Taylor LeBaron is author of Cutting Myself in Half: 150 Pounds Lost, One Byte at a Time, which chronicles his weight loss journey which he began at age 14 when he tipped the scale at 297 pounds. In a recent interview with CNN (video) for the ‘Human Factor’ series with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he talked about how he lost the weight in 18 months reaching his goal weight of 147 pounds — and has successfully maintained his weight — as well as the role that video games played in his success and how he hopes to inspire and motivate other teens and children.
He talked about his shock over discovering how much he weighed, an incident that spurred him to take immediate action. He said, “[I’m] 297lb and I’m 14 years old and I’m alone in this room and I’m like “Oh my goodness, I’m not even an adult and I weigh nearly 300 pounds.”‘
He spoke of his childhood of being bullied for his weight, and noted that he had become obese due to a number of factors, including a sedentary lifestyle of playing video games and not getting any physical exercise and his habit of “eating whenever, whatever and however much of it as I wanted.” He had high blood pressure at that time and even a walk to the mailbox left him out of breath. He said that he realized he had to do something to take back his life.
His first step was to eliminate all junk food. He counted calories and began to take long walks. He also created a video game to track his progress. After four months, he became discouraged with his progress and went to a gym and started working out. He said, “It’s what made everything click together and it’s what I needed to do in order to change my life.”
The video game he created is called the Ultimate Fitness Game (UFG), and the objective in winning is to gain a new lifestyle. He played the game during the course of 18 months and got down to 147 pounds which he has successfully maintained. He also realized a dream by becoming a torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
As for his successful weight management, he said, It’s much easier to keep the weight off if you think of it as a lifestyle change and not a diet. A diet implies it’s temporary.” He went on to say, “It was and is an important life lesson to learn. It doesn’t matter how old you are you can take control of your own life and your own lifestyle.”
Now age 18, he attends Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland and is also a motivational speaker, and talks with students at schools to encourage them to pursue healthy eating and exercise.
He said, “I think that’s what can really inspire people to know that if this guy can eat right and go to the gym and lose 150 pounds, I can do it too. It’s important for me to share what it’s like because so many people don’t know. My goal is to be able to help other kids get their weight under control. If you believe in yourself — that’s the key part — if you believe in yourself, you can make it happen.”
Read the full story in Taylor LeBaron’s own words at CNN.com
Find out more about Taylor LeBaron, and see before and after photos at his official Web site: Cutting Myself In Half.
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