It’s easy to assume that things come easy for Donnie Clinton, who recently lost 160 pounds in a mere eight-month period. But the reality is anything but. In fact, the world was working against Clinton from the start—and if you ask him, it took a little divine intervention to make his weight loss happen.
Clinton was raised in a trailer park in Ohio. “I grew up extremely poor,” he told MensHealth.com. “And being poor perpetuates poor health. I learned some very unhealthy habits very early on.”
His parents—who are both currently incarcerated—left him to his own devices. As a 6’3’’ teenager, that meant eating. A lot.
“I can’t recall a time in my life where I was ever pleased with how I looked,” he said. “And because I hated the way I looked, I turned to humor. Any time I could be the Jonah Hill of the group, I would.”
“I can’t recall a time in my life where I was ever pleased with how I looked.”
Instead of getting to the root of his issues, Clinton made people laugh…and he ate. He ate through his emotions when his parents got divorced, when his grandparents died, and when things got difficult at college. He ate until he hit 390 pounds. And though he wasn’t completely comfortable with his appearance, as a devout believer, he sensed that God loved him no matter his size.
“I just had this idea that God only wanted to redeem my heart and my mind, and not my body,” Clinton said. But, after seeking counseling for his depression and other issues from his upbringing, he realized he needed to pay some attention to his physical health, too.
“I went through a tremendous amount of counseling, I reached out to people around me who made me a better person. But the one thing I wasn’t working on the whole time was my weight,” he explained.
Clinton thought about his life. He thought about his future. He thought about how he couldn’t be a good husband as an unhealthy man, and—if he ever had children—how he’d likely miss out on happy memories, like walking his would-be daughter down the aisle. He wanted to be present for all of those possible things, and be the male figure he missed out on as a kid.
On March 11, 2017, he woke up and realized he needed to work on his physical health, too.
Clinton began by joining his friend, Holly, at the gym for regular workout sessions several days a week, performing a mix of cardio routines.
He also calculated his daily calorie intake with the help of the MyFitnessPal app for a calories in, calories out diet. At first, Clinton tried to only consume 1,200 calories a day, but found it too difficult to maintain with his large frame—so he upped himself to 1,500 calories a day on a mostly plant-based diet. He made sure that he burned more calories than he consumed to lose a few pounds each week—and he let Saturdays be cheat days, so he could enjoy a few tasty treats and keep himself satisfied.
He managed to lose 160 pounds in eight months, and his before-and-after photos are incredible.
These days, Clinton keeps up with seeing his counselors, mentors and the people that lift him up on a regular basis, because his health isn’t just about his weight. For Clinton, it’s about his entire being.
“A lot of my eating was connected to my rampant emotional issues that I had never come to realize,” he said. “Health is holistic, and my whole body mattered.”
According to Clinton, that meant that getting fit and seeking out help for his mental health put him in a better place with his faith and a better place to “maintain something good.” It’s something he believes God wanted for him.
Clinton, who is currently working toward his masters degree and looking for a new job as a youth pastor, still has a way to go on his health journey. The next step is incorporating a weight routine to help him bulk up in a healthier way over the winter.
“I use to think losing weight would solve all my problems. Then I lost 160 pounds and found out I still have a lot to work on,” Clinton said, adding that anyone who wants to lose weight needs to realize that dropping pounds probably won’t be the only change they need to make in their life.
For Clinton, losing weight proves he has the strength to do anything he puts his mind to.
“I have the force of will,” he said. “I now know I can change things really effectively, and I’m willing to put in the hard work to get there.”
Source: Read Full Article