For some people with obesity, the prospect of losing weight might seem quite dim. The longer it goes on, the less they feel they have control of their increasing weight and the more likely they are to give up.
But there is always a way to get healthier, and when people do, they’re not just doing something great for themselves; they’re doing for it everyone they love and hold dear. Lucas Irwin is a young man from Bayfield, Ontario, who lives and works in the United Kingdom. He only gets to see his parents a couple of times a year, once in summer and once over the Christmas holidays.
However, Irwin’s weight had suddenly gotten out of control and this once-slender kid had reached over 300 pounds (approx. 136 kg).
But when the New Year’s Eve rolled in, Lucas decided enough was enough. His New Year’s resolution was to change his life, one pound at a time. So how did he face such a massive challenge? He started by keeping a food diary, writing down everything he ate for the day, and setting a 1,350 calorie limit for each day.
As for his family, one of the things that Lucas decided early on was to catch them off guard. Instead of returning home over the summer, he made up an excuse to stay in the United Kingdom, saving his visit for Christmas.
As the months passed by, Lucas began to shed his excess weight. As he wrote on Reddit, “after I lost 100 pounds I started walking to work (5 miles) for about 2 months until it got too cold outside,” but he attributes almost all of the weight loss to his diet.
“No foods were off limit, but I survived mostly on tuna salad, chicken with salsa, frozen vegetables, beans and rice, turkey/roast beef sandwiches, spinach, and eggs,” he posted on the “Lose It” forum.
After losing an incredible 130 pounds (approx. 59 kg), it was finally time to reveal his miraculous progress to his parents and family. Irwin flew to Canada in 2013 and arrived at the house where the whole family would be spending Christmas ahead of their arrival. When they got to the house and he came down the stairs, the reunion definitely made all those months of hard work and determination worth it.
As Lucas padded down the stairs, “I was really nervous,” he told TODAY. “I was shaking and… it was very surreal.” His dad, Jeff Irwin, called up eagerly, “Hey buddy, how are you?” But then he saw the massive transformation and had to do a double-take. “Oh my God!” Then it’s Irwin’s mom’s turn, “Oh my God!”
His parents are clearly blown away by their son’s great new look. “I don’t even recognize you!” As his stepmom Susan Irwin said, “Doesn’t even look like Lucas. Sounds like Lucas!”
But most of all, as his parents told TODAY, they were proud of their son. “He looked just fantastic. I was more stunned than anything else,” his dad said. “Inside, I was just beaming. I was just… I was over the moon.”
Since then, Lucas has kept up the good habits and started gaining weight back, but in muscle not in fat. His online community and parents remain incredibly supportive of his healthy lifestyle.
“Just picturing it in my mind again, it brings back tears to my eyes again,” his stepmother said. An amazing year for this young man, whose simple decision to change his eating habits changed his life forever.