Success Story: A Wake-Up Call to a Better Life
See how Sean Harrison transformed his life- and physique- one step at a time
Name: Sean Harrison
Weight Before: 266 pounds
Weight After: 204 pounds
Sean Harrison wasn't an athlete. Sure, he's 6'6" and 200-plus pounds, but flat feet and a lack of coordination kept him from utilizing his size, while a steady diet of Bojangles' fast food and soda kept him on the couch. "It was hard for me to even tie my shoes because of my stomach," explains the North Carolina native. "I had to bend sideways to get down there."
When his father was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Harrison spent much of his time bringing him to and from a treatment facility. Sean was 38 and weighed 266 pounds. "I was seeing all these people who didn't have a choice with their health," Harrison says, "and I had one. I was throwing it away."
At the dinner table, Harrison routinely powered his way through mountains of food, but he always attributed it to his size. Big frame, big appetite, right? It wasn't until he seriously analyzed his diet that he realized he was ingesting between 6,000 and 7,000 calories per day, with the majority of it coming from "good down-home country cooking—greasy stuff," he says. Harrison corralled his eating habits by signing up for livestrong.com and logging each meal. "Initially, I just replaced my two liters of soda with water," Harrison says. "The second thing I did was try to eat five meals a day." He cleaned up those meals, too, replacing the greasy fast food with egg whites, turkey breasts, and steamed veggies.
To get himself back in shape, he walked, then jogged, about two miles each day for a month, until he saw a commercial for the P90X program. "I thought it would be a hell of a challenge," explains Harrison, "so I did it, then did it again. And again." After his third P90X cycle, he purchased the Insanity program and completed the entire 60-day routine. He even took it one step further and created a personal hybrid with elements from both plans.
Over the course of two years, Harrison lost 62 pounds and six inches off his waist, and the guy who couldn't even tie his shoes is long gone. "When I lost weight, I did a 5K," Harrison says. "I actually got choked up because I never thought I would be athletic. It's like a high every day."
Sean's Advice: Small Steps
"The best thing is to change your habits. Change something and do it for 21 days and it will be effective. Add another change every 21 days, and before you know it, two years have gone by. If you work on one at a time, it will be easy."