U.S. Markets close in 24 mins

How this 20-year-old avoided medication by losing 75 pounds

Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.

Seth Parker is 20, 5-foot-9, and now weighs 205 pounds. In 2017, after a trip to the doctor provided a wake-up call, he decided he needed to lose weight for the sake of his health. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.

The Turning Point

Weight has always been an issue for me. I have been overweight since around fourth or fifth grade. Then, in high school, I really started gaining more weight. By the time I hit my senior year, I was close to 275 pounds.

After I hit 275, I stopped weighing myself. I had a checkup with the doctor a little while after that, and when I got on the doctor’s scale, it read 280. I was a little shocked, but that wasn’t the worst of it. My doctor told me that I had extremely high blood pressure and bad cholesterol. They wanted to put me on medication for those conditions, unless I could do something about my eating habits. That is pretty much the moment when I really started dieting.

Photo: Courtesy of Seth Parker

The Changes

The first thing I did was begin to count calories. At the beginning of my weight-loss journey, I didn’t really bother eating healthy — I just focused on calories. It wasn’t until later on, after I had already lost close to 40 pounds, that I really started to eat healthy and exercise. I made my go-to foods chicken, turkey, veggies, and fruits. I never fried anything and I weighed all of my food before eating it. In the beginning, all I did for exercise was cardio, and it definitely worked. I lost my first 40 pounds by just doing cardio and counting calories. The downside was that I was starting to look like a deflated balloon. I needed to do something to fill in all the extra skin, so I started to lift weights. That’s when I really started noticing changes.

At the beginning of this journey, I hated it. I missed all my favorite foods. But after about two or three weeks of committing to the changes, I noticed I was sleeping better, was in a better mood, had more energy, and in general just felt great. What kept me motivated was the progress I was seeing. I got addicted to it. I began to notice that my waist was getting smaller and my muscles were larger and more defined, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. The main thing that kept me from giving up is the promise I made to myself at the beginning of my journey that I would lose the weight and never gain it back. To this day I still abide by that promise.

Photo: Courtesy of Seth Parker

The After

After I lost the weight, I felt amazing physically. I had no idea that I could feel this great. The amount of energy I have now compared to when I was obese is just unreal. Mentally, I feel even better. I walk around and don’t worry about what people are thinking of me anymore. My confidence has skyrocketed and the depression that I was in before is completely gone. My life has changed from mainly just sitting in my room, watching Netflix and eating, to living a very active and healthy lifestyle. I hit the gym six days a week and am currently going to college at the University of Kentucky for engineering.

The biggest surprise after losing the weight was realizing just how big I actually was. At the time, I didn’t think that I was that big, but now I could not imagine going back to the size I was then.

Today I am still losing weight. I want to lose roughly 20 more pounds, so I am still eating healthy, whole foods and counting calories religiously. I exercise six days a week — one hour of lifting and 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill.

The Maintenance

Weighing yourself is key. If you don’t weigh yourself there is absolutely no way you can know if you’re losing fat, gaining muscle, etc. I use MyFitnessPal to log my food, and I like that it has alerts that remind me to check in.

I’m inspired to be the most healthy person I can be. My progress is still the main thing that keeps me motivated.

Photo: Courtesy of Seth Parker

The Struggles

The biggest thing I struggle with today is the same thing I struggled with when I was big: cravings. Cravings are hard to keep under control, but if you diet flexibly, you can indulge once or twice a week and it won’t hinder your progress.

Advice

My biggest thing is to just stick with it, no matter how hard it gets or how little progress you think you are making. Progress is progress, and if you give it enough time you will eventually be where you want to be.

Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!

Weight-Loss Win is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative, 135-pound weight loss of her own.

Have a weight-loss win to share? We want to hear it! Tell us at YStyleBeauty@yahoo.com

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: 

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.