Fed up of being ‘housebound waiting to die’ due to being severely overweight, one man underwent a dramatic transformation losing half of his bodyweight in only two years.
Donald Baker from Ohio, has always struggled with his weight which has been fluctuating since he was young spending most of his childhood being ‘a chubby kid’.
Although he did lose weight on several occasions, Donald found that each time he would pile it all back on, weighing 28 stone five pounds (397lbs/180kg) at his heaviest.
Seriously affecting his health, Donald’s weight led to him suffering with rheumatoid arthritis and sarcoidosis – he had to have both of his knees replaced, have reconstructive surgery on his hands, as well as biopsies on both his lungs.
Physically unable to do much, Donald’s mental health also deteriorated meaning he felt like he was ‘housebound just waiting to die’.
Struggling to find any reason to attempt to lose weight again, two years ago a woman walked into Donald’s life, who would change everything becoming not only his girlfriend but his motivation too.
With encouragement to get out of bed and reassurance he isn’t a ‘failure’, Donald made dramatic changes to his lifestyle which helped him lose an astonishing 200 pounds over the past two years.
Halving his weight, Donald now weighs 14 stone two pounds (198lbs/90kg) and is now aiming to lose a further 25 pounds (11.3kg) to reach his ultimate goal.
Speaking exclusively to UNILAD, Donald explained how his girlfriend helped inspire him:
The most difficult part was starting. When you believe you cannot achieve you begin the journey in failure and hopeless.
Luckily I found a girlfriend who inspired me. She got me out of bed and walking around. She showed me that I was not a failure and I needed to start loving myself as much as she loved me.
She was also a gym rat and my gym guru. I was very lucky because I had the support I needed from her and my children and my transition into healthy eating was made that much easier.
With my three children, I couldn’t just let myself die.
Previously Donald lived what he would describe as a sedentary lifestyle – he never did any physical activity.
Now he is a vegan and a dedicated gym goer working out four days a week without fail.
He told UNILAD although at the beginning he struggled with both the diet and exercise, he soon found himself enjoying it especially since it meant he could be more active with his kids.
I became a vegan, taking in between 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day while enjoying one cheat day a week – vegan cheating though so Indian and vegan restaurants.
I went from my completely sedentary lifestyle to working out four days a week and in the beginning I got my medical marijuana card in order to help with the pain. I no longer need marijuana.
The biggest change was my overall physical health. I spent most of my children’s lives not being able to play with me being shut in a bedroom that they would visit once in a while.
Now I’m active, out there with them living life and loving every minute of it! My family loves it!
Healthier both physically and mentally, Donald shared some before and after photos on Reddit proud of what he has achieved.
Receiving over 8,600 upvotes at time of writing (August 7), Donald was overwhelmed by the love his post was getting.
I love it I’m truly blessed. From the response I seem to be an inspiration.
It was a long journey which wasn’t easy but I have never felt better in my life.
Just don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon, get up, head high, without embarrassment or shame and get back on.
This is a journey not a race. Your concern is the destination not the speed. If you stick to your diet through the thick and the thin you will get there and if no one seems to have faith in you believe me I do.
Congratulations on your remarkable transformation, Donald!
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.