Jake Sikora was forced to confront his destructive relationship with food after a rude awakening at the doctor’s office.

“You cannot waste your life away because of food. There is more to life,” Sikora told himself, right after the visit. Thus, he proceeded to apply himself to implementing a sustainable solution, rather than a dramatic change.

His weight became a threat to his health

As a child and growing up, he was always “chubby” but it was really after college graduation that his weight really skyrocketed.

Sikora began avoiding mirrors and scales and as time went on, performing simple everyday tasks, like tying his shoelaces and climbing stairs, became a struggle.

He remembered feeling exhausted all the time and hating the way he looked.

Despite past efforts at weight loss, Sikora failed again and again until one day, his doctor told him he had high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea.

At 35, he weighed 326 pounds.

It all started with seeking help

After having spent years in denial, Sikora decided to face his demons and starting looking for support to jumpstart his transformation journey.

This led him to a WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) workshop, where he said he learned how to focus his energy on making small and sustainable changes, that would benefit him in the long run.

So, he started simply by ramping up his walks around the neighborhood with his dog.

It didn’t feel like working out and it was something I enjoyed doing.

Jake Sikora to Men’s Health

After gradually getting into the habit of being more active, he started doing cardio at the gym three times a week. Now, he goes to the gym six days a week and does a combination of cardio, weight training and core exercises.

He has learned more about himself

For the 38-year-old commercial loan officer from Indianapolis, discovering ways of exercising that he enjoyed was helpful, but mastering self-control was key.

I have learned discipline is more important than motivation. I view exercise just as important as going to work, getting dressed in the morning, or brushing my teeth.

Jake Sikora

But through his journey, he has also learned to value himself and his wellbeing, too. “I have realized that I am a priority in life,” he said. “Not only for myself but my loved ones—I need to be healthy.”

Sikora has lost nearly 140 pounds and gained a new and more positive outlook on life.

“I feel the best I’ve ever felt,” he said. “I have new leg on life.” 

What he wants us to know

As much as it was a physical transformation for Sikora, it was an emotional journey too.

“The best transformation has been internally. I have more confidence and self-love than I ever have before,” he said.

Today, Sikora’s an avid runner and has finished 28 races since 2017. Building on his momentum, he’s planning to complete a mini triathlon soon.

His advice for anyone wanting to make change in their lives, but may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the process, is to start small.

“Start with small changes and build up from there,” said Sikora. “You will be surprised by how small changes will create big changes.”

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