Yeah, we all wanna lose weight, New Year's resolutions, blah blah blah. Don't we go through this every year? If you're looking to start a new lifestyle, it's going to take more than a new date on the calendar. It's going to take some serious inspiration.
/r/LoseIt, /r/Fitness and /r/ProgressPics are just some of the communities on Reddit that can help keep you pushing toward whatever goals you have. Think of them like an online support group, with real pictures of progress, and real talk on how to achieve your health goals.
One Redditor has even gone the extra mile and created an interactive site called HealthyLikeMe that allows you to browse progress pictures from Reddit and search, according to your interests -- by gender, by diet, by exercise routines, and so on. You can also ask questions to certain users about their routine, and about the physical and emotional effects of their transformation.
If the pictures aren't enough motivation (aaaand they are), people are more than happy to share the secrets behind their amazing successes. Here are some of our favorite stories. And don't worry, if you're not in it just to lose weight, there are plenty of people gaining, adding muscle or simply trying to get fitter. As some of the users will prove, it's not always about the number on the scale.
No quick fixes
242 lbs. down to 156 lbs.
"How I did it? Not gonna sit here and say "Oh I was on the lettuce diet or the eat a ball of dust every 2 hours diet." No quick fixes for long term results... Stopped treating my body like a garbage bin full of high carb/sugar/fat foods and joined a gym."
Green tea, plenty of water and smaller portion sizes. Eating little but often to stop those cravings for sugary foods. Always setting small but achievable goals and never putting myself down if I didn't always achieve them, but hard work and determination and I got there in the end!"
Getting healthy on a budget
206 lbs. down to 139 lbs.
"At first it was just a lot of cardio. I started out walking, then walking briskly, jogging and graduated to running. Last month I ran 5 miles w/o stopping (one of my goals). Granted, it wasn't in record time but it was more about endurance than speed. I told myself that once I got to 150 I'd start lifting and so I did. I worked up the courage and joined a local gym. I don't have the money to get a personal trainer and they can't teach me anything I can't learn via my bestie, Google. So I watched a lot of videos about proper form and which exercises help which trouble areas. I'm still learning as I go. I've switched up my diet a few times, playing around with the macros and such. As far as diet goes, I use myfitnesspal religiously. It's amazing."
Diet is key
215 lbs. down to 152 lbs.
"When trying to lose weight, diet is key. I tried a bunch of things, but in the end, the most effective way to lose weight was to lower the carbs and increase the protein. A lot of people say calories in VS calories out is the most important thing. However, I found that if I had the same amount of calories while keeping my carb count high, it was much more difficult for me to lose the weight.... At first, I was very anal about the amount of calories I was taking in and measured everything out on myfitnesspal.com. This was helpful early on, but as you get a sense of what you are putting in your body, you should be able to calculate things on your own."
Enjoy life along the way
250 lbs. down to 163 lbs.
"It is hard to cut weight, sometimes, but it's well worth it. You have to start slow, and enjoy life along the way. Be focused, be serious, but don't be so harsh and hardcore from the start that you inevitably derail yourself. If your head feels like it's going to explode because you want pizza so bad have a damn slice! Don't eat so much you undo your hard work, and don't do it all the time as in more than once every 3-4 days, but let yourself enjoy life a bit. Increase your assertiveness and strictness every 10-15 lbs you lose. Listen to your body, get lots of rest, and read up on nutrition. The diet is 75% of it! Don't let fear drive your decision making process...Like I said, take it slow. You didn't gain the weight in a month or two so it won't come off that fast."
p90X worked for me
235 lbs. down to 145 lbs.
"I was chubby growing up and have constantly been on a diet. I stayed around 145-155 in HS and then went to college and had a naturally skinny roommate. It took me two years to understand I just can't eat the things she can. I definitely gave up.
I started round 235 in spring 2009. I started "jogging" and suffered stress fractures in my shins... I think I stayed around 220 until a series of ass kicking events. I started my first round of P90X. I did the lean routine and followed it to a "T". I lost 40 lbs the first three months. I then did another round and lost 20 more...
I did almost all of my great weight loss at home thanks to Mr. Tony Horton. I am okay with eating very plainly because it makes my jeans fit. If you plan meals ahead and buy in bulk you can really save on money in the grocery store and time preparing things. Most of what I ate was chicken, vegetables, and rice."
You're worth it.
340 lbs. down to 200 lbs.
"I've always been heavy and I eventually came to the realization that I had wasted my entire life because of it. I decided that before I die I wanted to at least have the experience of being somewhat thinner. One of the biggest challenges I've faced along the way, like many, is motivation. Being aware that I have accomplished something even if it was a small loss on the scale or being able to go for longer distances when walking or biking is something that helps. The whole "I did that" concept is very empowering to me and gives me the little spark to continue even when I feel like crap about myself.
I have to add, for people just starting to realize they have the ability to change themselves, DON'T WAIT. Start now. You're going to have mess-up days but that's okay. Keep going because you'll get there and you're worth it."
You can triumph over disordered eating
270 lbs. down to 148 lbs.
"My first push was back in 2009 and it was due to me giving birth to my daughter. I wanted her to grow up healthy and I knew i needed to lead by example. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, my motivation got skewed. I lost 100 lbs total but developed bulimia and anorexia because I felt like the results were never fast enough. I was hospitalized and then i was released and I gained back to 256 lbs. After much therapy I began again, this time the healthy way, and here I am. It's still greatly motivated by my daughter and wanting her to be healthy, but feeling great and being able to fit into pretty clothes and have a lot of energy are great incentives too.
"I added exercise [to my routine] because I didn't want to eat under 1,200 calories a day (Because it's bad for you and I have eating disorder tendencies) so, in order to keep the loss steady I began exercising so I could eat more. I don't lose very fast anymore, but my lifestyle change feels very healthy this time around and is more like something I can maintain.
A lifestyle change can overcome a lifetime of weight problems
420 lbs. down to 238 lbs.
"My life journey getting to this point really was a culmination of effectively bottoming out in my tolerance for my weight. I have always been a very heavy individual even in my youth. Perhaps it was the family environment that I was in which facilitated my notions of 'eat everything on your plate' which, at the time, seemed to be justified. Let's not get it wrong. I didn't come from a disadvantaged household at all. We were fairly well off. It was just the notion of not 'wasting' anything which helped my mental process of justifying the weight gain.
By the time the pictures linked were taken (the before ones) I was well over 430+ or so pounds. I never looked at the scale because I just didn't want to know. Pants were difficult to find and normally I wasn't looking my best. Clothing was a bane and relationships were non-existent. Fairly similar to today in that regard.
Finally around June of 2012 I decided it was time to really do something about it. Though I had no gym membership in order to begin working off the excess weight I had to do something that would help regain control. I began by adjusting my diet. This adjustment was fairly slow over the course of the next few months until around December of 2012. I lost, I think, around 20 pounds in just that adjustment alone by eliminating sodas, fast food, pre-packaged meals and boxed foods from the grocery store. I had decided it was time to eat healthier and adjust my diet first before beginning an exercise regimen.
Then an event helped this all get going. My younger brother gifted me with a gym membership for Yule on Dec 21st 2012. Considering he had always been concerned for my health and I had expressed a desire to begin working out again as I had in 2003 he facilitated my membership. I will always be eternally grateful for his help in that. Starting off at the gym I was hesitant as I never am very comfortable with others, especially at the gym.
To date I have lost quite a bit of weight in a very short amount of time. Considering my current employment situation and financial situation I am glad that at least this is under my control. I have done a similar workout routine six days a week since February of this year and have lost just over 182 pounds to date."
A "few pounds" on the scale, a world of difference
152 lbs. down to 145 lbs.
"I've always been the fat kid. Literally my whole life. Always the one that probably couldn't keep up, or was always picked on for having a belly. Even close friends picked on me. Well, I was tired of it. I was ready to make a change. I completely went off of the map for 3 months, trained in my home, and went to the gym a lot. I had a lot of dedication. It took time, but it was worth it. I can't even begin to explain what kind of opportunities this has brought me. It is an extreme life changing event, and I want everybody to know how it feels! I feel amazing!"