How a Saskatoon man pressed reset on his health during the pandemic and shed 150 pounds
Published Wednesday, April 28, 2021 12:35PM CST Last Updated Wednesday, April 28, 2021 12:44PM CST
SASKATOON -- Kyle White has undergone a transformation over the last year, and it all started when he decided to weigh himself at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I stepped on the scale for probably the first time in I don't know, too long, and it said I was 430 pounds,” he said. “Most scales don't go up that high. Most scales will top out at 400."
430 pounds - the result of watching a lot of Netflix, eating a lot of bad food, and having altogether unhealthy habits, the 28-year-old said.
“I'm still young, and I always kind of had the mindset that I could lose weight later," White said.
Pain in his knees and back, anxiety about high blood pressure, and potential chest pains led White to the realization that he needed to make a change.
White's weight is now down to 280.
He started with his diet, following Canada's Food Guide recommendations at the urging of his doctor and integrating more plant based meals with fewer meats.
“For a lot of my life I would just grab whatever food was quick. It fueled me, it kept me going, and I didn't really think too much about the impact it would have on my body,” he said.
After seeing positive results from what he was putting into his body, White began adding exercise to his routine.
“I started adding a block at a time, jogging a block, or I'd walk a block,” he said. “Eventually through August and September, I was able to go a kilometer, then a mile, and I think by October I was able to sustain a run for I think four kilometres.”
Oddly enough it was when the snow started falling and the temperatures dropped that he really started to identify as a runner, joining a "winter warrior" challenge of 72 runs in the first three months of winter.
“I'm pretty proud to say that I didn't run a single one of those inside,” he said. “I had at least five days where I ran outside at minus 40 temperatures.”
“I couldn't keep my glasses on because I'd fog up immediately, I'd get the Canadian mascara, the frozen eyelashes. That blew a few people away.”
When the calendar flipped to April 2021, 12-months after his weight-loss journey began, White stepped back onto the scale to see he had lost 150 pounds.
But the weight-loss, he says, was almost secondary at that point.
“I started exercising and started eating right to lose weight, that was the mentality,” he said.
“When I started seeing those results I started feeling better, but when I got into the running and started excelling and getting all the support from folks, that's when the diet, the exercise, just kind of shifted to becoming a better runner.”
It wasn’t always easy, he added, with injuries, hours of stretching, cross-training, and yoga behind the scenes, as well as those less-than-ideal 5:30 a.m. wake up calls during the winter.
“I post a lot on my Instagram, that kind of gives it some of the glitz and the glamour,” he said.
White says he and his wife are now vegetarians, and his fitness goals now include a 10K run in June, a half marathon in September, and a full marathon in June 2022.
“I can see myself doing this forever going forward,” he said.
“I used to say that the goal with the weight loss and the exercise was to be happy, be healthy and take care of my body. Now a milestone I’d like to keep with that is ‘Boy, it would be really cool to be one of those guys who runs a marathon in their seventies.’”