Name: Chris Sickler
Hometown: Long Branch, New Jersey
Weight Before: 280 pounds
Weight After: 215 pounds
Duration: 12 weeks
It's true: Love can make you stronger -- literally. Chris Sickler, a 29-year-old salesman in Long Branch, New Jersey, is living proof. When Sickler's fiancé began to work with a personal trainer, Sickler says he immediately took it as an opportunity to "make a change."
And, change he did. Prior to making the decision to get fit, Sickler weighed 280 pounds and freely admits that, because of the excess weight, he "had a very hard time doing activities" he loved. He says the weight forced him to skip out on "going to beach and swimming and body boarding," as he says he would become "winded very easily, and was self conscience" about his appearance. But, it didn't only impact on his ability to have fun. "I couldn't wear certain types of clothing and found it very hard to shop in regular clothing stores," indicates Sickler who adds he was "always tired, and would sleep often." Unfortunately, his dietary intake was only making the problem worse. Sickler says he was eating "basically any junk food you could think of" including fast food, pizza, cookies, and chips.
As a result, he had significant hurdles to overcome when he finally made the decision to get help from trainer Irene Russo at Mike Duffy's Personal Training. He says the most significant change he made was to his diet. "The first two weeks were hardest," explains Sickler. However, he adds that he eventually adjusted and "became more energized." Soon, the fast food cravings were gone. Instead, he says he was eating "clean and low carb foods" including "a lot of protein-rich foods such [as] egg whites, lean meats, and chicken." He also made sure to eat vegetables and would frequently drink protein shakes. He supplemented his newfound healthy diet by regularly hitting the gym. Sickler says that on average he was spending "about seven hours per week" in the gym and he split the time evenly between cardio and strength training.
In only 12 weeks, Sickler lost an incredible 90 pounds and along the way won a body fat contest. "I reached the lowest weight I had been since high school -- 190 pounds" explains a proud Sickler who has maintained his healthy diet and has continued to reap the rewards of a more active lifestyle. He indicates that 80% of the change was the result of a nutrition program that was specifically crafted for him and he credits strength and cardio training with the remaining 20% of the transformation. But his appearance is only part of the story. "I now have more energy to do things that were difficult for me both physically and mentally," says Sickler who adds he no longer suffers from self-esteem issues. In the end, perhaps the greatest perk of all is that Sickler has reclaimed the lifestyle of his youth and he says that he feels like he has "a new start" in life.