In March 2015, Scott Alvarez was at Comedian Con in Kansas Metropolis and had his photograph taken with Stephen Amell, the actor who performs Oliver Queen and the Inexperienced Arrow on the CW’s “Arrow.”
“He was there for at some point, and I paid $50 to have my image taken with him,” says Alvarez, who was 410 kilos on the time. “As I stood in line, I noticed individuals transferring by way of rapidly and flashes going off each three seconds. I believed, ‘Is that this going to be value it?’”
When it was his flip, Stephen put his arm round him, they each smiled, the digital camera flashed and Alvarez walked away, pondering one factor: “That was freaking superior.”
“I’ve by no means been starstruck earlier than, and it was so cool to be that near him,” says Alvarez. “Stephen makes use of his celeb to assist the causes which are close to and expensive to him. And, as a homosexual man, I can say he’s freaking sizzling, in order that’s a draw as effectively.”
Shortly after it was taken, Alvarez acquired the image — and instantly felt two very deep feelings. “The one factor I might see was how huge I regarded,” he says. “I hated having my image taken, and something that was taken was solely of my face. That image held nice pleasure and unimaginable unhappiness as a result of it was such an amazing second, but it surely was additionally the primary time I actually noticed myself and the way huge I’d gotten.”
Whereas that image spurred him to contemplate an enormous life change, Alvarez credit a well being scare with getting him off the sofa.
In April 2015, Alvarez discovered himself within the emergency room with cellulitis on his leg, an an infection of the pores and skin and mushy tissues beneath. The an infection became large blisters and compelled him to spend per week within the hospital. Alvarez discovered weight-related circulation points — and hours spent taking part in “World of Warcraft” — had performed a big half in his an infection.
“I’ve all the time been a gamer/geek sort individual, however “World of Warcraft” was a whole time sink to me,” he says. “I’d lose complete weekends, Friday by way of Sunday, taking part in, and would solely notice how a lot time had handed after I received hungry or needed to go to the lavatory.”
After a second bout with cellulitis in July, Alvarez determined to place his love of electronics to work in a distinct path. “I’m a gadget freak,” says the 44-year-old, whose weblog, Get Match Geek, tracks his weight-loss journey. “If I needed to determine between meals and water and the subsequent cool gadget popping out, I’d severely take into account the subsequent cool gadget.”
Folks suppose they must stroll 5 miles or do huge stuff exercise-wise, not realizing that any motion burns an incredible quantity of energy.
He requested his husband, Shane, for an early birthday/Christmas current: an Apple watch, particularly for its color-coded transfer, stand and train rings that observe each day motion patterns. “Every thing clicked as soon as I began to shut these rings,” he says.
As a logistics workforce member for Goal in his hometown of Topeka, Kansas, Alvarez was eligible for reimbursement from Weight Watchers, so he began there. “It was nice, however I used to be consuming to a quantity; I didn’t really feel like I made any behavioral modifications,” he says. “I attempted MyFitnessPal and beloved it. Not solely did it permit me to maintain observe of my energy out and in, but it surely taught me about portion dimension and macros. Whenever you go from simply consuming meals to studying concerning the energy and vitamins in these meals, it’s a complete eye opener.”
For the train element, Alvarez went on-line and did analysis on couch-to-5K working plans. The extra he learn, nonetheless, the higher he understood the significance of merely transferring extra.
“To start with, after I was 400 kilos, I didn’t notice what number of energy I might burn by doing easy issues like strolling,” he says. “Folks suppose they must stroll 5 miles or do huge stuff exercise-wise, not realizing that any motion burns an incredible quantity of energy. I might stroll half-hour and burn 700 energy at first, though I used to be winded and useless drained. Now, I must run about an hour at a six- or seven-mile tempo.”
A couple of months later — and 40 kilos lighter — Alvarez tried a spin class. “Completely kicked my ass, however I stored up with it,” he says. “I additionally discovered Heath, a coach who helped me add some energy coaching to enrich all of the cardio I used to be doing. After shedding one other 40 kilos, I made a decision so as to add swimming to my routine. As soon as I received beneath 300 kilos, I made a decision to attempt jogging. These first 100 kilos had been about determining what labored for me.”
Right now, with arduous work, dedication and practically 600 consecutive days of logging into MyFitnessPal, Alvarez has misplaced 180 kilos. “My preliminary purpose was to weigh 200 kilos by my forty fifth birthday in December 2017, and I’m now all the way down to 216 kilos. I had a secondary purpose to get beneath 17 % physique fats and I’m now beneath that,” he says. “I’m discovering the enjoyable in being with people who find themselves additionally into health. I’ve completed a lot of the work up to now alone. Now that I’m on the end line, I would like to seek out pals who love to do the identical issues I do now.”
Talking of end strains, Alvarez accomplished a half marathon in Olathe, Kansas, this spring in slightly below 2 and a half hours and is now setting new targets, together with doing half marathons on back-to-back weekends and a full marathon. Finally, he desires to enterprise into triathlons and is even contemplating an Ironman-distance race.
“It was essentially the most superb expertise of my life,” he says of his first half marathon. “I used to be by no means the athletic child rising up, however having my household there to cheer me on was … the one and solely time I’ve cried throughout this complete journey. And it was solely partially as a result of I damage so unhealthy from working 13.1 miles.”
On the 2017 Comedian Con, Alvarez was again in line to have this image taken with Amell as soon as once more. This time, nonetheless, he was 179 kilos lighter.
“I introduced the image we’d taken collectively in 2015, held it up and flexed once they snapped the shot,” he says. “I used to be on the brink of stroll away when Stephen informed me to carry on and gave me an enormous bear hug. He mentioned, ‘You’re unimaginable. I’m so happy with you.’”
Initially printed August 2017