EFF: Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Marqus Taylor from Chicago, IL. I am an author, photographer and motivational speaker. I always find myself keeping busy by taking photos, building websites or working out. I love to travel and visit different places even if just around the Chicagoland area.
EFF: How much weight have you lost since you began your journey?
I’m down 220 pounds with a goal to lose another 70-60 pounds.
EFF: What moment triggered your decision to lose weight?
I’ve always been big well I can really say obese. I’ve always wanted to lose weight and be healthy but never had the motivation. I would say the most important moment that triggered my decision to lose weight was my mother’s sudden death. She was obese, was diabetic and battled kidney failure and high blood pressure. She always told me that I needed to lose weight so I wouldn’t have to go through the pain she went but that didn’t motivate me to change my habits. Seeing her lifeless body triggered something in me. Although, it took almost a year to get the wake up call, I knew that if I wanted to live life, I had to lose weight. Weighing over 500 pounds was not a healthy lifestyle but I chose to live it. I was tired and unhappy, which also triggered my decision to lose weight. I could barely walk without being out of breath. It was a lot I couldn’t do like ride a roller coaster or something as simple as fasten my seat belt. I literally let obesity consume my life and I was tired of it.
EFF: What fitness methods did you use to get where you are today? Did you hire a trainer? How was that first day?
I did start off with a trainer and I absolutely hated it. LOL! To say it was one of the hardest things that I had done is being modest. I knew nothing about exercising and I literally wanted to give up the first day. However, as time went on and lots of cardio, I began seeing results which motivated me more to keep going. Yet still hard, I was still progressing. Cardio soon went to cardio and strength which led to a gym memberships as well as boot camps and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Boot camps and HIIT have become my favorite simply because I get bored with regular gym workouts and they push me beyond my limits. HIIT especially tends to test me mentally and of course physically.
EFF: What obstacles did you face when you first started ? What was the hardest part?
The biggest obstacle I faced was believing that I could actually lose weight. I was so comfortable being obese that I had actually become numb to it so the fact that I was taking on a healthy lifestyle was a bit shocking because I didn’t want to fail. I was putting in the physical work but the mental work was a struggle. Mental flashbacks from being teased as a kid and even as an adult played back numerous times, which took my head out of the game. Although I received inspiring words from people around me, it was a struggle for me to believe. The hardest part which I believe a lot of people struggle with was healthy, clean eating. Just like I was use to be obese, I was also use to eating any and everything that I wanted. I was use to consume 4000 – 5000 calories a day so it took time to cut a lot out and stick with it. I messed up a few times to the point that I would put in a hard workout then go and consume a burrito or pizza. Eventually I got to the point where I didn’t even want to look at fast food because the smell would make me sick.
EFF: What would you say is the factor/s that keeps you from giving up?
First and foremost I received strength from God to keep going. It was days I didn’t have the strength but wondered where it came from the get up and get out there. I’ve also worked with two trainers consistently and both them pushed me beyond my limits and kept me going when I wanted to give up. Giving up is not an option. I didn’t gain weight over night and won’t lose it overnight. Today when I want to give up, I look at where I was and where I am now and realize that I’ve still got it in me to continue this journey.
EFF: What’s your favorite and least favorite exercise?
My favorite workout I’d have to say again would be boot camp style or HIIT. As I previously stated, they both push me to the limits that I never thought possible. I love to be challenged. My least favorite without hesitation would be push ups. I have no reason to hate doing them, I just do. LOL!
EFF: Do you have any favorite quotes or anything that inspires you that you’d like to share?
1) Strive for progress, not perfection
2) Just do it
3) For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength; Philippians 4:13
EFF: What would you say to someone who is just starting a weight loss journey?
Believe in your heart and mind that you can do it. Don’t give up or give in no matter how hard it gets or how frustrated you get because you’ll thank or hate yourself later based on that decision. Have fun with it. Motivate yourself along your journey
EFF: What’s your favorite healthy food to eat?
Sounds crazy but protein bars. I occasionally have a sweet tooth and instead of candy I will grab a protein and fulfill that sweet tooth.
EFF: What is your fitness goal for 2016?
To continue to better my mind and body. I would like to shed the remaining pounds as well as tone my loose skin and build more muscle.