Fabiano Lacerda, an advertiser from Brazil, weighed 425 lbs and had no intention of losing weight, until he was challenged by friends and family to lose 132 lbs in 6 months by only improving his diet and doing physical activity.
Besides being challenging, the goal was risky. "We bet money, but I never revealed the full amount. If I did it, I'd take the money, but if I didn't, I'd pay double," explains Lacerda. Still, he accepted the challenge.
Weight loss challenge: rules
"I was not allowed to do bariatric surgery or any kind of similar intervention, I wasn’t allowed to take any kind of appetite suppressant, food supplements or even medication to help with weight loss'', he says.
Not only did the advertiser manage to fulfill the challenge, but he also lost 26 lbs more than the bet demanded. Yes, he lost an incredible 160 lbs in just six months with the help of professionals, such as a nutritionist and personal trainer.
160 pounds in six months: how did he do it?
For Fabiano, the bet played with his ego and that was essential for him to achieve this surprising result. "I believe that a good dose of shame and another dose of attitude made me reach this milestone. People close to me doubted that I could do it", he says.
And he didn't stop there. Lacerda stayed very focused on his diet and exercise plans and lost 227 lbs in total. "I've reached 200 pounds. I currently weigh 209 lbs because I've been working to gain lean mass," he says.
Lacerda's first step was to change his eating habits. He says that, at the time he was obese, he ate a lot of junk food, especially at night, and did not keep a regular schedule. Currently, his follows a balanced diet and eats every 3 hours.
"Of course, I sometimes allow myself to have a slip up, but I have the mindset that this kind of permission should only be given after we have reached the goal. Saying ‘I can do it just for today’ is messed up," he says.
Because he was overweight, Lacerda started doing only muscle conditioning exercises and taking walks. Since he started, he has been training 6 times a week, resting only on Sundays and some holidays.
Now, he practices different sports, does weight training and runs almost every day. His physical conditioning improved so much that he even managed to complete the traditional Brazilian São Silvestre Run at the end of 2016.
For the race, the Brazilian wore a huge T-shirt to remember his time as an obese man that read "200 lbs less".
Difficulties to lose weight
Fabiano assures us that the process was not easy and that he thought about giving up several times.
To prevent that from happening, he'd do anything to keep that possibility away. He believes feeding theses thoughts creates anxiety and giving up on something always causes great frustration.
"For me, the hardest moment is now, because I've seen that staying fit is much harder than losing weight," he says.
New life: what has changed?
In addition to improving his health, mood and winning the money, Lacerda guarantees that several other things have changed for the better in his day-to-day life.
"Riding public transportation, lying in a hammock, going through a turnstile, flying, walking through a crowd and not bumping into everyone, being able to find clothes in several stores and having a larger variety to choose from, and better sleep" are the benefits of losing weight according to him.