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So, you have lost the weight, that is amazing, and you should be very proud of yourself, but now what?

Many people struggle with finding purpose in their exercise routine the closer they get to their ultimate goal weight. It is no surprise, it makes a lot of sense that you would feel disillusioned at the finish line. You have likely spent months, if not years, getting to this point. The drive and motivation, the restrictive diet and the routine, all have become a vital part of your lifestyle. Now that you have reached your summit of weight loss, you may be feeling a little….. lost.

That is the story that Dan Choiniere tells as we sit across the table at a Whole Foods talking about his incredible weight loss journey. Dan has found a passion for health and a purpose in the physical activity he does. He is a pillar of encouragement to his friends and family, and with excellent reason. In just a year, Dan has shed 134 pounds, and he did it mostly on his own in his home gym.

When I asked Dan what his final breaking point and biggest motivation was, he shared with me a story of Christmas morning that I think we can all relate to. He recalls getting a shirt that he had always wanted as a gift from his wife but then realized that it was not going to fit. Not fitting into the shirt was not the problem as he recalls it; instead, the feelings he struggled with during that moment are the feelings that motivated him to really start a healthy change. The anger, bitterness, and sadness his weight was causing him, and the way he treated his family on that Christmas as a result, is what really stuck with him.

From then on, he began to get serious about his weight loss. He tried and succeeded at many mainstream exercise programs from Beach Body to 28-day fix and Spark, proving that the method is not as important as the follow through. In just a year Dan went from his highest weight at 333 to his lowest weight at 199! At this healthier weight, he is now sleeping better, feeling better and taking way less ibuprofen. He recognized that exercise and healthy eating is critical to how he felt mentally and physically; his mindset has changed from “There is no way I can fit exercise in” to “There is no way I can skip exercise.”

Here is what Dan said about his weight loss journey:

SSOHealth: What were your most significant milestones?
DAN:: Wearing a 1XL shirt for the first time. The first time I could bend over and tie my shoes the right way without straining. Hats getting too big. Running a half marathon! Playing football with Max (his son) and being able to do more things with my family.

SSOHealth: What was your most significant contributor to weight loss?
DAN: Not drinking as much beer, eating better food, making the time to work out.

SSOHealth: What helped you stay motivated?
Dan: Seeing the pounds come off and using social media to stay accountable. I post everything that I eat and every exercise I do on IG and FB, it helps me stay motivated, especially using my hashtag #DanMode. Hearing when someone else is in inspired by my exercise program is really important too. Recognizing that setting realistic goals and hitting little goals at a time. I might not be able to lose 134 lbs., but I can lose 3, and then I can lose 4, and then 5, and then the next milestone.

SSOHeallth: How did you celebrate your achievements without using food as a motivator?
Dan: I would buy myself a new hat or new shirt because things didn’t fit me anymore.

SSOHealth: What, if anything, would you have done differently in your weight loss journey?
DAN: I wouldn’t have done it all by myself, I would have looked for a coach or a professional to help me with an exercise program earlier.

As a recap, hit these 3 key points to keep your motivation:

1. Create accountability- whether that is from social media, a work out buddy, or a coach.
2. Be an inspiration- talk to people about your successes, you never know who will benefit from your story, or who may be struggling with the same things you have just overcome.
3. Keep going- set a small goal, crush it, set another small goal, repeat.

Now that Dan is at his goal weight, he is wondering what is next for his fitness goals. This new chapter in his life will likely have more balance and will be much more difficult. It is easier to adhere to a strict extreme than it is to walk a balanced life. Cutting out beer and sweets entirely is easier to do on a consistent basis rather than having just a beer once in a while. That is where having the accountability and expertise of a health coach will come in handy. We here at SSOHealth are so inspired by Dan’s story that we are pairing up with him to create a new program on our Fitness App specifically for those of you who have lost the weight and now want a new solution to keep motivated, keep active, and keep progressing.

Follow Dan and #DanMode for his progression and story on Instagram @Skafifer

And follow @SSOHealth on Instagram and Facebook for more inspiration from your community on how to be the best version of yourself.

Interested in a custom exercise program built just for you on the SSOHealth Fitness App? Contact us to get started!