Man Loses 198 Pounds in a Year with the Help of Social Media, Goes Viral

Instagram is your biggest secret weight-loss tool.

vance hinds weight loss

Back in November 2017, Vance Hinds, the district assistant attorney for Ellis County, Texas, weighed a staggering 470 pounds. But then he listened to an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast in which comedian Bert Kreischer talked about running a half-marathon and giving up alcohol for Sober October, and felt inexplicably inspired to start his own weight-loss journey. He posted his very first video from the chair in which he usually sits watching football, vowing to lead a healthier lifestyle.

This wasn't the first time, however, that Vance had pledged to shed a few pounds.

"Over my life, I've lost and gained hundreds, if not thousands of pounds," he told Waxahachie Daily Light. "Normally, periodically, I start these paths, and I lose weight for a while, exercising on my own. But with my wife, it's just us two, and it's easy to talk yourself out of it. You do pretty good for a few weeks and a month, and then you start slacking off, and then you quit. I've done that over and over and over again."

This time, however, he made an important change: he decided he would post his progress on social media, which is a tactic, for the record, that studies have shown really does help motivate people to achieve their goals.

Slowly, he began exercising more and eating better, posting constantly on his Instagram account along the way. His efforts began to garner attention on social media, and soon, even a man at his local gym said he'd been following his videos and encouraged him to keep it up.

"I swam a little harder that night, it felt good," he said.


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Whew! We made it. Another great aqua aerobics class by Carole A. Bradley-Helm.

A post shared by Vance Hinds (@vance_hinds) on

But the other thing that motivated Vance was the knowledge that the clock was ticking.

"I don't know if I have a choice anymore at the age of 52. I have to get this weight off of me," he said. "I just think if I have some extended sickness or injury that I'm going to get to the point that I'm not strong enough to move 462 pounds to be mobile. I don't think I have a choice. When I started this, I was damn near 500 pounds, close to a quarter ton, so I gotta get it off."

On the second week, he actually gained three pounds, but he didn't let that discourage him. By the third week, he had lost 10 pounds, and by mid-December he was down to 461 pounds.


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Day 5 of the DDPY 30-Day Challenge in the books. Bang!💥

A post shared by Vance Hinds (@vance_hinds) on

In addition to lifting weights at the gym twice a week, he began to do water aerobics and DDP yoga, which is billed as a workout series for all that incorporates fairly simple postures that help people lose weight while gaining strength and flexibility. He enlisted his friends into joining him on his power walks through the park, and within just a few weeks, he had 12 people walking with him.

He also traded in junk food for healthy, balanced meals, following the DDP Nutrition plan, which excludes gluten and dairy and focuses on vegetables and organic, non-GMO, grass fed meats, as well as plenty of egg and avocado.

Within a year, he's lost a whopping 198 pounds.


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Monday Morning Weigh-in, December 24, 2018.

A post shared by Vance Hinds (@vance_hinds) on

But he's not just doing this for himself, he's also doing it for his wife, Mary, and their three children.

"Your kids make you better, kids make you want to do better… not only am I doing it for myself, but I'm doing it for them too, to show them that they can do anything if they put their mind to it," he said.


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8:00 p.m.: 5.6 ounces beef, brussel sprouts, celery, Crazy Water No.4.

A post shared by Vance Hinds (@vance_hinds) on

And his success is motivating his friends as well because the buddy system works both ways!

"It's impacting me a lot already," Mark Howell, his childhood friend, said. "Just exercising and being with friends, that's the best part is the friendship that we still have with all of the classmates coming out and getting behind him. It's awesome seeing himself try and push himself, sweat and we just gotta get him back healthy and same with me. You gotta lose as much weight as you can and benefit from our friendships so we can live a long life."

You can watch a video of his full transformation here:

And for more inspiring weight-loss stories, read about the man who lost 70 pounds of "weight and sadness" and turned into a Disney prince.

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram! 



Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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