Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to realize you need to make major changes in your life. For 39-year-old Jeremiah Peterson, this moment was during a family hiking excursion where he couldn’t keep up with his wife and three kids.
At a weight of 290 pounds, Peterson remembers “being bent over heaving just trying to catch my breath.” Meanwhile, his wife and three kids were hiking on without him.
“I felt sadness and shame in that moment thinking how I had let myself get to this, but so much deeper than that,” he told Peterson recently told People magazine. “If I continued to live like this, I would not live.”
The antique store owner’s previous habits, of not eating all day before bingeing on a big dinner with multiple beers, had caught up to him.
In a recent Instagram post, he explained that, “as I poured myself more and more into running and building my business I started to slack on my workouts. I found myself needing a beer at night to relax and unwind … those empty calories stick to my 39-year-old body in ways that my 30-year-old body never had to deal with.”
Who can’t relate to that?
Below, you can see the post and Peterson’s dramatic weight difference between July 25 and Dec. 23 of 2017. As of February 2018, he was down to 200 pounds.
So how’d he do it? After he returned from the family hiking excursion, he started searching for weight-loss options online. It was a video advertisement for a weight-loss challenge contest called Transphormation—which is sponsored by a supplement company called 1st Phorm—that motivated him to get started. He started a keto-based diet, which focuses on consuming healthy fats, lean protein and green vegetables, and started doing twice daily hour-long hikes and lifting weights six days a week, according to People.
Peterson successfully lost 82 pounds during the 150-day transformation challenge, winning the contest’s $50,000 grand prize.
Feeling inspired yourself? You can now follow Peterson’s weight loss journey on his Instagram page.
If you think Peterson’s transformation sounds too good to be true, he takes that as a compliment.
“I’ve had comments that my transformation was photoshopped and fake, that it is impossible to do,” he wrote in the Instagram post above. “While those people thinking they are tearing me down, in reality they are just giving me the greatest compliment ever … I’ve already achieved what they think is ‘impossible.'”