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'I was just really unhealthy': Man loses 180 pounds by patiently sticking with his plan

James Maloy of Anne Arundel County. (Tom Roussey/ABC7)
James Maloy of Anne Arundel County. (Tom Roussey/ABC7)
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James Maloy of Anne Arundel County has advice for keeping a New Year’s resolution to get in shape, and if you’ve made one you should probably listen to him – over the last year and a half he’s lost 180 pounds!

Maloy says he got a wake up call in mid-2019 when he stepped on a scale for the first time in years at a doctor’s office and weighed 376 pounds. At the time he drank a lot, smoked a lot, and ate a lot of fast food.

“I was just really unhealthy, and it was becoming very clear that that wasn’t sustainable,” Maloy told ABC7.

Maloy’s mother was already a member of the Planet Fitness gym at Hilltop Plaza shopping center in Bowie, so Maloy joined also.

“[I would use] the rowing machine as long as I could. Which was not very long at first,” he chuckled. “I could do like five minutes, and then I’d feel like I was going to pass out.”

Maloy says he would sometimes miss a day or two, but he managed to stick to it without quitting.

“I started to try to think about every day as a win or a loss. And to just try to stack wins,” Maloy said.

Studies on New Year’s resolutions show the vast majority of people who make them don’t just fail to keep them, but they fail to keep them within just weeks.

Maloy’s resolution came not at New Year’s but in mid-2019. However, he says the principle he learned is the same – to have success you have to get past the first few months.

“I would say if you can stick to it for three months, then it’ll just start to become part of your routine,” he said. “Especially when you start seeing progress. Because then you’re reaping the benefits. And then it gets easier and easier.”

“Anything we do more than around 50 times or so, it becomes a habit,” said Quintin Dailey, fitness training support manager with Planet Fitness.

Dailey says although experts recommend working out 150 minutes a week, if you can’t do that much – especially starting out – don’t worry.

“It’s very important to be patient with yourself, especially if you’re starting a new journey, or restarting or recommitting,” Dailey said.

Dailey also says community is important. It can be found when you join a gym, but he says for those who aren’t comfortable going to the gym during the pandemic it can also be found online. Planet Fitness and a number of other gyms and organizations offer virtual ways to not feel isolated as you try to get in shape.

Maloy says when the pandemic hit he’d just reached the point where he could run without stopping.

“I had never been able to run in my life. Sustained, for like more than five minutes,” he said. “And that was big for me because then I could just go out on the street and run.”

Malloy says he lost 60 of the 180 pounds he has dropped running while the gym was closed for three months.

But when it reopened he came back, and the weight loss has continued. He loves it so much he also now works at the gym.

Fewer than two New Year’s days ago, he’d never have imagined where he’d be on the first day of 2021.

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“It’s a very different feeling,” Maloy said. “It feels good. It feels really good. It feels like an accomplishment.”

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