If you met Hunter Olds today, you’d never know that just a few short years ago he was an entirely different man in an entirely different body.

“I’ve been overweight my whole entire life. Always the biggest kid in school,” Olds — who is now 23 — explained to MensHealth.com. By the time Olds reached the end of his freshman year in college, he maxed out at 350 pounds. He had resolved to be that big forever, until one fateful baseball game changed everything.

“I was at in an Indians baseball game with some of my friends, and … [the seat] had the armrest, and I couldn’t fit in the seat. It hurt to sit down,” he said. “I knew I had to change right then.”

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Olds went home that day and downloaded the MyFitnessPal app. He resolved to stay in a calorie deficit, following a calories in, calories out diet. The only thing he cut out was processed foods and sugars.

At first, it was just about monitoring his diet, but after the first 10 pounds, Olds discovered he could move more easily than before, and began running.

“I really grew a passion for running,” he said. “It was just something I could use to clear my head. I didn’t have to think about anything except for running.” (If you want to train like Olds, check out our beginner’s guide to running.)

With all those miles and fewer calories, Olds dropped down to 190 pounds in just over a year — a 160-pound weight loss transformation. “I lost half my body weight,” he said with a laugh.

This all happened back in 2015. Now, Olds is going even stronger, completing two marathons and heading into his first-ever triathlon. He’s gotten there by working out six days a week, alternating between running and lifting weights. For his meals, Olds stick to using his MyFitnessPal to track his eating habits and ensuring he keeps a healthy outlook on food.

“It’s hard,” Olds said of maintaining the weight loss. “Maintaining is a lot harder than losing the weight, because when I first started losing weight, I had a goal to hit 200 pounds, and then when I hit that goal, I still couldn’t go back to eating how I was eating. That would defeat the purpose.”

Olds understands that while he has to maintain a healthier lifestyle, his diet can include a cheat meal now and then. He just can’t go over the edge.

“I really bettered my relationship with food,” he said. “I’m not always looking forward to my next meal. I think that’s where I didn’t see how I was really lacking, before, I could never have just one thing. I had to eat until I was disgusted with myself.”

From his weight to his mentality toward food to his everyday aches and pains, Olds said everything has improved.

“I wake up and feel good. I don’t hurt or anything. And then on the mental side of things, I’m so much more happy,” he said.

As for what he’d like other people looking to lose weight to know, Olds made it clear you can’t force it.

“I wouldn’t ever force someone to lose weight but didn’t want to. They have to want to lose weight for themselves. Until they’re ready to lose the weight they won’t stick with it,” he said. “I didn’t want to officially start losing weight until I wanted to. Until I found a purpose. For me, I just want to live.”

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