Chris Tarpos was born and raised in Stoney Creek, Ontario. He loves making people laugh. And he has a huge crush on Hilary Duff (who he has met again and again and again). At his highest weight, Chris was 350 pounds.
In October 2014, Chris started his weight loss journey. Now he wants to share his experience on his Instagram page @chrisgotfit and motivate others to do the same. Since starting his page just over a month ago, Chris has received messages of endearment and questions from others seeking advice. When he posted a before-and-after photo of himself on Facebook, he was overwhelmed with the messages of support from friends and family.
Chris says he started gaining weight when he was 8 years old – but he doesn’t have a sad weight loss story. “I was a happy kid. Sure I woke up everyday hating my body but I didn’t let it affect me. I didn’t hate myself. I hated how I looked.” Now he goes to the gym five days a week for two hours per day (one hour of cardio and one hour of weights), and is an advocate for the book, Whole30. At his current weight of 230 pounds, Chris says he has another 40 pounds to lose before his plastic surgery to remove excess skin. We sat down with Chris to talk about his journey.
This week’s #transformationtuesday post. August 2014 (left) compared to March 2017 (right). 125 pounds weight loss before and after. Never stop believing in yourself. I sure didn’t. 💪🏻 (💇🏻♂️: @roger.gaudreau) . . . . #tuesdaytransformation #performanceinspired #performinspired #tradeup #nutrition #weightloss #weightlossmotivation #weightlosstransformation #fit #fitfam #fitspo #fitspiration #fitness #instafit #cardio #weightlifting #weighttraining #bodybuilding #bodybuilder #muscle #gym #gains #weights #toronto #hamilton #canada #proteinshake #bcaas #preworkout
How did you start this process to change your lifestyle?
During the first six months (from Oct 2014-May 2016), I went to the gym 2-3 times per week but didn’t change my eating habits. I didn’t want it to be overwhelming at first. I lost about 30-40 pounds in those first 6 months. I found the book Whole30 in May 2015 and started eating a strict diet of chicken, fish, salmon, fruit, and vegetables, and eliminated carbs and sugars.
I really enjoy following Whole30. It’s not a diet because diets don’t work. It’s a lifestyle change and it’s helped a lot of people. All you have to do is eat real food. You don’t calorie count. You don’t restrict yourself. You just follow Melissa Hartwig’s book (co-creator of Whole30). It’s like a cookbook and they have their inspiration on their Instagram page. There’s no check-in, you have to do it yourself. That forces you to be independent. It’s just a really good program that will make you be healthy and feel happy.
The girl who wrote it is amazing. I met her last January in Toronto and at that time I was down around 85 lbs. I saw her again this January and she didn’t realize who I was. I showed her a picture that we took of us in January 2016 and she started crying.
Being the size that I was, it was very difficult going to the gym, being out of breath all the time. I could barely lift anything. You think you’re strong because you’re bigger but you’re not strong at all.
Thank you to all of you who have followed my fitness journey on my Instagram page in the past month. I opened this page just over a month ago and have received the best feedback from it. To all of you who have sent me messages and e-mails telling me that I’m you’re inspiration or to keep killing it in the gym; thank you. I still have about 40 more pounds to lose until my skin removal surgery which will be less than a year from now, but I will keep pushing myself and my abilities the best that I can. The picture on the left was taken in June 2014 where I weighed 350 pounds. The picture on the right was taken in December 2017 where I was down to 230 pounds. That’s a 120 pound difference. I worked hard for that. I didn’t give up and I believed in myself. To any of you who need a boost, keep the following message in the back of your mind: think positively, excercise daily, eat healthy, work hard, stay strong, worry less, love often, and be happy. 🏋🏻💪🏻 (📷: @crystalxclarityy & @natashachase_creative) . . . . #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #weightlosstransformation #fitspiration #weightloss #extreamweightloss #fitspo #fitfam #slimmingworld #fitness #bbg #vsg #transformation #instafit #inspiration #fitnessmotivation #beforeandafter #healthyliving #cleaneating #determination #fitguys #fitguy #weightlosssupport #wlstories #supplments #protein #preworkout #bcaa #tradeup #toronto
Why did you start your Instagram page?
I started my Instagram page to be an inspiration to those who want to lose weight and get into shape. My page isn’t only directed to those who are overweight though. Thin people tell me all the time that my page inspired them to go to the gym. I received an email in January from someone in Toronto. He’s 23. He is overweight and looking to get into shape and looking at my page for inspiration. I offered to meet with him in person, so we met for coffee to talk about fitness, his experience, and what he should be eating. He was very thankful. His email was also really nice to read. If I can help one person, that would be amazing. Then my job is done.
Who has been your support throughout this process?
I met my friend Dom at a party in July 2014. He lost a bunch of weight so I asked him to train me. We trained for a year and a half.
My mom has been my number one support throughout this whole thing. She has been amazing. I think you need help in order to lose that much weight. I also get all these DMs [on Instagram] saying congratulations on your weight loss success and I don’t even know who these people are.
Even though we just met recently, Adam Lloyd from ALP Training Institute Inc. in Stoney Creek is now my mentor. He has been so supportive of me and my journey. I wish he was in my life earlier so that I could go to him for advice. He has such a positive energy that I can’t even explain. He opened up a new gym last year and it’s one of the best gyms that I go to. If anyone ever wants to try it out, Adam offers a free week trail. The address is: 2824 Barton St East, Hamilton.
For the past couple months, I have been working out at ALP Training Institue Inc. (@alptraining_institute) to help with my weight loss. Not only is this one of the nicest gym facilities in the Hamilton and Toronto area, but this gym really offers high quality and value in their equipment and services. This is something many gym corporations these days lack. The owner, Adam Lloyd (@alptraining), has been there for me for the past couple of months during my 120 pound weight loss. Not only has he made sure that I’ve been keeping track with my exercise and diet, but he has been there for me in every aspect to my weight loss journey. To anyone who is reading this, Adam is offering a free week to try out his gym. Since this institue is all about coming together a community and family, I suggest you take up this offer. You won’t regret it. Thanks to everyone at ALPTI (@alptraining_institue) for welcoming me with open arms and to all of the trainers who have helped me reach my goal. 🏋🏻💪🏻 (📷: @davefilice) . . . . #alp #alpti #alptraininginstitute #alpfamily #hamilton #toronto #gym #gymtime #workout #getstrong #bodybuilding #fitspiration #workoutwednesday #weightraining #strong #lift #weights #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #weightlossstory #weightlosssupport #weightlosstransformation #fit #fitfam #fitspo #fitness #transformation #inspiration #healthy
I was recently featured on Mark Wahlberg’s nutrition and supplement website and Facebook page for Performance Inspired. His team has been amazing to work with. They believed in me and my story. Mark Wahlberg even featured me on his own Facebook page to 17 million followers. Seeing him share my story has made my journey all worth it. It was so surreal seeing myself pop up on his page. He is one of my biggest inspirations and someone that I look up to, not only because he works in the television and film industry, but because he is an advocate for the health and fitness industry.
What are some of the challenges you faced?
I never felt pressured to be perfect, which is funny because I work in an [television and film] industry where so many people are “perfect,” or pretend to be perfect, or want to be perfect.
I’m Italian and Greek, so I was fed carbs. Eating pasta was my second language. When we were growing up, we weren’t taught properly about healthy foods. When you’re a kid, do you want an apple or a fruit rollup? Who wants an apple at the age of 8? Change comes from home in the kitchen and a lot of parents aren’t informed. Parents should make cooking fun with their children and teach them the importance of eating well. Be positive about it, tell them why they are eating the way they are eating for their future.
I’m very hard on myself. I have really bad guilt if I have a cheat meal. But you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating a chocolate bar. If you know you’re going to the gym tomorrow, you shouldn’t feel guilty. I sometimes get mad at myself when I eat something that I shouldn’t eat because I know I can do better than that.
How do you feel now?
I obviously like the way that I look now. I definitely suffer from body dysmorphia. When I look into the mirror I still see how I used to look. I was much more tired before, my sleeping patterns were awful, I used to get charlie horses in my legs. Now my body feels clean. It feels happier. My body feels like it’s always giving me a high five whereas before it always wanted to shut down all the time.
I am happy to announce that I am now a brand ambassador for League Of Lifters (@league_of_lifters). This company has the best superhero and pop culture workout gear, and all designs are original fan art! Shout-out to my boy, Nick (@nickzervos), for having me be part of the team. Another shoutout goes to my glam squad; Shelby (@shelbyhrach) and Michelle (@michellewielink) for the early morning photoshoot. If you would like to purchase your own amazing workout gear from League of Lifters, you can use my discount code: “ChrisGotFit” for 10% off your order! Go buy some stuff! You know you want to! Website and code in my Instagram bio. 🏋🏻💪🏻💥 (🌎: www.leagueoflifters.com) (📷: @shelbyhrach) . . . . #leagueoflifters #hulk #marvel #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #weightlosstransformation #transformation #transformationfitnation #gym #fit #fitfam #fitspo #fitspiration #fitness #instafit #gains #weightlifting #weighttraining #training #supplments #protein #preworkout #bcaa #bodybuilding #toronto #canada #workout #muscle #wellnesswednesday
What’s your typical day look like?
I consume 1500-2000 calories per day. I take protein everyday after the gym, pre workout, and vitamins – and always drink water with lemon.
Wake up: 8am
Breakfast: 4 eggs with grape seed or olive oil, a banana and a pre-workout
Gym: 2 hours
Post-gym: Protein shake
Lunch: tuna with 2% cottage cheese and sriracha sauce with an avocado or just a salad with tuna, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and onions
Snack: vegetables or fruit, like an apple or cucumber slices
Dinner: chicken or fish with veggies or another salad
Snack: natural Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey, cinnamon and blackberries
What’s your advice to others thinking of making a change?
Take it slow. Some people love to drink shakes to lose weight, or want gastric bypass, but that’s not the answer. People need to get up from the couch and go to the gym. Does it suck being there? Of course it does. Who wants to be at the gym? I love it now but there are some days I don’t want to go to the gym but I have to. Go with a friend. Make sure that you always bring your iPod or your phone as a source of music to listen to. When you’re at the gym, always remember to breathe in and breathe out.
Here is this week’s #throwbackthursday photo. The picture on the left was taken in May 2014. I weighed around 340 pounds here. I was in a rut around the time this was taken. The picture on the right was taken today, where I weighed in at almost 225 pounds. That’s a total weight loss of 125 pounds. Mark Wahlberg (@markwahlberg) has been someone that I looked up since the start of my weight loss journey. Just like Mark inspired me, I want someone to look at me and say, “Because of you, I didn’t give up.” 🏋🏻💪🏻 . . . . #tbt #beforeandafter #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #weightlossstory #weightlosssupport #weightlosstransformation #extreamweightloss #transformation #transformationfitnation #progress #fit #fitfam #fitspo #fitspiration #fitness #instafit #inspiration #cardio #weightlifting #weighttraining #gym #toronto #hamilton #canada #heathevans #nfl #tradeup
Favourite work-out song: “My Kind” by Hilary Duff
Favourite cheat meal: Pizza or sushi
Favourite quote: It’s from a movie with Mark Walburg called Pain and Gain: “Get a goal, get a plan, and get up off your ass.