He gained 70 pounds, hitting 224 pounds. At 58m that made him morbidly obese. He was 27. I just wanted the world to swallow me up and I really felt like there was no way out, he says. It was a never-ending spiral of feeling depressed, eating to make myself feel better, weight gain and feeling depressed again.

Hoops confronted himself one morning, taking stock of the situation. I decided that I wasnt going to let this period of my life define me and I was going to achieve everything I had ever dreamed of, he says. He got off the couch and made himself take a half-hour walk. He came back motivated. I decided my legacy was going to be how I overcame this illness, lost my weight and started to help others do the same, he says.

He disciplined himself into getting up at 4 AM every morning to exercise: (HIIT) and . He prepared all his meals and tracked his calories. Where previously he had no motivation to do much of anything, he forced himself into a routine. I would prepare my food the day before, he says, I would lay out my gym clothes the night before, and I would plan my workouts in advance.

He had a friend who kept him accountable through online coaching, and had a pretty good knowledge base on his own from which to draw. As he got fitter, he felt like a better person; that, too, kept him motivated. Going back to that terrible life I had before just simply was not going to happen, he says.

In five months, he lost 70 pounds, putting him back to his pre-layoff weight. He was motivated again, ready to face any challenges in his life. I had more energy, he says, and I developed awesome habits such as being an early riser, regular gym goer, and confident public speaker.

HIIT Workouts Helped This Guy Deal With Depression
HIIT Workouts Helped This Guy Deal With Depression

It happened so quickly that even his family and friends were surprised at the change; they started to ask if he could help them lose weight, too. He to do just that. Giving value and support to others is all I want to do and being able to do this was a great feeling, he says.

For Hoops, it was a remarkable turnaround. But he believes anyone can do it. Start small and do the simple things, he says. It will be scary and hard, but with consistent hard work and the right guidance you can achieve anything.