Bill Wilson struggled with his weight for as long as he could remember, but when he hit the scale at over 400 pounds, he knew he had to make a change.
Wilson’s poor eating habits spiralled out of control when he started his mobile app design company, MindSea, in 2007. He considered himself an emotional eater.
“I would eat when I was happy and I would eat when I was sad. I had a great day at work: ‘Woohoo, let’s hit McDonald’s!’ I had a really bad day at work: ‘Aw crap, let’s go to McDonald’s,’” he told PEOPLE.
“And it was to the point where I would drive home and know that there was probably dinner waiting for me, and I would go to McDonald’s and eat. It was just sad. And then go home and eat a full meal.”
At his heaviest, the founder and CEO of MindSea weighed nearly 410 pounds. Looking at himself in photos, he was disappointed with was he was.
On top of it, Wilson suffered from sleep apnea, and when it started to affect his mental well-being, he knew it was time to take charge of his health for good.
“You’re constantly shunned in public. You can’t go to the theater because you can’t fit in the seats. Just all of these things that nobody else takes for granted and I certainly now, as a smaller person, fully appreciate how uncomfortable that made everybody else. I just got fed up with it,” said Wilson.
“I got sick and tired of it and I started to make some changes.”
Creating achievable goals
Wilson began to challenge himself to consistently to build new, healthier habits. He started by taking walks during his lunch hour and then began exercising for at least 30 minutes before work. He kept himself motivated during his workouts by binge watching his favorite TV shows.
“Whatever I could do to entice myself to keep going on a daily basis. But then by doing that, it stuck and I started to feel that mental change — that actual clarity that comes from exercising every day,” Wilson remembered. “That got to be quite addicting.”
By 2017, he’d made incredible progress and was down nearly 80 pounds when he stumbled on Aaptiv, a fitness app that provides users with trainer-led workouts. After 2 classes, he was hooked. “I couldn’t believe how motivating it was to have someone in your ear and also to listen to some tunes, have some good music to keep you going,” he said. “You get that encouragement from the trainer and it changed everything. That really is what pushed me over.”
In conjunction with his new exercise routines, Wilson used MyFitness to keep track of his meals and calorie intake. He saw his energy levels improve by cutting out junk food and learning portion control.
Feeling confident and empowered, Wilson used the app to train for a 5K race and eventually became a team leader. Now, he’s lost a total of 195 pounds and participates in multiple races a year.
Wilson vows to never go back to his old ways. “Whether this is healthy or not, I’ve gone through my iPhone photo album and I’ve hidden all the old fat pictures. I don’t wanna go back there. The way I feel today is amazing. I’ll do anything.”
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