Stephen Ringo weighed 29st at his heaviest after gorging on two Big Macs, two large fries, and two large cokes as well as 20 chicken nuggets every day for lunch, followed by a Domino’s pizza for dinner.
But after the collapse of his marriage, it forced the 38-year-old to re-evaluate his health and he knew he had to make a change. He eventually put in the work and shed an incredible 16st.
Before he lost weight, Stephen, of Johnson City, Tennessee, was so large he struggled to put on his socks, and the extra pounds drove his sex drive “into the ground”. The 5ft 7in IT expert said his body issues deeply affected his confidence and wore away at his marriage until he got divorced in 2016.
Stephen then began to curb his fast food addiction and returned to his power-lifting roots in October 2016, shedding an incredible 16 stone in just two years.
It’s fair to say that my weight ruined my marriage.
It was the single biggest factor.
My relationship with my wife deteriorated as my weight crept up.
I was depressed and as that set in intimacy kind of left. My weight drove my sex life into the ground.
I believe my depression and lack of sex drive ultimately drove my wife away from me.
If I had been a better husband I might have been able to pull the marriage back together.
My weight held me back from doing so many things. Getting dressed in the morning was tough.
I could hardly put on my socks.
My ex-wife and I went on vacation to New York City in 2012 and my weight really took a toll on me.
When you’re in New York, there is a lot of walking involved.
After a walk in Central Park I had to sit on a bench to catch my breath for a half an hour. I felt like a failure.
I never prepared meals and I usually ate fast food.
I would usually go to McDonald’s for lunch and order a Big Mac family meal, which was two Big Macs, two large fries, and two large cokes as well as 20 chicken nuggets.
I would drive through the drive through so they might think I was ordering the meal for a family.
After I finished I always felt so bad about myself. I hated myself.
For dinner I would order Pizza Hut or Domino’s.
I was almost as round as I was wide. My pants were 60ins and I was 67ins tall.
Stephen said his return to the gym in October 2016 was extremely discouraging as he realised how far he had let his fitness slip. But the former powerlifter hit the gym every day and began practising intermittent fasting which sees him eat only between 5pm and 9pm each evening.
The combination, which Stephen has documented on his YouTube channel, has helped him shed 222lbs and his 60ins waist shrink to 32in.
My first time in the gym I was disgusted with myself. I could literally bench 175lbs which is as much as I could when I was a young teenager.
I don’t know how I had let myself get that far.
Gradually I’ve built myself back up 340lbs.
Now I practice intermittent fasting which means I only eat between 5pm and 9pm.
When I get home I break my fast with an apple and for dinner I have ground turkey and a pound of green beans.
I have two cups of air popped popcorn and one low-fat ice cream.
Stephen said his weight loss has changed his life and confidence and thinks he would be a stronger partner now that he has turned around his life.