“It’s really a life-changing experience. I can definitely see a difference in who I was versus who I am,” says Sioux City resident, Michael Searls.
Today, Searls is in great shape. He works out at Planet Fitness five days a week, but not long ago things were completely different.
“I saw a problem, didn’t really like where I was and then didn’t really fix the problem. That’s kind of how I went from an average guy to a guy who weighed almost 400 pounds,” said Searls.
In his early 20’s Michael was in a car accident that left him badly injured.
The physical toll that took also had an effect on his mental health and the weight gain was dramatic.
But, Michael says he tried to ignore what was happening.
“I wouldn’t really like to take picture of myself or see myself in pictures anything like that because in my mind if I didn’t have to see myself it wasn’t as bad as it really was,” said Searls.
It was until Michael thought about his future that he realized he needed to make a change.
“I decided that at some point I want to have children and I don’t want to be a parent who can’t be active with their children. I don’t want to be the person who can’t take their kids to the park because they’re too tired or they don’t want to be seen in public. So, that was the first part that really sparked me to get serious about losing weight,” said Searls.
Step by step, things started to change. He started going to the gym and eating healthy.
And as his outer appearance began to shrink, his inner confidence started to grow.
Searls says, “I’m a lot more outgoing, I’m a lot more ok with being in front of the camera or people taking my picture, things like that so it’s definitely helped me. I don’t feel like I have my low days nearly as often anymore because I can see all the progress that I’ve made.”