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How I lost 120 pounds: ‘I’ve never in my life stepped into a gym’

Seaton McLean

22, Edmonton

Pounds dropped: 120

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My turning point: After I graduated high school, I wasn't really doing anything in my life with enthusiasm – I got a job as an assistant, while the rest of my friends took off for a university adventure. Two years later, I decided I needed to go back to school as well. I felt empowered by that kind of real-life decision – and thought that was a good time to shed some pounds as well. Being overweight was just something I always was, but at that point, I felt like I had the power to change.

My method: I started with a conscious decision to simply eat less: Stop snacking (especially snacking on entire bags of chips!) and go for smaller portions and fewer trips for seconds. I typically filled my plate with as much as I could – if six slices of pizza could fit, that's what I'd have. Now I don't fill it past the inner rim around the plate, so I'll have two slices and a big salad.

My mom is a great cook and my brother is trained as a chef – my family knows food! – so we eat at home, rarely fast food. It's still delicious, but just healthier. Breakfast used to be whatever I wanted – and a lot of it. Two eggs, two slices of toast, ham, sausage, bacon – really tasty, but I didn't need it. Now I'm a huge fan of yogurt for breakfast, topped with dried fruit, and hemp hearts.

But the biggest change was just to get moving – I've never in my life stepped into a gym, and still haven't. But instead of watching TV on a couch, I'm now watching it from an exercise bike (which was always in my basement, collecting dust). As far as I'm concerned, weight loss is easy. There's no secret. I don't feel like I've made radical changes, just started slow and stuck with it. Two years later, I've had to reintroduce myself to people I knew back in high school. It's a great feeling. Everyone says I'm more energetic and look like a new person.

My kryptonite: Packages of dried instant noodles – I'd never cook them! Just shake on a bit of the artificial powder, crunch them up and eat them right out of the package. I could eat them every meal, every day of my life. I just indulge a few times a year now. They're really terrible – just salt and carbs – but so tasty.

This interview was condensed and edited.

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