<– That’s me. Chris Kerney, Penn State Graduate of 2008 on Graduation Day. My weigh in, was 230 lbs. I’m 5’8, that’s not a good look for me. I look like I ate an entire Kindergarten class. I was fat. I can admit that. I look back and wonder “WTF was wrong with me?” How did I not see that I was that unhealthy? Between my last semester as an undergrad, the stresses of finding a job, figuring out what I’m going to do with my life and how am I ever gonna make it in the world, I was hungry. I ate pizza all the time, drank a lot and did what every other college kid would do … embraced it.
I moved home after graduation and started playing softball. During one of our games, I hit the ball over the center fielder’s head and had to run … all the bases. And I did, two-run home run for the fat kid. When I scored, I could barely breathe. I ran like 250 feet total and I could barely breathe. You would have thought I just ran a marathon entirely being that out of breath. It was embarrassing and that night I went home and started reevaluating my life. You could call it my “Fatass break point.” I knew I had to do something and it was now or never.
I knew nothing about working out. I knew that calories burned over calories took in meant weight loss. So I started doing any type of cardio I could. Jogging, running, playing more softball, tennis, whatever I could. Did I ever think to lift weights? NO!!! I can’t lift weights, they will only make me gain weight, I thought.
But it worked. The weight started coming off. -5 here and -6 there and after a few months I had lost 30 lbs. Alright! I was down to 200. “One-der-land” was next. I was running faster and longer distances, working harder and I felt great. 60-120 minutes of cardio a day! Everyday.
As for my eating habits, I made small changes. Instead of a fried chicken sandwich with fries, ranch dressing and a coke, I would replace the coke with water. Then honey mustard instead of ranch. A wrap instead of bread, grilled chicken over fried and a sweet baked potato over french fries. Slow and steady wins the race. And it was paying off. I was in the 190’s, then 80’s, then 70’s and that’s where it stopped.
I couldn’t get over the hump of 175. My body had hit a plateau. I didn’t know what to do so I kept saying calories out over calories in equals weight loss. Still makes sense right?
I started skipping meals. I would get up in the morning and run miles at a time and not eat afterwards. Why? Because I just worked so hard, why put it all back with food? Just skip a meal here and there and you will lose weight. And I did. 170 lbs. I had lost 60 lbs and I felt amazing.
You would think I was done? I wasn’t. It became an obsession because I still didn’t have abs and I knew that if I wanted to be skinny, I needed abs. So I was skipping meals and now I was up to running 5 miles a day. Running 5 miles in under an hour when the only you thing you have in your system is tequila and other booze is not okay. I had hit another wall and I was unsure of what to do again. So I told myself “You’ve come this far, don’t stop now.” So I didn’t.
I started skipping more meals a day and if I went out, I was only drinking clear liquids, no beer because that made you fat. If I felt hungry, I would chug water or just take a nap. The less I ate, the more weight I lost. It got to a point where I didn’t eat for 2.5 days. I went an entire weekend without eating. I figured, what the hell, you can eat again on Monday. I lost 7 lbs though!! 7 lbs. I was down to 160 lbs and I felt great.
How could you go 2.5 days without eating? I know you’re thinking that. The answer is, I’m not sure. I look back and want to smack myself for being such an idiot. I was so worried about looking good that I would do anything to be skinny. ANYTHING. Even if it meant only eating a few meals a week, it was worth the price.
I hate when people say this but I feel that there is some truth to this: If you’ve never been overweight, it’s hard to imagine what people go through. The world looks at you differently. People are disgusted by you and they call you fat, obese or say things like “You’d be a lot more handsome if you lost some weight.” Or my personal favorite “You have a great personality.” Thanks asshole, that helps. When you hear that all the time, it’s completely throws your world around when people start looking at you because they find you attractive, not because you repulse them with your weight. I wasn’t getting made fun and instead people wanted to talk to me. I felt like a totally new person and I loved that people wanted to know me as more than just a friend. I was dating more, hooking up more and having the time of my life.
Skipping a few meals doesn’t sound so bad now huh? Of course, I couldn’t keep this charade up forever, it would have to catch up with me, right? RIGHT
The breaking point… I had run 5 miles in 45 minutes (personal best), I was skinny, I was dating and I was happy. My now ex and I were at a night club and I was getting tons of attention from others and my life couldn’t get any better. Well from not eating all day and working out, we went to go walk down to the main floor. At the top of the stairs, my knee gave out from a combination of probably dehydration, malnutrition and overall exhaustion. I fell right down the stairs, hitting every last one of them. I thought this was it, this is how I go out. What a terrible way to go. Lucky for me, I wasn’t seriously injured. It was enough though to let me know that I needed to make a change. And a change I made.
So I weigh about 185 now. Am I as skinny as I was at 160? Nope. Am I healthier, oh hell yeah. I am building more muscle and I am working out the right way. Once a day, eating probably 5 small meals a day and keep tracking of the types of food I put in my body. Do I still splurge? Of course, I’m not gonna give my life up to be skinny. I almost did once and look where that got me. A good balance is all you need.
I’m in the best shape of my life now and I am thankful for the lessons learned from this whole adventure. Fitness is a journey, not a destination. Being a Beachbody coach has also helped me stay in line. I have a great support team in my coaches and even other coaches who I’ve met along my journey. I have workouts to follow and I would never thought I would love fitness as much as I do. I’ve completed 21 Day Fix & Extreme, Cize, P90X3 and now I’m onto Insanity Max :30. I have gone from fat college grad, to seriously skinny dude to a warrior and I have to admit, I love being a warrior.
Don’t get me wrong though, everyday I still struggle because I can go eat the double cheeseburger with fries or I can get a wrap and call it a day. Some days the double burger wins, but it’s very few and far between. But that’s okay when it happens because I’ve earned it. Will I ever be 230 lbs again? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Will I ever be 160 lbs again? Most likely not. If I am, it’s because I did it the healthy way but the number isn’t what matters to me, it’s how I look and how I feel.
I encourage everyone to be smart about their weight loss because you don’t want to end up like me. It could have been a lot worse, I could have died. Luckily I didn’t but it could have happened. And I would hate to hear of something like that happening to someone else.
So go do an awesome workout, kick some ass and take some names. Don’t forget to fuel your body with the right foods and I hope most of all, this inspires you to be better than you were yesterday.
All the best.