He’s almost half the person he used to be
Healthy eating and exercise pay off for Lethbridge man
Friends of Jordan Harris who haven’t seen him since last summer could be forgiven for walking past him without saying hello.
Harris, who is from Lethbridge, has lost an incredible 150 pounds over the past 10 months – dropping his weight from 420 to 268 pounds.
His weight loss journey started in May 2017 when he took a hard look at his life.
“I was getting to the point where I wasn’t really enjoying the things I liked to do – going in the woods, on the skidoo, riding a motorcycle, hunting and fishing. I found doing those things was a lot harder,” he said.
Harris, 25, also knew that health complications were likely just around the corner.
He was having trouble sleeping at night and was diagnosed with sleep apnea.
It was only a matter of time, he said, when he’d likely need to face other health problems attributed to his weight.
Harris initially thought he’d consult with a physician about the possibility of gastric bypass surgery. However, he decided to try to tackle his weight problem through healthy eating and exercise.
He used the My Fitness Pal app to track his daily food intake and also bought a digital scale to weigh his food.
“I started watching what I was eating and I planned my meals and snacks throughout the day. I researched a lot online about the things I could eat and the things I needed to cut out.”
Harris cut white bread, pasta, potato and most sugars from his diet. He replaced juices and soft drinks with water and milk.
“I cut back on eating out and when I did I made better choices,” he said.
“I tried to get an hour’s walk in every day.”
He also uses a Fitbit to track his steps and aims for at least 10,000 steps a day.
Harris also began to concentrate on portion control.
“What you’re eating makes a difference but the amount you are eating makes a big difference as well,” he said.
Harris began weighing himself once a week, and has lost weight every week since starting his weight loss journey.
Seeing his success on the scales was motivation for him to not only walk every day but to begin working out at the gym.
Harris thanks family and friends for supporting him over the past 10 months.
“I’ve got friends who have seen that I can do it and they started to lose weight, too.”
Harris answers questions about his weight loss frankly and honestly.
He admits it wasn’t easy cutting out foods that he’d come to enjoy for years, especially when eating out at restaurants.
His girlfriend Danielle Whelan helped him stay on track, he said.
Whelan said she’s proud of her boyfriend and did what she could to help keep him motivated.
She chose healthier options, especially when eating near him, she said, so as not to tempt him to stray from his diet plan.
“Sometimes, he’d get upset with his weight about not being able to enjoy some of the foods he used to eat. I always reminded him about why he is doing this and about how far he’s come and not to give up.
If he only lost one pound, I would say, ‘that’s a lot better than gaining,’” Whelan said.
Harris said there are many positives about his weight loss. He can now shop for clothes at most stores, he said, rather than restricting his selections to stores that specialize in clothing for big and tall men.
And, of course, the health benefits cannot be understated.
Harris no longer has trouble sleeping at night.
Before losing the weight he was about to buy a sleep apnea machine, he said, but that’s no longer necessary.
He also feels much healthier since losing the weight.
“I’m so much more energetic now. I feel like a completely different person.”
Harris also looks like a different person. People who haven’t seen him in a while are amazed at how he’s changed physically, he said.
Harris said he still has some weight to lose before starting a maintenance plan.
Choosing a healthier lifestyle will no doubt help him accomplish that goal.
What advice would Harris give other people who have large amounts of weight to lose?
“Do your research; don’t be afraid to go the gym.
You might think people are looking at you because you are big but everybody has to start somewhere. And if I can do it, anybody can.”
Jordan Harris of Lethbridge has lost 150 pounds over the past 10 months, going from 420 to 268 pounds.
Jordan Harris after his weight loss at 268 pounds.
Jordan Harris before at 420 pounds.