Amazing Loser Ishaq Shakoor Is Walking Back To Happiness
Today’s Amazing Loser is an inspirational guy who found a trip to the cinema inspired him to make changes to his life that have seen him dropping over 100lbs so far.
Name: Ishaq “Shaq” Shakoor – follow him on Facebook and Instagram
Weight at heaviest: 389 lb (176.4 kg)
Current weight: 269 lb (122 kg)
How long did it take you to lose it? 263 days (January 16th 2022 to October 6th 2022)
What’s your history with weight loss? I’ve always been bigger, my family was never very healthy, we were food-oriented growing up and due to demanding work schedules commodity was king. I did blow up in weight though the last five years or so. In my teens and early twenties I would fluctuate from 240 to 260. At one point at 20 years old I was down to 220 but that didn’t last as I never built healthy habits that I would maintain.
The reasons were mainly depression, bipolar disorder, working in the service industry for 10 years and alcohol consumption. All of those factors made me lose the active part of myself as the years went by. I played sports my whole life, basketball being my favorite, as well as golf, discus and American football. I was always bigger but pretty active, I just got lost in sadness, alcohol, and being complacent for a long time.
What was your experience of being big like? It hasn’t been easy. I still consider myself on the big side. Coping with life using detrimental mechanisms has done a number on me physically and mentally. There are so many examples of how it impacted my life: having to ask for a chair at a restaurant that didn’t have fixed armrests. The labour it took just to put socks on or tie my shoes. The loss of confidence and feeling like my weight and not taking care of myself would make me perpetually unattractive to people. Having to use two seats on an airplane and using handicap priority boarding, then explaining to people that were passing by on a fully-booked plane that I needed both seats.
When did you decided to make changes? When I couldn’t watch a movie in a theater because the armrests didn’t go up. If I couldn’t sit in the dark for two hours or so and simply stare at a projection on a screen I knew right then I was at a super low point in my life.
What preparation did you do before starting your health journey? I’m fortunate enough that I live in an area of town where I can take a trail on the river from my residence to a popular attraction in town. There and back is a four miles round trip. So I just said let’s see how far I can go. That night on January 16th after having to leave the cinema I put on some workout clothes that had up til that point been pajamas for too long and got out there. It all started with one mile and now we are where we are.
What would you typically eat on a day before you made changes? Oh I’d eat breakfast tacos more than four days out of the week, fast food all the time, gas station taquitos, egg rolls, donuts, sodas galore. I just didn’t care as long as it tasted good. I did Door Dash all the time. It was all about what I could get quickly and it didn’t matter what it was as long as I could gorge myself.
What about now – what sort of things do you eat and drink? I start my day usually with almond Cheerios and oat milk, measuring out the portions. Then throughout the day I try to get 120 oz of water daily. I either skip lunch or dinner, but they’re usually something heavy in protein, leafy greens, Greek yogurt, and a fruit or another vegetable. I snack on Kind brand protein bars throughout the day limiting myself to two a day.
What’s been the most effective thing for weight loss for you? I’ve lost 120 lbs through straight cardio, without stepping one foot in a gym and maintaining a caloric allowance and deficit. I set a weekly allowance rather than daily, so when I do eat unhealthy foods I don’t beat myself up and make myself crazy looking at it on a 24 hour scale. I track all my activity through the Samsung health app, I set a 10,000 step goal daily and try to hit that at work alone before I get home. Then I do four miles walking nightly and a five to seven mile walk every Sunday. The pace I average is typically between 3.8 to 4.2 mph so it a pretty rapid walk. Just recently in the last two weeks I’ve incorporated running and jogging as I’ve gotten more comfortable putting my joints to the task. I have a mantra that goes “what am I going to do today to make tomorrow easier?” The answer is always try your best and be consistent.
What did you learn along the way? Three things I’ve learned is no one is going to hold yourself accountable but you. If you feel people are watching you or judging you while you’re working out they’re most likely preoccupied in their own lives and if they are actually doing that then they’re pathetic and live a life without quality, so don’t let it stop you from improving yours. Oh and good shoes plus proper stretching make all the difference!
What tips do you have for our readers who want to lose weight? If you’re thinking about it, you’re already on the right track.
Now put a plan to action, butts are for falling on so if you fall get back up and keep trying. There’s no shame in messing up or taking a hiatus. It all starts and ends with what you’re willing to put into it. Surround yourself with a good support system if you can, post your progress if you use social media because the compliments and the inspiration you give others will give fill your motivation fuel tank. Listen to your body, it’s a marathon not a race. Don’t crap yourself out by staring at the scale every day, but make sure you record data to look back on.
If someone is reading this and they recognise themselves in you, what would you say directly to them? Hey man, you got this. There’s 24 hours in a day and all it takes is 20 to 30 minutes to get a sweat on and build from there. You’re worth more than you give yourself credit for and take this life one day at a time. Don’t give up, people are rooting for you out there, you have a life worth living and everything you’re doing right now this very moment is only going to make it easier, cheers!
We love Shaq’s message of positivity and he’s right you know – you’re worth more than you give yourself credit for (or as the Idles would put it “If someone talked to you / The way you do to you / I’d put their teeth through / Love yourself “) It’s also important to see that Shaq twinned exercise that he felt very comfortable doing and built from a very achievable basis. It’s consistency that has seen him being able to run where he was walking before. Great work Shaq!
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