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Life-Changing Weight Loss
June 27, 2009
Antoine Dove lost more than 150 lbs and met the love of his life on "The Biggest Loser." He did this by staying dedicated to exercise and nutrition. It wasn't easy. Find out what kept him motivated and how he's continuing to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Antoine's weight loss
Antoine's experience on the reality show was extreme. But it reflects what many people struggle with on a daily basis: losing weight. Antoine said: "I wanted to look and feel better. I was a fun, outgoing guy who enjoyed life but I felt like my body didn't match my personality. When I looked in the mirror I saw a person out of shape and unhappy with how he looks. This pushed me to apply for the show."
Most people don't have the opportunity to exercise six or more hours a day with a personal trainer. Most don't have a nutritionist or medical professional overseeing their everyday health and eating habits. According to Antoine, it's possible to reach the same weight loss he did on the show, but with a much more realistic perspective.
"The biggest step is getting started. Even an hour a day is a great start. You'd be surprised how managing your food and diet can make a significant difference. I set a goal of losing 150 lbs. Through hard work and training, I actually lost 152 lbs. Since the finale, I haven't gained any weight and I'm eating normal. I'm more health conscious and aware of what I'm putting into my body."
First, pick a starting point. According to Antoine, it's important to know that the whole process is about improving your life. "It's a journey; you go through so many things and find out so much about yourself." Antoine's tips include:
- Know why you want to make a change in your life - Without having a reason to make a positive and conscious change, it's difficult to stay on track. Antoine wanted to have a body that matched his personality.
- Know your ultimate goal - Know your goal and stick to it. Antoine wanted to lose 150 lbs. He succeeded, passing his goal with a total weight loss of 152 lbs.
- Start small - Don't get overwhelmed with a big goal. Make little changes along the way and keep track of them. Antoine reminds you that "the large changes on the show aren't as feasible in the real world. We were working out six-to-eight hours a day or more."
- Make time - By setting aside as little as 30 minutes a day you can meet your goals. A little effort and managing your food and diet can have a big impact on your goals.
Put yourself first
Don't let life get in the way. If you really want to lose weight, eat healthier or train for an endurance event (you can do that marathon!), you need to make a promise to yourself. Stay committed and put your health first above any other obligations. It may sound selfish, but it's a critical step to your personal success.
Antoine realized the change wasn't a short-term fix. "This isn't just a fad. This is a lifestyle change for the rest of your life. Sometimes it's easier said than done because it takes a lot of effort to stay committed. After two to three weeks you can get bored, but it's crucial to focus on you and your health. By believing in yourself and staying committed to your goal, you'll see success."
Build a support system
Antoine was very fortunate to have his girlfriend - now fiancee - by his side throughout his journey. "Going through it alone is just a battle with yourself. It's important to have a partner. It makes the process a whole lot easier."
"Alexandra pushed me to go to the gym and I did the same for her on days she struggled. We lean on each other for help. I'm blessed to have someone who understands exactly what I'm going through."
Keep your goals top of mind
The end result is well worth it. "You have a new heightened sense of life. I think about everything I've discovered about myself." Although it may take small strides to reach your end goal, it sneaks up on you and the result is amazing.
"When I was heavier I felt like an outcast, especially when it came to shopping for clothes. Everything looked like something someone's dad would wear. I wanted to wear younger-looking and fitted clothes, but I couldn't. When Alexandra and I went to a department store and found things that fit for the first time, we were wigging out. Clothes fit and it felt amazing!"
Antoine has had an amazing journey and has a whole new perspective on life. Going on "The Biggest Loser" and losing weight was an eye-opening experience that transformed his life. Here are some key takeaways to remember when setting goals to build a healthier lifestyle:
- Set goals, both big and small - Make small milestones and stick with it.
- Build a support system - Don't go at it alone. Get someone on board with you to encourage and support you to meet your goals.
- Put yourself first - It may sound selfish but you need to make your health your first priority.
- Make the time - It's possible to incorporate a routine into your schedule. It may not be easy but it can be done.
- Take that first step - Making the commitment is always the hardest. But with goals, support, and ensuring you have the time, you can achieve your goals.
Commit to making a change in your life. The first steps may feel huge, but it gets easier. There are many resources and tools to help you make healthy decisions in your life. If you feel you can't commit to exercise, sign up for a class where an instructor will push you. To improve your eating habits, buy a healthy recipe cookbook and make an effort to eat-in more often. By setting goals and understanding what's important to you, you can make the change.
About the Author:
Antoine is a physician contractor with Humana's National Network Operations. He is currently located in Atlanta, GA, with his fiancee Alexandra White. Antoine's life recently did a complete 180 degree turnaround after losing 152 lbs on NBC's "The Biggest Loser." His experience on the show and success through weight loss has shown him that anything is possible with hard work, commitment and believing in yourself. Antoine believes that the journey to a happier and healthier you starts with believing in yourself. We are our biggest obstacles to obtaining the fitness goals that we desire.