Patrick Eslick was able to lose 180 pounds, but it meant adopting a new mindset after years of struggling with his weight.
Being overweight was all Eslick had ever really known. He was in the second grade the first time someone made a “comment” about his weight and remembers things only got worse as time went on.
Growing up, Eslick was not only struggling with his weight, he was also realizing he was gay.
Feeling different from others, he avoided participating in sports with other boys his age and instead spent his time snacking on the couch instead. By the time he was in college, his snacking, eating, and drinking habits were out of control.
Come graduation, Eslick weighed 340 pounds and was battling depression and anxiety.
He’d convinced himself that even going down to 200 pounds was close to impossible, but just as he finished college, something became clear for Eslick.
“It felt like the perfect opportunity to make major changes in my life,” he told Men’s Health. “I wasn’t a kid in college anymore; I was an adult with a job, and I wasn’t taking care of myself.”
Something told him that if he didn’t start taking care of himself then, he never would.
Not only did he decide to take action to gain control of his weight, he also decided it was time to come out to his close friends and family.
After opening up to his loves ones, Eslick felt lighter– and ready to stat his weight loss transformation. Using MyFitnessPal, he began tracking what he ate and cut out fast food from his diet. He also stopped dining out, which pushed him to start cooking. Quickly, he discovered he was really passionate about it and today, he says his love for cooking changed his life.
“I think that’s the most important reason I was able to lose weight and not gain it back,” he said.
He enjoyed experimenting with recipes and occasionally treated himself to a beer. Instead of completely restricting himself, he taught himself to not make the occasional treat the norm.
Having admired runners for years, he’d always wanted to run, so getting into the sport was a no-brainer.
“Their bodies looked fit, and their endurance really impressed me,” said Eslick. “It also seemed like an activity that I could do anywhere, anytime without needing any special equipment other than shoes.”
Eslick started training at the gym, and as he started losing weight, he began to fall in love with running.
By the time he lost 100 pounds, running had become a passion and it’s still a huge part of his life today.
“Running makes me feel free and vital and healthy,” Eslick said. “When I can’t do it, it feels like something major is missing from my life.”
When he injured his knee, instead of letting the setback derail him from his goal, Eslick turned to strength training.
All of his efforts paid off when his weight dropped below the seemingly-impossible 200 pounds– and it wouldn’t be long before he started running marathons.
Eslick struggled with his body image well into his transformation journey: “Even after I lost 50 pounds or more, when I looked in the mirror I was still seeing myself as fat. I think you can love yourself when you’re fat, but I wasn’t doing it.”
In the end, not only was he able to lose weight but he gained confidence in the process. “I’d never been able to see myself as remotely attractive. My body was always something to overcome, rather than something to offer,” he said.
Turning down invitations to social outings was a big challenge for Elsick but he knew how easily one drink could turn into another, and how drinking could lead to a meal he might later regret. Instead, he cooked at home and while he suffered from a bit of FOMO here and there, Elsick knew it was for the best.
Today, he feels that not only has his social life recovered, but it’s improved as well.
“I’m comfortable and confident in my body and I have the energy to do the things I want to do,” he says. “When you have respect for yourself, it’s a lot easier to let others into your life.”
More transformation stories:
- Tabitha Beaseley Loses 100 Pounds So She Can Be A Better Mother
- Amber Neal Loses 190 Pounds by Abandoning Years of Yo-Yo Dieting and Committing to Healthy Change
- Katie Adams Loses 101 Pounds After Health Scare and Chronic Illness by Taking Charge
- Jason Phelps Loses 110 Pounds by Overcoming Years of Denial and Shifting His Mindset