This is a monthly feature at Community Strong to hightlight great people in the area. Let’s hear about Tyler Williams’ health journey.
Who are you, what do you do, how are you connected to Community Strong?
I’m Tyler Williams, I started a weight loss journey about a year and a half ago. I did not know where it would go. In the past I had done a lot of dieting before and nothing ever stuck, but this time was different. I had a lot more motivation and drive to succeed. Currently working at McDonald’s, and I have so much support from all the regular customers I see in the drive-through every day. They have helped me so much with my weight loss journey. I was connected to Community Strong after I started sharing my story on Facebook.
How are health and wellness revealed in your life? How you always been active?
Dieting in the past the only thing that really helped me was counting my calories. Going into my current diet I knew I’d have to count calories so after a few weeks I started seeing the weight come off. I then started walking about a mile a day at a local park. Then after that I started making it a routine to hit the local gym (the Rec-Plex). They began to recognize me and how much weight I had lost.
True confessions: what is one of your vices?
My vice has always been sweets, but being on the keto diet doesn’t allow me any sweets. Sometimes for a treat I will allow myself a chocolate bar if I’m really feeling a sweet treat. I feel like if you don’t have that occasionally, you will get tired of a diet very fast.
Describe one thing you wished the residents of St. Charles County would do to improve their health?
St Charles County is full of parks that don’t always get used to their full potential. When I started walking, I would always make it a goal to go to a local park a few days a week. I also really like the Lewis and Clark trail out near Defiance but when I go out there, and I’m usually one of only a few people on the trail.
Name your greatest accomplishment or barrier you have overcome with your health so far?
I have lost 292 pounds in about a year and a half! But it was met with many days when I wanted to go back to the old me eating unhealthy foods and not being motivated to get my exercise. I find it easy to come home and watch TV instead of going to the gym. But I find the best thing when getting off work is too have my workout clothes ready and go straight to the gym instead of going home.
What is a negative health outcome you have recently learned about that is affecting St. Charles County?
Recently Saint Charles County has been dealing with a lot of sickness related to Covid 19. It affected people’s ability to go anywhere including the gym. I think that a lot of people didn’t get out much during this time and stayed home where they felt safe. One of the ways I was able to continue my weight loss while still being home was I got resistance bands and started watching Workout videos at home.
How does your purpose or calling in life help direct your health choices?
My calling in life has always been food. I grew up cooking with my mom (who is an amazing cook), but until I started college, I really didn’t understand how much nutrition plays a role in your day-to-day life. My dream is to be a chef and I’m pursuing my Culinary degree at Saint Louis Community College. It has equipped me with the knowledge to help prepare healthy meals for me and my wife. So I would say my calling in life now has changed slightly in the fact that I want to supply the Saint Louis region… with healthier options when I open my own Restaurant.
What advice would you give someone who trying to live a healthier lifestyle?
The advice I would give to someone trying to live a healthier life is take it one day at a time. If you look too far in the future, you will overwhelm yourself and most times you fall into an unhealthy eating pattern again. And consistency is the most important thing in losing weight if you don’t see the numbers dropping. Just keep going, don’t give up and they will drop. It just takes time. It is a health journey.
Do you have a “go to” healthy recipe?
I have many but my favorite would be fajitas with low carb tortillas. It can be very delicious with all the fixings. I love avocado I usually try to eat one whole avocado every day even more on a day I eat fajitas.
Describe what your life would be like if you were not active and pursuing health?
My life before I lost all the weight was not near as exciting as it is now. I have so many more opportunities and can accomplish so much more every day. Going to the park is now one of my favorite things. Before I lost the weight it would have been very difficult for me to walk in the park. At my heaviest I was 540 pounds and walking was very difficult.
Anything else you want to share?
I think your health is the most important asset you have because you’re able to live a better life. Being healthy allows you a longer life and you will be able to enjoy so much more. I never realized how much my weight was holding me back from enjoying my life.
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