In January 2018, Quantel Thomas made the resolution to go to the gym and lose weight. And while this is a promise that plenty of people make to themselves, Quantel had good reason to start taking his health and fitness seriously. He weighed 130Kg and was suffering “constant aches and pains”: when he visited a doctor, he was informed he had a high risk of some serious health conditions. “They told me I was pre-diabetic,” he says.
Quantel had been overweight for a long time, as far back as the age of eight or nine. He played football in high school, but after having a seizure in his freshman year, he quit playing sports, and that was when his weight gain really began: he was 135Kg by the time he turned 18 years old.
In 2017, he was still gaining more weight each month, and so at the start of the new year, he resolved to go to the gym as often as possible, and his workout regime soon included training six days a week.
“I really wanted to just get out of that tunnel,” he says, although there was another reason too: “At first, it was just for attracting females, I’m not gonna lie to you… Who wants to be with somebody who’s not confident in themselves, think they’re disgusting-looking, ugly… People don’t like hearing negativity about themselves.”
After one month, Quantel had already dropped from 130 to 115Kg 284. Within ten months, he was down to 81Kg, having lost more than a third of his body weight.
In addition to reducing his body fat, Quantel has also been building strength through weights training (which has been scientifically linked to a reduced risk of diabetes). He can currently bench press 130Kg, and deadlift up to 215Kg. After his dramatic transformation, he now weighs in at 204 pounds as he continues to bulk up for his bodybuilding training. He is studying Exercise Science at college, and he intends to pursue a career as a personal trainer so he can help other people get “out of that tunnel” and feel better about themselves.
“To be able to love myself, that’s the true, ultimate milestone achieved to this day,” he says.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health