36-Year-Old Mel Fish had in high school been diagnosed with prediabetes, and five years ago, after their son was born, they were also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Due to these health struggles, they embarked on losing weight and made progress before the pandemic hit. Mel, in 2019 even emerged as 5th in a company-wide weight loss contest.
The prize money from the contest motivated them to lose more weight, and indeed they felt lighter.
Shedding off a few pounds assisted Mel in alleviating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but sadly, the efforts were ruined as Mel had to divert their attention to caring for patients when COVID-19 hit worlwide. Working long as a certified nursing assistant [CAN] ultimately ended Mel’s efforts to lose weight.
“I didn’t gain much weight early in the pandemic – I got up to maybe 160 but I wasn’t losing any either. It was very hard,” Mel, according to TODAY, said.
They added: “We had to work with families who couldn’t come in and see their loved ones. You had to be their significant other, their daughter, their son, their friend. I just didn’t feel like eating healthy. I wanted to eat my comfort foods.” In 2021, Mel and their wife, Jen discovered they got bigger and their clothes got tighter.
Eventually, the pair started working out daily, ate better, and just at the beginning of 2022, ramped their efforts.
Mel is now 142 pounds and has seen positive changes; Arthritis symptoms are much calmer, muscle tone is better, energy levels are higher, breathing is easier even with exercise-induced asthma, and the risk of health problems is lower. Their father has heart disease, and both parents have high cholesterol and cancer.
They added: “We have a lot of state parks here in Wisconsin that have a lot of rocks, climbing up those rocks is so much easier.”
Accordingly, Mel found their workout routine beneficial to their mental health, especially as they had been on medication for postpartum depression following the birth of their son. Notably, Mel and their wife exercise together every morning before going to work; they have a treadmill, yoga balls, free weights, and a home gym in their basement.
Recently, they purchased e-bikes, so they have been doing more cycling.
In the evenings, they embark on a family walk or a bike ride. Most days, Mel hits 10,000 steps, and to take care of their feet, they buy two pairs of new shoes every six months. Together with their wife Jen, they follow a low-carb/Keto diet and practice intermittent fasting at least three days a week. They fast for sixteen hours and eat in an eight-hour window.
Mel’s breakfast includes one egg and a half of an avocado or some guacamole. Beef or turkey sticks and fruit or yogurt go for lunch, while dinner is just meat and veggies.
“Growing up, it was very hard for me to lose weight. I would starve myself and do crunches, but I would always fail. I think it was because I didn’t have that support system that I do now with my friends and my wife and the people I’ve encountered along the way encouraging me. Plus, my son loves to go for walks and ride his bike, so that helps.”