Don't Lose Hope


I was given a great opportunity to talk with William Hollen (age 23) about his incredible story. At age 19, he was given the unfortunate news that because of health and weight condition, it was unlikely he'd live to see his 30th birthday. Four years later he's in excellent health and has lost 120 lbs.

William before and after

Here's what I asked him.

1.)What was your primary reason for wanting to lose weight?
There were a lot of reasons I wanted to lose weight, there were also a lot of reasons of why I had to. One of the biggest reasons was that I couldn’t play with nieces or nephew without getting winded after 5 minutes. I couldn’t walk up stairs, I couldn’t do anything physical. One visit to my family physician really opened my eyes. He pretty much stated that I wouldn’t see my 30th birthday if I kept living this lifestyle. No 19 year old wants to hear that.

2.)What did you use as motivation?
The faces and words of every person whoever said I couldn’t do something. Or those who said I would eventually give up on myself. I was tired of being a quitter, and being labeled as one. I got so much gratification in some of those peoples faces later on down the road.

3.)What steps did you take in reaching your goals?
I dieted, did cardio, and also weight lifted at least 6 times a week. My diet consisted of beef, chicken, fish, and turkey with low-fat yogurts, fruits, vegetables, and VERY little carb intake. I would allow myself to cheat once a week IF I made progress. If I didn’t make progress, I would hold it off a week to give myself a little more push.

Cardio, I did just about everything.  I used every piece of equipment at my gym, but I found the best results with HIIT cardio which stands for “High Intensity Interval Training”. An example of that would be: On a treadmill you walk for 30 seconds, jog for 15 seconds, and sprint for 15 seconds. Once comfortable with the exercise you can adjust the time intervals, and you do this until you’re pretty much exhausted, haha. I also did a lot of circuit training.

4.)Was support from others helpful in your case?
 Support was great from the people who didn’t doubt me. My best friend Zack got a gym membership with me to help push me and lose weight with me. My ma also decided to lose weight with me, so that helped a lot being we threw away all junk food in the house and any products with sugar.

5.)How do you feel about what you have accomplished?
There is still room for improvement but I am really happy with having lost 140lbs and replaced a lot of it with muscle. The only issue I have is loose skin. I’ve already had one surgery, abdominoplasty, to repair my stomach. That was the only issue that insurance would cover being it was causing so many health issues with me. I’d like to get my chest done next.

6.)What advice could you give others trying to lose weight?
It’s hard to give advice about it, honestly. The only thing I can really say is to just not give up. Keep pushing. It’s going to be one of the hardest things you may ever do. You’re going to get down on yourself, you’re going to want to quit. There are going to be times where you will see no progress for weeks, but if you continue chipping away and pushing yourself to be better than you believe you are, you WILL reach your goals.

Before weight was 360 after weight is 220. I am currently 240 after building back up some muscle.


William, with his before weight, was 360 pounds, and through his self determination, and motivation, with support of his friends and family, he managed to regain control over his body weight, and weighted in at 220 pounds. After building back up some muscle he currently is 240 pounds and still working on improving even more!