As a child, Alex moved from the Ukraine to the United States with his parents, and soon began to be picked on for being different. In a recent episode of Truly’s Brand New Me, he explains how this led to him isolating himself and over-eating. “It was so easy to play video games for 16 hours a day, skipping school, and then picking up the phone and ordering whatever my heart desired,” he says. “I would just sit there and eat, without any care in the world of what this food was doing to me.”
“Aside from all the self-esteem confidence issues, just doing everyday activities was very difficult for me,” he continues. “Things like walking up a flight of stairs, carrying groceries from the supermarket, I’d be drenched in sweat… It just became normal for me.”
At his heaviest, Alex weighed 365 pounds. The turning point came when he was given a warning from his doctor: if he continued to live like this, he wouldn’t live past the age of 30. This was what he needed to hear to finally realize that he had to make some serious changes in his lifestyle. “It was literally do or die,” he says.
Alex completely revamped his diet, cutting out the junk food that had become a staple, and began exercising. He eventually lost over 100 pounds, getting down to 230 pounds at his lightest. “I used to avoid mirrors, I used to avoid photographs, videos, anything like that,” he says. “Now I just look at myself in the mirror and I feel accomplished, I feel happy.”
He now works out 6 times per week, and has recently pivoted to a new career as a weight loss coach, where he uses his own experiences to help others achieve their own goals. “I feel like it’s important for me to help people live the life they deserve, and transform their bodies and their minds,” he says, “because I wish I would have had somebody helping me when I was starting out.”
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.
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