Sunday, September 19 2021
Photo credit: Anthony Lopez

Photo credit: Anthony Lopez

Anthony Lopez, Founder of Heavy to Modified Training, explains to Men’s Health how he went from over 600 pounds and fighting depression to helping others on their weight loss journeys while training and increasing. mountain biking every day.

Even when I was in elementary school, I was the biggest kid around. It continued in college, high school and university. I just continued to gain weight into adulthood. Then, in 2018, my grandfather had a few months to live. I decided to quit my job, drop everything and go live with my grandparents to take care of him. I was with him every day. He was a father figure to me. Then when he passed away, I stayed there with my grandmother.

And during that time, I went from 480 pounds to over 600 pounds.

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. My drug, my release, was food. I was cutting 2,100 calories from my breakfast by going to McDonald’s. When I finally got home, I just looked at myself in the mirror and everything hit me. I was in this crazy depression, and I’ve never been depressed before. I actually had to google my feelings because I didn’t know what was happening to me. I have always been raised with confidence, everyone in my family has supported me. I knew I was overweight, but I would never let that affect me.

I don’t even know exactly how much I weighed when I was at the heaviest because my scale was not going higher than 600 pounds. I knew I had to take my life back into my own hands, or my family could bury me afterwards. So, the next day, I signed up for a gym. And I didn’t stop.

Everyone has been on a diet before. So we know that “eat less, exercise more” is what drives everyone in their heads. So when I first started going to the gym the workouts I was doing were super simple, it was all bodyweight stuff. Simple pushups using my knees, lots of group work, a few kettlebells, lots of ropes. And I haven’t done any fast food. I started to eat chicken, fish, vegetables. I realized that food is to give me energy so that I can crush it during the day, it is not to make myself happy and then go and sit down and lie down and me. fall asleep and do nothing.

I had always wanted to try mountain biking, but even when I started losing weight I was 100% too fat. However, by the time I hit 400, I was probably still a little too fat, still had some weight to lose, but felt a million times better. So I felt it was possible. I had a mountain bike, started pedaling, and didn’t look back. I was so excited and fell in love with mountain biking. I was driving all the way through Covid; while the gyms are closed, I cycled four or five times a week, putting a minimum of 10 to 15 miles on my bike every time I went out.

Today, I maintain my weight at 265 pounds; that’s a total loss of over 350 pounds. I have more energy, I can do whatever I want, a lot of doors have opened for me. But by far the coolest part about losing weight is that I’m happy with my body right now, and that I can tell my story and keep people motivated. I am able to train people who weighed 500 pounds because I know how they feel. I know how hard it was for them to get out of bed and put on their shoes, their socks, you know, come down the stairs. I have been in this situation. I know how shitty I felt. And it inspires me so much to see them come to the gym to train with me, because they’re trying to make a difference in their lives.

The only advice I would give to someone who is just starting their weight loss journey is to pay no attention to anyone other than yourself. This is the time you need to learn to love yourself for who you are and find the issues you have and want to resolve. Put in the hard work, put in the dedication. Don’t give up when times are tough, just follow it. It’ll take blood, sweat, tears, but you’re worth it.

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