(photo courtesy Mark Warnke/men’s Health)
The following men not only wanted to shape it, they took action and have set their ambitions a reality.
Take a look at how they shifted their habits to improve their lives for years to come.
How Christopher Jacob lost 38 pounds in 4 year
After his wife had a heart attack in 2012 at the age of 45, Christopher Jacob knew that they both had to make a change.
The father of three of Saudi Arabia had high cholesterol, and feared he was on a similar path.
Jacob and his wife both vowed to take design seriously to make sure that they would be around the support of their children for the coming decades.
Despite a schedule packed with travel as director of human resources, Jacob made exercise a priority. During the trip, he would find his hotels based on the training facilities, the search for options with a pool for a swim or gym to the elevator.
Jacob would also follow along fat loss workout videos from men’s Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour, C. S. C. S., to add variety and blast calories. (Gaddour just launched his latest and most intense fat-burning workout program ever with men’s Health, MetaShred Extreme.)
He was also king in his calorie count up to about 1500 to 2000 per day, using the app MyFitnessPal to track his intake. On the days when he overdid, he worked off the extra calories in the gym.
The 44-year-old got out of his cholesterol medication in January 2015 and has since. The same motivating factor that pushed him to take action in the first place remains to him to keep the weight off today: His children.
“I’m a family man,” Jacob says. “And I would like to see my children grow, the influence in all possible ways, and will have an impact on their lives, so that when the time comes to let them go, I know that I taught them.”
How Ted Gibson lost 45 pounds in 6 months
The most sexy women in the world want Ted Gibson. Angelina Jolie, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and other A-list crowd to line up for him—for the hairstyles, at a price of $ 1,500 a pop.
Related: The 100 Hottest Women Of All Time
But while in New York, top hair stylist was busy with the growing of his salon empire, its circumference also grew.
“I was just not exercising as much as I had been,” said Gibson, 50. “And the weight slowly crept on.”
As a 6’4″, 200 lbs ultralean bodybuilder in the early 1990s, Gibson was always a naturally big, muscular guy.
“But last January I hit 280,” he says. “I had less energy and my back ached. I wanted to look great for my upcoming 50th birthday.”
So Men’s Health linked Gibson with Vinny Brandstadter of Peak Performance, a New York City gym just around the corner from his salon, and men’s Health nutrition advisor Mike Roussell, D. Ph.
Roussell worked to sneak healthy adjustments in Gibson’s diet that would not affect his overall lifestyle. He helped Gibson find a healthy meal at each of the restaurants where his staff orders lunch every day.
Along with making major changes to his diet, Gibson at the gym three days per week. Gibson did aerobic intervals, which are built stamina and an hour long circuits that burned between 500 and 700 calories.
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He admits that he was nervous was not the “great man” more.
“But I am now at 235 pounds,” says Gibson. “This is the best I’ve felt in a long time. I have a lot more energy, my back doesn’t hurt, and I get a lot of compliments.”
How Yosef Herzog lost 50 pounds in 5 months
Yosef Herzog sport played in high school and college. But once he graduated, structured training fell apart. Apart from intramural sports, and some pick-up basketball games in Manhattan, he rarely stepped foot in the gym.
The weight crawled on top of him. 231 pounds, he began experiencing pain in the back and was out of breath after tying his shoes.
After trying to develop healthier habits and lose the motivation after a few weeks, Herzog signed up for the gym at his office.
His evaluation session does not seem that difficult: Lunges, planks, and pushups. But 20 minutes in, Herzog lost his lunch twice.
“I would not say that I into Chris Farley territory, but I was certainly in a bad state,” says Herzog.
He started alternating cardio and strength training, six days per week.
Herzog also cleaned up his diet. He swapped oatmeal in for his usual breakfast bagel, a salad for subs, and in Mexican style with chicken and beans for burgers.
In less than a half years, he weighed 181 pounds and needed new clothes. “The installer I have,” he says, “the more confident I felt.”
How Bryan Hodgins lost 190 lbs in 2 years
From the age of 2, Bryan Hodgins had considered—but a lot has changed for him at 17, when he took a job at a local supermarket.
Hodgins started in the heat of August, 2014—walk about a mile to get to the store where he would push carts and help customers pack groceries. He weighed about 380 pounds at the time.
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At first, Hodgins don’t think that 7-hour shifts had any impact on his body.
“I didn’t notice any difference,” he says. “I had family and the people with whom I work, in the course of a year and a half that I [the store], tell me, ‘You’ve lost weight.’ And you know, I’ve never believed.”
A little less than a year later he started working at the supermarket, he was with his family move and weigh metal to a scrap yard. On a whim, Hodgins decided to hop on the scale and was floored by the result.
“I can still remember the number as clear as day, as being 247 pounds,” Hodgins says.
He had lost about 140 pounds.
Although the weight loss was accidental, the significant amount of pounds he would had really started to sink.
“When you see a number that low, from what you’ve started, you get a sense of satisfaction,” he says. “And so I tried eating better.”
Hodgins started incorporating more protein-rich foods such as chicken and eggs and the elimination of packaged sweet and salty snacks.
He also began to work with a friend from work.
“They made me do mountain climbers and pushups and situps,” Hodgins says. “She kicked my ass if it came down to it.”
Now up to 190 pounds, Hodgins is studying to be a paramedic. He hopes to eventually enlist as a combat medical technician in the armed forces.
How Mark Warnke lost 53 pounds in 4 months
Mark Warnke just had tickets booked to propose to his girlfriend on the beach when they end the relationship.
Warnke was devastated. But in the aftermath of his breakup, he decided it was the perfect time to take control of his life.
He started in the kitchen.
Warnke turned on frozen meals and canned soups with chicken and fresh vegetables that he could throw on the grill, in the night from Sunday on Monday and eat for the rest of the week.
In the past, Warnke had tried trends, such as the severing of carbohydrates and diet pills, but nothing worked better than eating the whole food.
He also started doing body weight workouts on the men’s Health website.
Fast Warnke are heartburn medication road and after only a month of his new training regime, Warnke had to go out and buy all new pants.
He was 53 kilos in total four months after the fracture.
But if you ask Warnke, that he does not lose weight, despite his ex-girlfriend.
“It was not a,” I’m going to let her see, ” he says. “It was a ‘I am the best person I can be.'”
How Jake Galicia lost 86 pounds in 2.5 years
When Jake Galicia, the results of the blood tests came in, he was shocked to discover that he had high blood sugar and lipid levels. On the 29th, Galicia, he thought that he was too young to be on the border for metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
Galicia has always been on the heavy side—at the time that he was 247 pounds—but the new father couldn’t stand the idea that his state might even stop him from watching his toddler to grow.
In February 2012, Galicia began with a low-carb diet full of protein and vegetables.
Despite working occasional shifts at an insurance company, Galicia made it a priority to squeeze in the training.
Galicia would exercise at any time between early morning and midnight, depending on when his shift fell on that day—but he always made time.
In the first instance, he would go to the gym to walk on the treadmill or complete circuit training. But as the fat started to melt off, he began with the inclusion of strength training into his training program to gain muscle.
And the strange hours in the gym were well spent. Galicia eventually shed 10 inches from his waist.
Now, 33 years old, he said perseverance was the key to weight loss success.
“No matter how hard it may seem, you are done with your training,” he says. “This is how your body is higher than the ‘known’ boundaries, preparing you to be faced with more difficult physical tasks.”
This article originally appeared on MensHealth.com.