How This Man Lost 100 Pounds, One Small Change at a Time

DailyBurn Success Stories: Sean McKinley

Get inspired by these DailyBurn success stories, which showcase real people who committed to fitness and saw results that were way beyond average.

Sean McKinley’s life-changing moment happened in the simplest of ways — while playing with his then four-year-old daughter. “We were running outside trying to fly a kite and I realized I couldn’t run around very well,” McKinley, 31, says. “Just realizing I had gotten to the point that I couldn’t run with my daughter anymore was a wake up call.”

Though he’d struggled with his weight for years, McKinley says it was after high school that he really started to pack on pounds. Busy with work and family, light housework became his only form of exercise in his otherwise sedentary lifestyle. By his late 20s, the 6’ 2” systems administrator weighed 320 pounds.

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It’s not that McKinley didn’t try to lose weight — he just never found a program that felt sustainable. “Through work, there’d be [corporate] weight loss challenges and I could easily drop 30 pounds by trying a little,” McKinley says. “But I’d gain it right back because I wasn’t making the lifestyle changes.”

While he wasn’t a fast food guy, he ate a lot of processed foods and dined out at restaurants often. “I’d have a soda, an appetizer, a meal and then dessert, and I’d have ice cream almost three times a week,” he recalls. Controlling his portions was also a problem — as was resisting the donuts from the popular bakery in his town.

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Starting as a True Beginner

“It’s like a badge of honor when you check out to have only three items that aren’t produce.”

Soon after realizing he needed to make a change, McKinley saw a commercial for DailyBurn on Hulu. He signed up for a free 30-day trial and decided to start with the True Beginner program. After being inactive for so long, his first workout was a challenge — but he felt good about it afterwards. “I was happy with myself that I was successful in doing it and [that] it was actually a workout I could do.”

Modifications were McKinley’s saving grace in the beginning. “For one of the stretches you could use a towel to reach your hands behind your back,” he recalls. He also relied on a chair to help him keep his balance.

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Knowing he had to make more permanent changes this time around, McKinley also started making minor tweaks to his eating habits. “I slowly started incorporating more vegetables and fruit into my diet,” he says. There would be no crash dieting this time. “It was definitely a slow process.” While enacting these small changes, McKinley completed a few rounds of the eight-week True Beginner program. Once he was 40 pounds down, he was ready to push himself further.

Taking His Fitness to the Next Level

With a lot of weight still left to lose, McKinley decided to take on a tougher workout. He chose Cardio Sculpt. “All of those trainers did a great job making sure you push yourself, but [let you know] it isn’t a bad thing if you’re starting out at level one.” Now that he was challenging himself in his workouts, he decided to make more [dramatic] dietary changes, too.

McKinley started doing the grocery shopping for his family, and made sure to stock his cart with lots of whole foods. “We used to purchase a lot of processed food and now my cart is probably 90 percent produce when I leave,” McKinley says. “It’s a badge of honor when you check out to have only like three items that aren’t produce.”

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“I did slow diet changes and also a slow exercise progression…or I would have burned out and given up.”

Managing his portion sizes became a big priority, too. “[My wife and I] used to have a New York strip steak each, but now we split one in half and eat it,” McKinley says. “…Before, if I was having hamburgers, I’d have two hamburgers if I was hungry, but now I’ll just have twice as many vegetables.”

Choosing broccoli over burgers paid off — and McKinley was seeing big results on the scale. “I was getting a lot of comments wherever I’d go on how much better I looked. The peer support definitely helped.” Eventually, he moved on to DailyBurn’s Tactical Bodyweight Training program. “It was really tough when I first switched, but I worked my way up,” he says.

Maintaining Major Weight Loss

Fifteen months after starting DailyBurn and changing his diet, McKinley is more than 100 pounds lighter, weighing in between 210 and 215 pounds. He’s still doing DailyBurn workouts to stay toned and maintain his new weight, but he feels happy about his body. Best of all, he can keep up with his daughter and younger son. “I’m running around outside with her; we dance around.” McKinley says.

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He was also finally able to escape his cycle of yo-yo dieting and make changes that he felt could last long-term. “A lot of people try to jump into it all at once and say they are going to do all this to see change quickly,” McKinley says. “For me, I did slow diet changes and also a slow exercise progression. I think that’s what allowed me to continue or I would have burned out and given up on myself a long time ago.”

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Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. DailyBurn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week. For those seeking to lose weight, keep in mind that extreme weight loss can be harmful to your health if done improperly or too suddenly. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or weight loss program.