SUCCESS STORY / Zachary Blanchard, 36: From 380 pounds to 206 pounds
Former weight: 380 pounds
Current weight: 206 pounds
Pounds lost: 174 pounds
Height: 6 feet 1 ½ inches
Age: 36 years
How long he’s kept it off: He started in April 2018 and reached his current weight in April.
Personal life: “I’m a high school football coach. I live in Hickory Flat, Ga.,” said Blanchard, who is on Instagram at coachz78.
Turning point: “I had let myself go. I was too afraid to admit it. … I started very slowly about a year ago,” Blanchard said. “I did a keto diet, I took small steps and knew it was going to take a while. My personality is that I am all in, and that can lead to a train wreck when I overdo it. In December, I started lifting weights a lot. … At that time, I was a heavy smoker and I decided to quit. I haven’t smoked since December, and I went down from 275 to 206 pounds. I think the smoking did make a big difference. … I am a man of faith, I believe in God — it all really has a lot to do with that as well. Onelife Fitness has really been a blessing to me. Your body is constantly trying to find that homeostasis.” When he could feel his body getting used to it, he’d switch it up. “(When) I knew my body was going to plateau, I would stop doing intermittent fasting and eat breakfast. Make sure your cortisol is low. … For example, if I wake up in the night, I know my cortisol is too high.”
Diet plan: On a ketogenic diet, he eats eggs, bacon and an avocado. Lunch and dinner are chicken with vegetables, and he has two protein shakes daily.
Exercise routine: On the football field, he trains with his players and lifts weights six days per week. “I like to isolate my muscle groups a lot. I was doing a lot of cardio, spin classes — which were absolutely awful to me. I ran a 5K in March, I hate that crap, I am not running anymore. … I don’t have all the answers, and I do what pertains to me. Find out what works for you.”
Biggest challenge: “Really, for me it was being patient, realizing that you have to give your body time. Rome wasn’t built in a day — you can’t try to climb that mountain in a day. Start small and make small changes. … Celebrate small victories. Don’t set unrealistic goals — give your body time to change because it didn’t take you six months to gain all that weight.”
How life has changed: “There were times I wanted to quit and give up, but I just set my feet on solid ground with God. It’s hard, I had to make a lot of sacrifices — I stopped drinking alcohol. I didn’t have a beer at the Super Bowl. For so long when I was unhappy, I confided in food. When you don’t have that comfort, you realize you don’t need that comfort, you just need to grow up.”
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