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Finding the motivation to lose weight can be a challenge—even if it's just five pounds. So, imagine the drive it took for one man to lose over 200 pounds to get himself to a healthy weight. Josh Murphy's highest recorded weight was 446 pounds.
"I was overweight my entire life. From my earliest memories I was always the biggest person in the room," says Josh. "I had some goals...and I knew I would never be able to accomplish them, so I started to make some life changes."
"I started counting calories and making sure I was eating foods that I knew were healthy for me. Once I had my diet in check, that's when I started working out regularly," explains Josh.
One of his dreams was to have a career in U.S. Army Special Operations, which was his main motivation for making the changes that he did. Unfortunately, due to a lifetime of obesity, Josh developed a lifelong condition known as Lymphedema, which stood in the way of him accomplishing that dream.
"It was pretty devastating. I had all this motivation, momentum and discipline and I had to channel it into something that would [continue to] push myself physically and mentally," Josh explains. And that's when he decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail by himself—all 2,650 miles.
"Any of the things I've tried to do in my life have not worked out for one reason or another and this was not going to be that," he says.
After his own experience with the impacts of diet and exercise, Josh decided to become a personal trainer. He's on a mission to motivate other people who want to change their lives like he did.
Here, Josh shares his top weight loss tips:
Ease your way into weightlifting.
"If you have never weight-lifted before and are coming from a base line of no exercise like I was, you can start to ease your way into this," Josh explains. "A great way to do this is simply by putting on a backpack and add in something to add weight. This can be whatever you’re a comfortable with, some books or a gallon of water, etc. And you can simply start by just wearing it around the house, or doing some solitary movements like a squat. These are small but tangible movements that eliminates a lot of excuses not to start working out."
"By adding a book-bag with books to your squats or walks, you are adding a heavy compound movement similar to strength training that helps with core stability, increases bone density, and builds total body strength. Once you get comfortable with this, you can begin to increase and build a workout routine," Josh shares.
Change your life, not your diet, with small goals.
"One of the best ways that I did this was replace a negative daily habit with a positive one. So, instead of watching TV or scrolling through your phone when you wake up, use that time to go for a walk or exercise. Start with small attainable goals. For example, start with the goal of simply eating better, then add in a walk a few days a week, once you can do those things habitually, add in lifting weights once or twice a week. Small goals are easier to achieve and prove to you that you can follow through with something. Trying to go all out at once is usually a recipe for burn out and failure."