• Through years of unhealthy eating habits, David Myers's weight rose to over 350 pounds.
• After experimenting with keto dieting and running alongside other healthy habits, he has now lost more than 130 pounds.
• Myers says his next goal is to race a 10km race and finish working under 200lbs.
David Myers was tired of being tired all the time. He had always been a taller guy, though people told him he was good at weight. "I would say that I am fat and they would calm me down – I never thought I would have to change my style at all," he says. The 27-year-old Myers, a high school math teacher in Turlock, California, says the trough came ̵
You mentioned that you have always been a bigger guy. What has contributed most to your weight gain?
When I was younger my father worked all day and my mother did things with her friends. Of course I would play and eat. When I was about eight or nine years old, I was taken to foster homes to jump around a bit before settling down with a family. I am a Caucasian man who was lodged with a Mexican family. The food was amazing and there were no restrictions on the food. As soon as I know something tastes good, I will not stop eating until it's gone. The package of cookies? This bag of chips? I will continue to eat until there is nothing left, and that did not help with weight gain.
Around the age of 15, my mother divorced and I just kept eating and became even less active. Finally, at the age of 16 and weighing around 270 pounds, I got a job at Taco Bell. From there, I rose in the next few years in the mid-300s. After a few years of work, I lost my job and my home. I moved to the back of a second-hand shop owned by a friend. I worked in the store to cover the rent and was always eating frozen burritos from the liquor store, which was not conducive to my diet at all.
At some point, when I was 21 years old, a friend of mine, Chester Moon, allowed me to live with him rent-free, as long as I went back to school. I would say that he is the reason why I am still successful in my career. My diet, however, was bad. I would eat a lot of pasta and fried chicken. My later years of study were my highest weight. Finally, in the last two years, I started to work on my weight.
What were some of the biggest challenges your weight posed when you overshadowed 300 pounds?
I felt terrible. Climbing stairs was a struggle, it was miserable to master the daily tasks. I would not want to move or get up. I would just sit around. I was heaviest at 360 pounds – I was around 21-22 and I stayed at that weight for years. I always remember that I was tired. I could not keep my eyes open while playing and kept taking a nap.
Take us through some of the changes you've made to become healthier. How did you come from frozen burritos to a diet and exercise plan that you can consistently follow?
Like most people, I believed that weight loss started in the gym, so I started walking about a mile a day. I also tried using the gym at my college. The biggest change has been the complete removal of soda: I have not had soda for about six years, except for the one day of the year I am allowed to. It's an agreement that my wife and I have. The only time we can drink soda is the Easter weekend.) I would say that in my early twenties I tried many different diets and failed. I managed to get into the 290s with little change, but the training and proper food would always falter.
So what has changed? What was your turning point?
Most of my weight loss occurred in recent years after I met my wife. It was not something she did or said, but until then I never really thought of a future and why it mattered. When we met, I was 290 pounds and she was this beautiful Latina woman that I could not believe was interested in me. As we got to know each other, I became more and more aware that life is worth living. After having a troubled past behind me, I just rolled through them.
So I started to look at a little more what I ate. I cooked more at home to impress. After we both moved together about two years ago, we took the food very seriously and counted all our calories. I started eating 2,000 calories a day, and since today I've grown to 1685. I follow everything that flows into my body, and I measure and weigh everything.
While we were preparing for the wedding in January 2017, I opted for a 5km run. She was a cross country girl and used to long stretches, so she helped me keep going. I signed up for the Modesto Marathon 5k and started training with Aaptiv, which is like a personal trainer in your ear. I mainly ran only four or five times a week. I would put in weightlifting here and there, but mainly I just ran.