A young man from New Brunswick has proven that becoming strong on the outside takes inner strength, too.
So, too, does losing 235 pounds (106 kg) when you’re overweight.
At the height of his weight gain, Connor Terry, from Moncton, Canada, tipped the scales at 435 pounds (197 kg). That was two years ago.
Now, at age 22, he’s shed over over half his previous body weight and become a powerlifter, participating in his first powerlifting competition in August.
But it didn’t come easy.
Terry faced obstacles as a child before he gained all that weight. He faced mental health issues—anxiety and depression—in high school.
“You get made fun of at school, and life is just hard in general when you’re not healthy to begin with,” Terry told The Epoch Times. “So, you know, my mental health declined the older I got.”
That’s when those mental health issues dug in and he started gaining the pounds—growing to 350 pounds (158 kg) at one point, then to 435 pounds, while still just a teenager.
Terry attempted suicide in 2016. Thankfully, he survived and realized it was time to make a change.
“I was in the basement of where I was living,” Terry recalled. “But I was so heavy at that point, that between those two paramedics, they weren’t able to lift me up the stairs.
“The paramedics basically said, ‘He’s too big for us to carry him up the stairs.’
“So that was kind of a big point where I definitely knew … that I would have to make some changes to myself to even begin to rebuild my life.”
But even his own parents were amazed how much drive and determination their son had in the wake of his transformative efforts.
“He surprised us on how strong he was, inside and out,” his mother Christie Terry told CTV. “It was just phenomenal to watch.”
His weight-loss journey began with small steps: taking walks and changing his diet. “I would eat three chicken breasts a day,” he told the newspaper. “And I did that for probably two or three months.”
Very quickly, he started shedding the pounds. Between the months of August and December 2019, he lost an incredible 200 pounds (90 kg).
He told the TV station, “Like a lot of people, you have those two weeks where you feel really good about yourself … and then you realize that you gotta keep doing this if you want the results.”
Terry’s motto is: “do it anyways.”
“For me, it’s basically ‘do it anyways,’” he told The Epoch Times. “Even if you’re tired, or if it’s raining outside, it’s cold, it’s dark, you just straight up don’t want to do it, the motivation is not there, you’re having a bad day, something bad happened in your life, just do it anyways, because if you didn’t do it, all you would be doing is sitting at home.”
And the young man put his words into action—with a vengeance. In his first visit to the gym, he could only run for 30 seconds on the treadmill. Today, he doesn’t run any fewer than 6 or 7 kilometers (approx. 3–4 miles), and on a good day, he can run 12 kilometers (approx. 7 miles).
His powerlifting career began when he met a woman trainer, who became his best friend, at the gym. He said he wanted to throw himself “right into the fire” of intense training to ensure he was maxing out his determination to finish his weight-loss journey.
But like any journey worth pursuing, there were obstacles. When the pandemic hit, the gyms closed, throwing off his momentum.
But Terry, still determined, educated himself to become his own personal trainer. He also built his own powerlifting equipment at home.
Unfortunately, the pandemic also made powerlifting competitions more difficult to hold, however he’s already planning for his next one come May.
Besides competitions, Terry has set another goal for himself: he wants to have surgery to remove the excess skin from his tummy and back, a procedure that will cost around CA$20,000 (approx. US$16,000).
Luckily, his parents have set up a GoFundMe page for him, and he’s already raised over CA$2,250 (approx. US$1,800). Terry is also working to save up for his goal, helping his closest friend sell protein cookies.
The young man knows a thing or two about the inner strength needed to bounce back and emerge stronger than before, and he’s happy to pass on that knowledge to others. It’s simple.
He told The Epoch Times, “You just got to learn to take the hits and do what you can with them and try and succeed no matter what.”