“My wife’s courageous cancer battle inspired me to be healthier.”
Courtesy Emily LaFontaine
In November 2015, newspaper editor Jon LaFontaine was faced with devastating news he never expected to hear: His wife, Emily, had leukemia. During this dark time, this couple fought together to win the scary battle, which included Emily’s two bone marrow transplants. Throughout his life, LaFontaine had struggled with unhealthy food addiction. But after witnessing the love of his life conquer leukemia—her doctors declared her cancer-free in December 2016—LaFontaine was inspired to change his lifestyle and prioritize his health.
Over the course of a year, he dropped 95 pounds, crediting much of his success to Subway, where he selected veggie-rich meals instead of more fatty options. Once he started exercising and burning more calories, he added low-carbohydrate snacks but always paid close attention to his calorie intake to ensure that he was burning more than he was consuming.
While the details might seem exhausting, LaFontaine believes that shifting his lifestyle and mental attitude is what made weight loss possible. “If you want to lose weight, it’s about committing yourself to choosing healthy options, moderating the portions, and forcing your body into action. It requires consistency, too,” he says, “actively squashing excuses to eat bad food, excuses to avoid working out, and excuses to ‘start next week.’ It took me eight months and one day to lose 95 pounds; however, it took me nearly 12 months to even start my healthy journey.” Need inspiration from more weight-loss transformations? Be sure to repeat these 15 mantras for weight-loss motivation.
“I finally said yes to gastric bypass surgery.”
courtesy Tyler Whitman
Although some might think gastric bypass surgery is the easy way out, real estate salesperson Tyler Whitman knows otherwise: “It still requires a lot of work and discipline,” he says. He credits his choice to undergo the procedure as a turning point in his year—and his life. After trying to lose weight every way he could think of, he was actually at his heaviest ever (357 pounds), and he knew he couldn’t keep going at that rate. He lacked energy, felt uncomfortable, and desperately wanted to make a change. That’s when he looked at a friend and told him, “This is the last time I’m going to tell you that this is the year I’m losing the weight.”
Whitman signed up for a gastric sleeve, invested in a personal trainer six days a week, and shifted his eating habits—and then dropped 175 pounds in eight months. This was so much better than any fad diet he had tried in the past, he says, because of how he’s shifted his routine to lasting healthy habits. The experience for Whitman has been not just physical but emotional, too, what he calls the “most magical journey.” Check out 11 bizarre weight-loss tricks that work.
“Everyone will have an opinion. Some will tell you why what you’re doing is unhealthy, no matter the route you choose, or how you should do it differently,” he says. “Block that noise out, put your blinders on, and go for glory. When your persistence wins and your results show up, so do your cheerleaders. Let your success shine so you can inspire others. That is what kept me inspired in the tough days. And believe me, the tough days still happen. But you will be stronger and handle them better than ever before.” Get motivated with these before-and-after photos of amazing weight-loss transformations.