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

Instagram is your biggest secret weight-loss tool.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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