Losing weight is one of the most difficult things you can ever do as it requires a great deal of effort, and often the effort required is a lot more than people are willing to put in.
Unfortunately, if you are used to a particular lifestyle, it can be very hard to rein in your destructive habits and transform your life beyond recognition.
Here are some helpful tips for anyone losing weight for the first time:
However, 29-nine-year-old Dean Smith did manage to shed the pounds after his wife suddenly left him for another man.
Motivated partly by his immense heartbreak and partly by his own commitment, Dean was able to completely change his lifestyle for the better.
Dean, who weighed a whopping 295 lbs at his peak, actually started his impressive weight loss journey when he was still with his wife. But when she left him to move in with another man named Steve, Dean felt even more driven to achieve his goal of going down to 220 lbs.
And he managed just that last month.
When Dean was about to hit the 300-lb mark, he knew he had to put an end to poor eating habits and start becoming more active.
He was initially motivated by the fact that he felt his wife "deserved to be with a man that took better care of himself."
In an interview with UNILAD, he explained:
"I wanted her to point to me and tell others that she ‘getting’ with that. I truly wanted her to be proud to say she was my wife. That was my original motivation and that got me from 295lbs to 270 in the first six months of 2017.
"For most of my puberty years I felt like I was fat, awkward and unattractive. Which is why when I started dating the girl who would end up being my wife I felt amazing. I felt compelled to dedicate my life to her. I had always truly believed that we were going to be together forever. I truly though we were going to die together."
Unfortunately, when Dean's wife left him in July 2017, he was left in utter "shock" as she "almost immediately moved in with another man".
It was around this time that Dean shed most of the weight as his wife's decision to leave him had severely affected his mental health:
"This blindsided me and for those months I shut down. I was only eating maybe one or two days a week. I spent my days with the kids and being hyper focused on them. My thought process was I was less likely to be sad about myself if I only thought of my two kids. I fell into a deep depression that was intermittently interrupted when I had to fake being the happiest dad in the world.
"During those last six months of 2017 I went from around 270lbs to 230lbs. And it was largely thanks to the fact that I was an emotional wreck. That may not be the inspirational story everyone wants to here but it is how I lost most of my weight."
However, Dean also admitted that the extra encouragement he felt during his weight loss journey was initially "a vain attempt to try and win [his wife] back". He began to work out for "no other reason than to fill the void while the kids are with her."
He revealed to UNILAD that the biggest change he made to his diet was reducing his portion sizes:
"I probably eat half of what I used to eat. I still eat some junk food and the occasional soda. I just eat less compared to how I ate before 2016. As far as exercise goes I signed up for a gym membership in October of 2016 and I still go to the gym between two and four times a week.
"When I do have my kids I make it a point that we do something physical – riding bikes, going to parks, hiking in the woods etc. I want to be seen as the dad and the man who wants an adventure and will bear the stress of my world with a smile."
What keeps him motivated to stay trim and healthy these days is his young children:
"Now when we go to the park I am the dad that is climbing on the playscape alongside my kids, running after them and having just as much energy as them. Which feels amazing. I feel so empowered being the parent that can keep up with my kids. I don’t want my kids to have memories of me feeling sorry for myself over the lost of my wife/their mother but as someone who always pushes forward, especially when it comes to the benefit of our family."
Dean is still very much committed to losing weight and he now has a new target of 215 lbs.
These weight loss tips are backed up by science:
Although his journey to health and fitness has been far from easy, Dean is trying to remain as positive as he can:
"Some days I still feel unattractive and huge, like I haven’t made any progress whatsoever. While other days I have an Adonis complex. I have noticed looks from women, which feels good but I am largely still too awkward to approach anyone. I think I am getting close to trying my hand at loving again but I have been choosing work life and father life over my romantic life. I do enjoy the way I look most of the time.
I want to keep going down and getting rid of my problem areas. I do know someday I will love again and it will be to someone who deserves me and I want to be the best version of myself when that woman enters my life. I still weigh myself every morning and I still have the occasional episode that causes me too fast out of emotional stress. But it has gotten a lot better."
Dean was so proud of what he had achieved that he decided to post his transformation on Reddit where he received an outpouring of praise and support:
Well done to Dean for managing to make such a positive change to his health, something that many people struggle to do.
Here's hoping he maintains his new regime and hits his new target!