Otis Orchards father, the “Incredible Shrinking Man,” loses 300 lbs. in under 18 months
OTIS ORCHARDS, Wash. — Alan Christiansen was an avid overeater. Food was his comfort. “I don’t do drugs. I don’t do alcohol,” Christiansen told KXLY. “I mean, my addiction was food. It still is. It’s something I fight daily.”
Alan was always a bigger guy. He played football and wrestled in high school and graduated at 310 lbs. But as he got older and less active, he got heavier and heavier.
“It started to hurt to be active and my habits just got the best of me to where I was just a shell of my former self,” he said.
“He was low energy. He wasn’t smiling a lot,” explained Nikole Christiansen, Alan’s wife. “He was just of going through the motions of life. He wasn’t living anything.”
Alan’s weight ballooned over 400 lbs., then 500. His pants were a size 60 waist.
“I could not stand to take a shower, because my back hurt too bad.”
But then, in December of 2016, at nearly 540 lbs., Alan decided enough was enough. His main motivation? His daughters, who he had no energy to play with, or even take care of, when he’d come home from work.
“I’d have to lay down. I mean, I was taking two hours naps. My wife goes to work. I had a three and a five year old at home, watching themselves,” he said. “And when that hit home, there just wasn’t no stopping me.”
Alan started eating six meals a day, cutting out sugar and carbs, drinking a gallon of water a day, and doing as much exercise as he could physically handle.
“I started losing weight and i’m like, I started feeling good again.”
And the weight started melting away. In the first two months, he lost more than 100 lbs.
“It was really fun to watch that transition from not wanting to do anything to really, really wanting to do it,” said his wife of almost 10 years.
In a year and a half, Alan went from barely being able to walk to his mailbox to going on five mile runs around Otis Orchards.
“The whole place is my playground now,” said Christiansen.
And he found strength by sharing his journey on Facebook.
“You make a few good choices and you start seeing results and you have support? Oh, man. You’ve got it made.”
Two weeks ago, Alan hit another milestone – more than 300 lbs. lost.
“I’m so grateful that I have my husband back,” said Nikole Christiansen.
But despite all that weight loss, Alan isn’t completely happy. It’s left him with massive amounts of loose skin.
“It is so gross to me,” said Christiansen. “It’s worse than all that fat was in my mind.”
On Wednesday, he had the first of three skin removal surgeries. Insurance won’t cover them, so friends have started a Go Fund Me account to help with the cost.
“I really, if I can figure out a way, want to do (the two additional surgeries),” said Christiansen. “So I can feel comfortable with my shirt off. I worked really hard to still not be happy.”
But he’s a million times more happy than he was a year and a half ago. And so are his wife and daughters.
“Before, I’d have to sit and watch and just be a spectator watching my girls grow up. And now, I get to live it with them,” exclaimed Christiansen.
“(To) see the light back in his eyes and see the smile back on his face and see that he’s comfortable with himself, it makes me really, really proud to be his wife.”
Alan is now a certified coach through his health program, Optavia. And so far, he says he’s helped over 30 people lose more than 2,000 lbs. combined.
And as for his pants? Alan says he’s now down to a size 38 waist from that size 60.
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