Larry Evans at 800 pounds (left) and after months of diet and exercise
Courtesy of Larry Evans

Everyone’s fitness journey has a different starting point. Some people want to lose weight to look good in clothes, some are getting ready for an upcoming event, and others may want to look and feel stronger. Larry Evans, 38, decided to lose weight because he wanted to keep living.

As the father of a 16-year-old daughter, the St. Louis man used to pray that he would live to see his baby girl walk across the stage at her high school graduation. Once that happened, he said, he would be content with dying. But after a heart-to-heart conversation with his brother, Evans decided that he needed to get out of his box of depression and take his life back.

Evans had lost control of his weight after graduating from high school, where, for four years, he played football as a defensive lineman. He never really knew how much he weighed until a scary moment when he woke up in the hospital and was told him that he was 800 pounds.

More than two-thirds of adults in America are overweight or obese, with 1 in 5 deaths linked to excess weight. Evans was getting sick from toxins that were released by his sleep apnea machine. That’s when he decided it was time to make a change. He and some friends decided to embark on the popular 30-Day Squat Challenge in March of this year.


But daily workouts weren’t the only change in Evans’ lifestyle. Evans loved bread, sugar and cheese. He used to put put sugar on everything. After making the decision to improve his life, Evans stopped piling on the sugar and began to count calories.

It has not been an easy battle. He says that he overcomes an obstacle every day. On the days he doesn’t want to exercise, he looks in the mirror and reminds himself that he owes it to himself to get to the gym and work out. He owes it to himself to make healthier food choices. He owes it to himself to choose life.

Through videos embedded in his Facebook page, Evans has decided to publicly share his struggle with a growing number of accountability partners. Many people who are losing weight keep things a secret or share only the good news with others, but Evans reveals it all proudly.

After a workout showing him doing a bench press went viral, his “like” numbers exploded and he became an inspiration to thousands of people. When asked what advice he had for others searching for their own motivation, he told The Root, “It’s about movement. Every little thing counts.”


Evans’ most recent weigh-in was 587 pounds. He’s down 213 pounds from March of this year without the use of diet pills, surgery or medical intervention. Using proper diet and exercise, Evans has lost 26.6 percent of his original weight. With his motto of “Get up, get out and do something,” this man who once considered giving up is inspiring folks from all walks of life to keep living.

Aaronica Cole writes about health, fitness and raising her family. Inspiring others is her passion. You can read her blog at Mom With the Blog.