Barefoot, Deandre Upshaw stands 6-foot-7.

At his heaviest, he weighed 410 pounds. But his weight never stood in the way of his confidence.

Most of the time, I thought I was the hottest thing to ever come out of Houston, Texas,” he remembers. “I loved myself.”

Even with his high self-esteem, he admits not always liking what he saw looking back at him in the mirror.

Deandre Upshaw

“I didn’t always like the way my weight flavored my interactions with other people, but my confidence level was always on ten.”

Not to mention, he simply loved fashion too much to resign to wearing Big and Tall clothes for the rest of his life.

Learning By Trial And Error

Having been overweight growing up, Upshaw challenged himself to lose weight several times in the past, completing exercise programs and experimenting with restrictive diets.

“The problem with all of these diets and plans is that they had expiration dates,” said Upshaw. “They were all extreme.”

While he was successful and proud of losing weight by completing P90X twice and a 21-day cleanse, he’d always compensate afterwards by eating all the foods he’d deprived himself of during the programs.

He quickly realized this was not sustainable in the long run and that he had to be more realistic about achieving long term success. So, before taking any steps further on his weight-loss journey, Upshaw had to set parameters that would enable him to not only achieve his goal but also continue to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

For him, this meant becoming more mindful of the way he ate, no more quick fixes or gimmicks, and because he doesn’t like to exercise, his new approach to weight loss had to be more food-focused.

Finding What Worked For Him

Sure enough, he discovered the principles of Calories In, Calories out which essentially means that weight is lost when energy consumption is less than what we put out.

He wasn’t crazy about the idea of counting calories but knew that if he continued waiting, he’d never start. And so, on October 27th, 2015, he went all in.

“Whenever I got discouraged (which was often), I’d chant a mantra to myself: No matter what, this time next year, I will be a different person,” recalled Upshaw.

The Key To Success

Through his 365 day weight loss process, he’s lost a total of 145 pounds, has learned a lot about himself, and the value of discipline.

“I learned what lengths I would go to in order to achieve a goal,” he said. “I learned that I really REALLY love onions. I learned that the journey is just as important as the destination.”

One of the most valuable lessons he’s learned looking back is the difference between discipline and motivation:

“Motivation is easy to tap into when things are going well,” said Upashaw. “It’s easy to feel motivated when the scale is moving. But discipline, that’s where the magic is.”