A man began his weight loss journey after his 3-year-old son made an innocent comment about how big he had become.

Jason Henriques told Today.com that he and son Wyatt, then 3, were playing on the dining room floor when Wyatt said, “When I get big like you, I want a big tummy like you.”

Man shares simple lifestyle changes that helped him lose weight naturally

 

At the time, Henriques was 37, and his obesity was seriously affecting his health. He struggled with asthma, allergies, herniated discs, torn ligaments in his knees and gastrointestinal problems like colitis, gastritis and gallbladder issues.

His son’s comment was like an epiphany for Henriques.

Man shares simple lifestyle changes that helped him lose weight naturally

The next day, with Wyatt in a stroller, the father of three set out for a long walk. He covered 3 to 12 miles a day during his daily walks until the winter weather in Connecticut found him looking for alternative paths to fitness.

After joining a gym and taking advantage of free personal-training services, Henriques was introduced to rowing machines.

“I was in a routine of walking, jogging and cycling. Rowing shook it up, and change is hard sometimes,” he told Today.com.

“But I loved it because it didn’t have the impact of running or cycling on my joints. I felt great.”

Henriques, now 44, appreciates the balance that running and rowing provide.

Man shares simple lifestyle changes that helped him lose weight naturally

“Rowing is the perfect counterpart to running because you can build your endurance on the rower without the impact. And once you hit the streets, you can use rowing as recovery from your running,” he said.

He recently completed a 48-mile row, rowing 4 miles every four hours for 48 hours.

In the first year of his health journey, Henriques lost 160 pounds.

“I just fell in love with the whole world of fitness and how I felt afterwards,” he said.

In the subsequent years, his gastrointestinal issues subsided, his joint pain vanished, and his allergies and asthma abated. While he still has herniated discs, core strengthening exercises, including rowing, have helped him build the muscle needed to protect his spine.

 

Man shares simple lifestyle changes that helped him lose weight naturally

 

In addition to physical exercise, Henriques revolutionized his relationship to food. He and his wife rid their home of junk food, and with the aid of a food diary, he discerned which foods aggravated his gastrointestinal issues.

Henriques and his family also began paying more attention to where their food is sourced. Though buying fresh, local and organic items comes at a steeper cost than the processed and packaged foods he was consuming before, he said it is a price he is more than willing to pay.

“I’m investing in my health now versus having to spend the money on health care later. I’m investing in the quality of my life,” he explained.

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