How This Dad Turned His Health Around And Lost 125 Pounds In 2 Years

Charmaine Noronha
On Sept. 18, 2018, Darcy Alyea weighed 214, down from 350 pounds when he started his weight loss journey two years ago.

HuffPost Canada's Lost It series chronicles the stories of everyday Canadians who have struggled with their weight — and won. We talk to people about what they eat, how they exercise and generally, what their healthy lifestyle is to maintain their weight now that they've lost it.

You can read more stories from Lost It here.

Name: Darcy Alyea

Occupation: Small business owner

Age: 52

City: Woodstock, Ont.

The story:

Since my 20s, I kept putting off efforts to get into shape. I would diet for a while, then gain it back. I would train for and run 10 kilometers, then celebrate with McDonald's.

February 2016 at Universal Studios, Florida. "I was asked to get off the Harry Potter ride as the safety apparatus couldn't be done up. I made the 'head-down' walk back out of the ride. It was my first 'red flag' that something needed to be done."

Although my wife and daughters are fitness lovers, I always procrastinated when it came to the gym. One day, an associate at GoodLife Fitness mentioned to my wife that he had never seen me at the gym during my two-year membership.

The final straw:

I would always plan to start Monday, but Monday never came. I was making excuses and adapting to avoid working out on a regular basis. There was a point that I couldn't put it off any longer.

I found it difficult to go out and have fun in public. I felt embarrassed not only for myself, but for my friends and family that I was out with. Simple social interactions were a challenge for me because I felt as though I could not do normal things like sitting in a chair at a restaurant without discomfort and awkwardness.

April 19, 2016. "This was Day 1 of my fitness journey when I weighed in at 350.4 pounds. I met with my trainer Kyle for the first time and my first goal was to loose 50 pounds by my 50th birthday, Aug 9th."

I was the big, happy guy, always fun, but my clothes didn't fit and I didn't want to shop at specialty stores any more. And some of my friends who were in better shape than I was were being diagnosed with diabetes but I hadn't yet been told that I was in a dangerous position.

I realized I could no longer climb the stairs to go bed without losing my breath. I'd be so winded that I wouldn't be able to sleep. I was more than 350 pounds four months shy of my 50th birthday. I knew it was time for a real change.

I was going to be proactive before I got my health notice.

Getting to work:

The very next day I booked in with a personal trainer and haven't looked back since.

I needed to go to the gym and meet with someone to keep me accountable so a personal trainer was the right solution. Once I was finally able to walk into GoodLife, I felt the positivity from gym associates and gym-goers. They created a welcoming atmosphere that encouraged me to return.

"I started going to the gym three time a week and now I go almost every day!"

My trainer Kyle has always supported me. His encouragement and ability to constantly challenge me led me to believe in myself. I started by going to the gym at 5:45 a.m. three times a week.

Now I go to GoodLife six, if not seven days a week. It's my time. Seeing the constant results. I am very proud of what I've achieved but I am not done. There is more out there that I'm going to achieve.

The food element:

My eating is also much different now.

I eat to fuel my workouts instead of working out so that I can eat. I focus on meal preparation to ensure I eat healthy.

The result:

I lost 50 pounds by my 50th birthday! And have now lost more than 125 pounds. And instead of going with my wife and daughter to the gym, now they now go with me!