Real life weight loss: From being 360lbs and anxious to losing 160lbs in two years

Thomas was approaching 400lbs, anxious and depressed. Now, he's 160lbs down, active and more outgoing

Brand New Me
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At 16 years old Thomas was approaching 400lbs and was so repulsed by his appearance he wouldn't even look at his reflection in the mirror. 

Thomas told our sibling YouTube channel Truly: "I never looked in the mirror, never looked at photos, I just have no memory of who I was or what I look liked for 16 years of my life." 

Speaking of the causes that led him to obesity, Thomas said: "I lost my father when I was 10, and I believe that was something that started that snowball down a hill effect: caused depression, anxiety, which then caused the overeating and the stress eating and really just kind of kept on getting worse and worse over the years."

 When Thomas hit his heaviest – 360 lbs at 16 years old – his weight started affecting his social life. Everything changed when Thomas saw a nutritionist who taught him how to eat well. 

Watch: Thomas' incredible weight loss journey

He has started learning how to eat healthily, exercising portion control and "cutting out sodas, processed foods, and gradually increasing exercise". Processed foods and carbonated sugary drinks are strongly correlated to weight gain due to excessive sugar, carbohydrate and saturated fat contents, while more "natural" foods such as vegetables and lean cuts of meat offer a more balanced approach to dieting. Our portion size guide can help. 

Thomas also began working out which resulted in losing 160lbs in two years. "After a good workout, I always feel 100 times better. Working out gives me confidence." Thomas can be seen hitting the roads with steady-state running, so it's no wonder he loves workouts: the fabled "runner's high" releases endorphins and endocannibanoids into the body. Want to get started? The best running shoes for men and best running shoes for women guides could help.  

Since then Thomas, who resides in California, gained confidence he lacked before and despite admitting that he is still on his journey to self-love, Thomas says that he can finally look at his reflection and be proud of what he has achieved so far. 

He concluded: "No matter what you weigh, it really depends on if you're happy at where you're at, and of course, health is a big factor as well. It's just something I think you should do for your loved ones and the people who care about you, to take care of yourself as much as you can and to stick around as long as you can."

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.