When Adan Prescott stepped on the scales, his doctor cracked a joke. The scales only went to 450 pounds, and since they’d topped out, they might have to go get the veterinary scale used for horses if they wanted to know Prescott’s true weight. Another time, he remembers, his flight was delayed by 40 minutes because they couldn’t find a seatbelt extension for him.
Prescott, now 25 and working in the Marine Corps Reserves in Tucson, Arizona, was always on the heavier side. When his father died, the shock knocked all motivation out of him. “I just sat at home and ate and played video games all day,” he says. At 6’2”, he figures he drank more than 300 ounces of soda a day, thanks to a 100-ounce gas station jug that he would refill. “And over the course of three years I got to 460 pounds.”
He felt trapped. He’d dreamed of being a Marine and having a career as a firefighter, but knew he couldn’t make that happen at his weight. Worse, he thought if he kept on that path, he’d be dead of a heart attack by 35.
Simple start, amazing results
Prescott started simply. “I did what everyone is already telling you to do,” he says. He cut his diet to 1500 to 2000 calories a day. He ate real food, not just liquid calories out of a gas station jug. He started walking his dog—a mile two or three days a week. Doing much more than that hurt his knees and back, so he just walked.
In the beginning, the weight came off fast—“I’m talking almost 30 pounds a month,” he says. He hit a plateau at 310, getting stuck there for two months; another came in the 270s. As it dropped, he found he could take up basic calisthenics; he also started doing Shaun T’s Insanity workout. He started going to a gym nearby, late at night so he could be by himself. The owner, typically doing paperwork, offered him tips on how to improve his diet and workout.
In about two years, he went from 460 pounds to 210, losing more than half his body weight. There were plateaus, and the last 30 pounds felt especially stubborn because he’d enlisted in the Marine Corps and needed to lose it to get into boot camp. He was anxiously weighing himself two or three times a day.
But getting into the Marines was part of his dream. “I just wanted to do something hard,” he says, “something that I would not have been able to do before.” Making it gave him pride and confidence he’d been lacking. And he found a girlfriend. “She’s completely out my league,” he says, adding, “but I guess sometimes you just get lucky.”
“Just take it a day at a time,” he advises anyone trying to become more fit. Fixing his diet and walking his dog helped him lose nearly 150 pounds in a year—sometimes it really is just that simple. “And,” he says, “if you fall off the wagon, just get right back on and keep pushing.”
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