As a child, Levi was bullied at school and struggled to build confidence, so he ended up taking comfort in food. “I was extremely shy, I couldn’t talk in front of people, I couldn’t talk to people,” he says.
In a new episode of Truly’s transformation series Brand New Me, Levi recalls how he continued to “eat his feelings” into adulthood, leading to a continuous weight gain that threatened his health. It wasn’t until he was 32 years old that Levi began to understand just how serious his situation was.
“I got to a point where I still would weigh myself every once in a while, and it would just say ‘error’ on the scale,” he says. “While at work one day, I passed out in the bathroom. I had a massive pain in my chest… I went [to the hospital] the next day, and my blood pressure was through the roof. They did an EKG on my heart, and they basically said that the next one’s going to be a massive heart attack. That’s when I found out I weighed 405 pounds.
“You’ve got to hit rock bottom before you actually see a change,” he continues. “I came home, and my grandson Julian, I looked at him, and I told that boy I will be there every step of the way. And that was the day when everything changed.”
Over the next three years, by overhauling his diet and committing to exercising every single day, Levi ended up losing a total of 230 pounds—well over half his initial body weight. He currently eats 3,900 calories each day, as his level of physical activity is so high. This is due to a passion he discovered during his training: bodybuilding.
“I’ve always had an infatuation with bodybuilding, because I grew up watching wrestling,” he explains. “I told my wife, ‘I’m doing a physique competition… I’m going to get on stage in my underwear and pose!’ I did a bodybuilding competition in November 2019, I did my own prep, I did my own diet, and I got down to 175 pounds. I’m 6’1, so that’s very lean, very skinny. So I gained a little bit of weight back, and got up to a comfortable weight of 200 pounds.”
These days, Levi spends an hour and a half in the gym, every day, six days per week. He currently deadlifts 465 pounds, and is in the process of working his way up to 500, with a goal of 585.
“When I go and train, if I’m having a bad day, I never bring it home,” he says. “I want to be the best version of myself, mentally, physically, emotionally. I’m no longer that shy, lack of confidence kid. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I look better than I ever have, and I know it, and I own it.”
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