Growing up, Michael Sebti was bullied for his weight. At his heaviest—nearly 445 pounds—he wore black clothes to hide his body, even in the summer. “People would laugh at me,” he says.
In a recent episode of Truly’s transformation series Brand New Me, Sebti, 24, detailed his remarkable weight loss journey and how he managed to drop 286 pounds in just two years. After deciding to make a change, Sebti says he first drew motivation primarily from the negativity that surrounded him at the time. “The people who used to criticize me,” he says, “became my fuel during my workouts.”
In the video, Sebti can be seen boxing, cycling, and performing lunges, but he doesn’t credit any one activity—or even dietary change—for his dramatic weight loss. Instead, he takes a more holistic view: “Ninety-nine percent of weight loss is your mind,” he says. “Once your mind is ready, losing weight is not so complicated.”
As the pounds began to melt away, Sebti says, the biggest obstacle he dealt with was loose skin, which required three surgeries to remove. Following those procedures, however, he’s now satisfied with the result.
Now, Sebti says, he wants to take up bodybuilding—noting the irony of working hard to gain weight after spending the better part of two years losing it.”My goal now is to completely rebuild my body,” he says.
As a final word of advice for anyone looking to begin their own weight loss journey, Sebti concludes with a simple, but powerful maxim: Believe in yourself. “Each time people criticize you, put you down,” he says, “use them as fuel for your workout and fuel for your goals.”
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