Hello! We are Jean-Luc Pharand and Nicolas Tremblay and this is our “Fat to Fit” journey!
By embracing healthy eating and regular exercise we were able to embrace both our mental and physical health and lose weight in the process.
I don’t remember the moment I became ‘overweight’ nor do I remember a time where I could say I wasn’t overweight in my life. Regular exercise, nor the gym were never part of my daily activities, and in school I would try to participate but ended up often being benched.
I gave up.
I gave up trying to include fitness in my life and never looked back! In my teens I could see I wasn’t like everyone else; I had a belly and didn’t fit in with the jocks, I figured I would be a bigger guy for the rest of my life.
When I turned 18 I decided that I needed to make a change and lose weight. I decided to join a weight loss program and really get serious. For awhile it was working, I would lose some weight, but it would come back and in the end I ended up quitting before I achieved any noticeable weight loss. My weight has always been a struggle, even after coming out and trying to start a new path into getting into shape, it never worked.
I have been obese my entire life. From childhood, I was teased and ridiculed about my weight, and I didn’t see any hope in changing due to genetics. Both sides of my family had obesity and weight-related issues, and I dreamt every day of being thin and ‘pretty’. The self-loathing continued into my adulthood and after coming out and accepting myself for who I am, I began my journey to lose weight. During my last year of University, I weighed over 300lbs. I worked hard on improving my eating habits and going to the gym for the first time. I succeeded on this new path and lost over 75lbs, but this success was short-lived due to an interruption in my routine once completing my degree and shifting to full-time employment.
Our combined story began September 2008 when we first started dating. We’d both moved to Mississauga to begin new careers in the GTA. Nicolas had been struggling to lose weight at the time, and decided to join the gym. Jean-Luc decided to join as well, but was skeptical; in his eyes, only fit people went to the gym.
In 2011, 5 months prior to our wedding. We decided we needed to get a handle on our health. We tried a cleanse (we lasted one day) and other fads and diets, but the success was short-lived. After our wedding, our food addiction got the best of us and we started putting on more weight. In 2015, we tried to embrace a new lifestyle and really focus on adding more fitness into our lives, mainly cardio and group exercise classes. We were seeing results and were on the right track, but due to injuries, we stopped exercising after a few months. At that point we’d lost a considerable amount of weight, (Jean-Luc 70lbs and Nicolas 50lbs) but weren’t fully embracing what being healthy could do for us. We went down a spiral and began eating and drinking and gained weight, and by 2017, we hit rock bottom. We gave up hope, gave away all our ”thin” clothes, and put our gym membership on hold. We were on a path of self-destruction through bad habits and accepted that we simply would be obese forever.
Things changed in November 2017, when we went to the doctors. At the time, Nick weighed 289lbs and Jean-Luc weighed 271lbs. Jean-Luc was experiencing pain in his back and feet, and could barely stand for more than 5 minutes. He was diagnosed with a fatty liver and found out he has planters fasciitis and a deteriorating Achilles tendon. Nicolas was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was put on medication. At home, both of us had digestive issues, constant heartburn, and were ingesting Pepto Bismol, Zantac, and Tums as if we were breathing them. We were so out of shape, climbing a flight of stairs was near impossible and Jean-Luc was prescribed an inhaler to help with his constant wheezing. This was our wake-up call. We knew if we didn’t make a change, we’d both end up in an early grave.
In mid-December we had a serious chat. Nick was fearful that if things remained the same, he’d die by 50 like many in his family. Jean-Luc didn’t want to have health complications any longer, and wanted to reverse the effects they’d had on his body. Nick proposed a 3-month detox to improve their eating and bring back daily exercise. We started slow. We started tracking our daily steps, we walked at home and at work to make sure we always reached our goal. The first week of January we began our detox by eliminating problem foods from our diet; chips, pop, alcohol, pasta, potatoes, candy, chocolate, ice cream, red meat, and more. We started to embrace a plant-based diet and making food from scratch, and stuck to healthier, leaner meats. We weighed and measured our food, made sure to eat all our meals and portion them. The detox lasted 3 months and ended on April 1st, when we started to re-introduce some of the foods we’d eliminated (but not all of them).
By the end of February, we’d both lost a bit of weight and realized our daily walking was now easy. We’d reached 15000+ steps a day, and were ready for a new challenge. We started going back to the gym a few days a week and using the cardio machines, and did an Aqua Zumba class on Saturdays. Through February and March our stamina improved, and we increased our workouts to 1.5 hours 5 days a week. We started doing more group exercise classes, and the encouragement of the instructors kept us motivated. We also purchased an Apple Watch to help us track our activity. At the end of March, we challenged ourselves to go to the gym for the most consecutive days in a row that we could. From March 18th to July 3rd, we went to a gym or exercised daily for 108 consecutive days! During this time, our bodies started dropping weight at a fast rate and we realized we had found a good balance between eating well, exercising, and living our lives to the fullest.
Cut to today, and both of us are nothing like our former selves. Jean-Luc weighs 177lbs and has lost a total of 94lbs. He can now run a 10K on the treadmill! His fatty liver has reverted to a healthier state, he no longer has issues with his feet, and breathing has become much easier. Nicolas weighs 176lbs and has lost a total of 112lbs. He no longer has high blood pressure and can climb the Stairmaster for 1 hour, climbing over 400 floors. We both feel like athletes now, and have completed the CN Tower Climb in 16 minutes! Our next challenge? To try new things like rock-wall climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and complete the Edge Walk on the CN Tower! Throughout this journey, we noticed that our friends and family were actually inspired by our path to healthy living! We decided to tell our full story, and started filming YouTube videos and created a Facebook Page where we shared our journey, recipes, and tips for turning your life around.
Over the years, our passion to help others achieve success with their own lifestyle changes has evolved into something bigger. With the help of Kiran Bissoon and Antonietta Botticelli, we’ve started the P3 Weight Loss Experience - a 12 week experience that gives you the tools and resources you need to help you achieve your OWN weight loss goals! Our dream is to provide a supportive and inclusive community that gives you the motivation AND the means to help you accomplish your goals! With a holistic approach to health that includes mind, body, and soul, we’re proud to have co-created an organization that helps others to find the positive results they’ve been searching for. We hope those reading our journey feel inspired and try to improve their own lives. If the two of us can do it, you can too!