Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Piotr Skowronski is 21 and 5’11” tall, and he currently weighs 147 pounds. In 2016, after struggling with weight for most of his life, he decided to learn more about nutrition, exercise, and embrace a healthier lifestyle. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.
The turning point
I struggled with weight most of my life. When I was 7, I came over to the States from Poland and adopted the traditional American diet. My turning point came when I was 21. I spent all my teenage years waiting for an imaginary growth spurt that I hoped would magically get rid of my weight issues. When I turned 20 years old, I decided enough was enough. I stopped making excuses and putting off dieting and exercise once and for all. It was a perfect storm of deciding to start exercising and discovering the ketogenic diet.
I started my weight-loss journey with the ketogenic diet. I read Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes and studied up on various low-carb diets. I ended up choosing the ketogenic diet and sticking very strictly to it for the first eight months, consuming about 30 grams of carbs a day or less. I did not count calories. I then adopted the Modified Atkins Diet (low carb, high fat, moderate protein) and started to work out more. The first eight months, where I lost most of the weight, I only did two days of exercise a week.
As soon as I started to get into shape, I felt like a new person. I have so much more energy than I did before, I don’t need as much sleep, and I feel a lot less foggy throughout the day. It was easy to stay motivated because the pounds really flew off. When I started, my goal weight was 180 pounds, and I expected it to take me a year to get there. So when I reached my goal weight in a couple of months, it really inspired me to keep going.
My confidence has gone through the roof, I am a better worker, as I have more energy to do my job, and every aspect of my life has improved.
I was extremely surprised by how fast I lost the weight and how simple the process was; all I had to do was change my diet. I honestly didn’t think my body was capable of reaching this fitness level. I’m also surprised by how much more energy I have throughout the day and how I never suffer with energy crashes after eating.
I still follow the Modified Atkins Diet, although I am not as strict. The occasional lower-carb treat like Halo Top ice cream is a must.
I work out a lot more than I did before. I go to the gym at least five days a week, two hours a day, with one hour of weightlifting and one hour of cardio. Working out really keeps me on track with making the right choices throughout the day. I always try to do it first thing in the morning to get the day off to a good start. Another thing that helps me stay on track is all of the information I have gathered during my weight loss, by helping me to actually understand what certain foods do to my body and which ones I should avoid. I also really enjoy trying fun new healthy recipes so I am never bored in the kitchen.
I have people that I look up to in sports that follow the same lifestyle that I do, which helps provide motivation. Also, I’ve gotten a lot of amazing feedback since uploading my pictures on Reddit and love being able to inspire others.
I struggle with sweets, bigtime. Chocolate is my weakness. The way I battle this is by looking for healthier alternatives, like protein bars or ketogenic dessert recipes. You’d be surprised at how much tasty stuff is out there that won’t pack on the pounds.
The best advice I can give is to learn. Research whatever diet or lifestyle change you want to make. I feel it is extremely important to understand your own body and figure out what is good for you and what is not. It is very important to be able to read the nutritional info on the back of products. I also believe consistency is a major key to success. Even when the last thing I want to do is go to the gym, I drag my ass in there. Any exercise is better than no exercise. Do what you can until you can do more, but just make sure you’re in there trying.
All photos courtesy of Piotr Skowronski.
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