Josh Lagrone on losing 160 lbs.: 'I earned my body, so I'm going to love everything about it'
Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Josh Lagrone is 24, 6′3″ tall, and currently weighs 210 pounds. After experiencing sleep apnea and ripping several pairs of pants because of his expanding waistline, he decided to take control of his weight and health. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
Even as a kid I was significantly overweight. I had convinced myself that I was meant to be the “big kid.” I think I finally recognized my weight as an issue was when it significantly started affecting my health. At 20 years old, I was already experiencing sleep apnea. There were 30-second gaps when I wasn’t breathing at all while sleeping. I also noticed I was extremely lethargic. I had no desire to get up and move. I was much more comfortable lying around and sleeping. And when I did get up to move around, it was a very slow walk. I was just very slow to do anything.
One of the main moments that convinced me to change, if not the moment, was when I found out that my wife had been sewing my pants back together for me. As my waist continued to get larger, I was stretching out the waistband of my pants. They would rip in the lining around the waist and along the part that covers the inner thigh. At night, my wife would sew the rips back up for me so that I wouldn’t be embarrassed about the obvious fact that I was still gaining weight. But the sewing jobs weren’t enough and they continued to rip anyway. Once i realized that my pants literally could not hold anymore, and that my wife was doing something so selfless for me, I knew it was time for a change.
One of the first steps I took in tackling weight loss was a mental shift. It took me realizing that I needed to do it for me. I had other people who motivated me to better myself, and that really was fantastic, but I knew that if I only did this for them, it wouldn’t last. I had to want it bad enough for myself. Once I made that connection, the next step was mapping out my nutrition plan. I had always been taught that salads were good for you and that you should drink a lot of water. So, I basically took that and ran with it for a month or two while I did more research on specific meals and things that I knew I would enjoy eating long-term.
As far as exercise goes, I started very basically. I tried different types of at-home workouts like modified push-ups and sit-ups. I also started going for walks multiple times a day.
What kept me motivated was my wife. She encouraged me in everything I did. She ate the foods I was eating, and she would do a lot of my workouts with me. She has always been tiny, even when I first met her, so it’s not like she needed to do it at all. But to see her belief in me helped me to stay motivated because I didn’t want to let her down.
All throughout the process, I had a goal weight of 210 pounds. The day that I weighed in and saw that number, I was overwhelmed. After a little over a year and a half, I had finally done what I told myself I was going to do. Physically, I felt better than I ever thought I could. Going from barely being able to do five or six modified push-ups in the beginning to being able to complete an entire chest workout was so exciting for me. I was finally able to wear clothes I had always wanted to. I was able to keep up with my friends when it came to playing sports or doing activities outside.
Emotionally, I was definitely thrilled, but I think it took me a little longer to realize what I had done. Prior to the weight loss, I was extremely insecure. I had severely low self-esteem. I was always comparing myself to everyone else. And although I still find myself occasionally making comparisons, I can say that I’m much more confident in who I am. I earned my body, and I only get one so I’m going to love everything about it. Flaws and all.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, I was surprised to find out how much passion I have. Now, I want to take in every moment and take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself to me. Before, it seemed like everyone else I knew was enjoying every aspect of their life and I was fine with sitting in the corner and watching. Now, I want to experience things. I want to live fully. I want to make sure that I don’t miss anything.
These days, my nutrition is still very basic. Some of my favorite things to eat are baked chicken or tilapia, fruits, veggies, nuts, brown rice, whole-wheat bread or tortillas, etc. I love making burritos, and I eat those about two or three times a week. I do allow myself one cheat day a week to still get out all of my junk food urges.
As far as exercise goes, I’m working out four to five days a week. Typically, my workouts are about an hour long. I focus on things like strength-training (either through free weights or calisthenics) and cardio. Lately, I have been lifting more and usually with heavier weights because I want to build muscle mass.
One of my favorite daily practices is drinking a glass of water before I eat. I don’t seem to be able to stay full for very long, so if I don’t keep it in check, I’ll just continue to eat and eat. Drinking a glass of water before my meal helps me fill up faster and realize where my stopping point should be.
Another thing that I really try to focus on is making sure that I do not waver from my routine. Nutrition is what will make or break you in weight loss. I don’t want to lose sight of the routine I have set for myself, especially if something comes up that could throw me off track, like a random night out with friends or going to a party that has food. What helps me to resist temptation is knowing that I have a cheat day coming up at the end of the week where I will still be able to indulge.
Knowing that there are still so many things out there that I haven’t been able to experience yet is what inspires me the most. I like knowing that I have barely scraped the surface of a lot of new experiences. I have so many more things I can do before I die. Now that I’m physically in a place where I can make those things happen, I definitely want to take advantage of them.
Throughout the process, I felt great most days. But, honestly, I also had some days where I just felt very defeated and depressed. Losing weight is such a straining thing on your mentality because the highs and lows are so extreme. I could feel the progress I was making. And, as time went by, I could even start to see the progress. But, there were days when I felt like the progress wasn’t going fast enough. There were also days when I could see the shape my body was starting to take but it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. Those days were tough.
The idea of giving up was something I always thought about, but I wouldn’t entertain for too long. In the time leading up to making the decision to lose weight, I’m pretty sure I hated myself. I hated what I had done to my body. I hated that I didn’t look on the outside like how I felt on the inside. I didn’t want to deal with that hate anymore. I was learning to love myself through the weight loss process and that feeling alone was so freeing that I didn’t want to lose it.
I don’t hate things about myself like I used to. Sure, there are things that I dislike about myself, but I’ve also learned to appreciate them. Being able to look at myself and not feel absolute disgust is a very freeing feeling and I want to continue to feel like that for as long as possible.
Love yourself! You hear it all the time but it really is true. You are worth it. Sitting in despair, hatred, or self-doubt won’t make the changes happen any faster. You deserve every bit of what weight loss can give you. It will be incredibly difficult, but if you can push through, it will be absolutely worth it. Don’t give up.
Weight-Loss Win is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative 135-pound weight loss of her own.
All photos courtesy of Josh Lagrone.
Have an inspiring weight loss story you’d like to share with us? Email YStyleBeauty@yahoo.com.