaker, Willoughby is also an author and a personal trainer. By sharing his struggles and his success, he hopes to inspire others to make positive lifestyle choices.
At the age of 16, Willoughby’s quality of life was significantly reduced due to the excessive weight. Even worse, doctors feared he would die. As he has managed to lose 600 pounds, Willoughby said he feels like a new man.
Those who struggle to lose weight often feel like terribly discouraged, as dieting is difficult and exercise can be grueling. Although Justin Willoughby’s journey was not easy, he eventually lost 600 pounds one step at a time. His story is a true inspiration.
[Images via Facebook]