For Tony Sander, a full and intense work schedule meant relying on an unhealthy diet to keep going. Over time, eating along with drinking became a source of relief from this stress. “Food was just as addictive as alcohol,” he says in a recent episode of Brand new me.
Then, in 2016, Tony’s car came off the road as he drove home drunk. He broke his knee in the accident and doctors told him that at his current weight of 429 pounds, it was unsafe to operate on him. He remembers that this was the wake up call he needed and he began making some serious lifestyle changes, from cutting out alcohol to changing his diet.
“My goal from the start was to save my life,” he says. “My health was more than a mess, so it was just self-preservation in the beginning, and then self-preservation became ‘my health is getting better, let’s get physically fit'”.
Working with his trainer Keith, Tony lost a staggering 210 pounds through exercise and a strict diet plan and found that exercise is a healthier, more sustainable way to manage stress and anxiety than food or alcohol.
“It is my stress reliever now, going to the gym is my 90 minute comfort, this is it my Office it is my Time, “he says.” The mental transformation I had to make the physical changes I had to come to terms with who I was, what my addiction was and how I wanted to fix it. The mental changes were greater than the physical. “
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The best advice he can give to anyone looking to start making lifestyle changes and losing weight: “Just start today. You don’t have to wait for tomorrow, you don’t have to have a great plan, there is a community out there who want to help, there are people who have done it, and all they want to do is help other people do it. “
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