When Jeffrey Kendall decided to share his two-year weight loss journey online, he did not expect to receive an overwhelming amount of responses and supportive messages.
The 26-year-old has been dealing with being overweight almost his entire life. He even began trying to lose weight at the very young age of twelve years old, but the pounds kept coming back.
“I was an overweight youth, I was bullied growing up. I’ve lived my life with body-image and confidence issues. I started my first efforts towards weight loss when I was 12. Throughout my life, I’ve gained and lost weight, but this time was different,” he wrote for Love What Matters.
Jeffrey decided to turn his life around after his mom had a health scare. The woman dealt with a brain aneurysm three years ago and was hospitalized for a long time.
“I started my journey a little before my mom was to be released from a rehabilitation center. My mom suffered a brain aneurysm on July 4, 2015. She was in a coma and rehab hospitals for 7 months until they deemed she had plateaued and was to be released since insurance would no longer cover her.”
The woman’s road to recovery was a lengthy one with many struggles. At first, Jeffrey’s mom didn’t even recognize him.
He decided to change his lifestyle right then and there.
“She didn’t recognize me the first day she was back. It was a very emotional time for me. I had seen her in the hospitals where she could barely speak, I had seen her in the ICU where she couldn’t. I had seen her on the floor unable to wake up. To see her stare without the longing of a mother was heart wrenching. It put a world of self-pity and pain in perspective to me.”
One of Jeffrey’s close friends was also going through an emotionally rough period at the time because of a breakup. His friend wanted to motivate Jeffrey to get in shape.
It started off very small with some daily exercises and short workouts, but it didn’t take long before Jeffrey started working out on a regular basis.
“My good friend was also in an emotional time after a breakup and wanted help to get in shape. It was a perfect reason for me to start something new as I felt a new appreciation for life after that summer. We started out small, a light barbell workout and agreed to do pushups every day. Soon I was waking up and going for walks while listening to uplifting music.”
The small exercises were just a catalyst for a better lifestyle. The man began to run longer distances, watched workout videos and even practiced yoga on a daily basis.
“My happiness grew and my confidence too. I started jogging and doing sprints, pushing myself a little more and more. I sought new ways to work out, I found YouTube channels like ‘Yoga with Adriene’ to help fill those times when I wanted a workout at home. I began doing yoga and working out almost every day.”
He wanted to keep exercising for his mom, as she serves as a great inspiration for him. The more Jeffrey lost weight, the more his mom recognized him too.
“She’s the toughest person I know and gives me a constant appreciation for life. She’s always telling me to take a day off and I love her so much for it. At the end of the day, I just want to make her proud.”
The man has been dealing with low self-esteem and confidence issues ever since he was a child. Even though he could notice getting healthier, losing pounds and gaining muscle, the man still was unsure of himself.
That’s when he decided to share his transformation pictures on the social network site Reddit, where he was bombarded with tons of positive comments and praise.
“I posted on Reddit because I was honestly at a low. I asked them to rate me and I was astounded by some of the positivity. It made me want to care about myself more, it made put an effort into myself.”
“Soon I found a little home on Reddit and then the progress picture I posted exploded! I could barely sleep that night, it was amazing. The comments were all so uplifting and inspiring. Many called me a real life Disney Prince, the highest compliment of them all. It’s made me choose to chase a dream of becoming a model or maybe an actor one day.”
Many of the commenters called him a real-life Disney Prince because of his smile and great long locks. The young man even replied by posing as ‘Prince Adam’ from Beauty and The Beast.
Jeffrey is definitely motivated to keep going, and he also hopes to achieve his dreams of becoming a model, actor, and singer.
“Now I’m chasing a bigger goal and I feel for one of the first times in my life a motivation for more.”
“So now I stand over 70 pounds lighter, and I appreciate every breath I take. I’m using the love and support from everyone around to continue working towards my ultimate goal in life, which is to simply be love. I’m not entirely sure what that means just yet, but I hope to find out.”
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