In November of 2017, Vance Hinds weighed 215 Kilograms. Today, he hovers around 126.
He lost around 90 kilos in 14 months: a weight loss so dramatic, it’s usually reserved for TV. In this case, you can watch Hinds' weight-loss journey on YouTube, where it’s been viewed over 24 million times.
His motivation for losing weight and posting about it? The Joe Rogan Experience.Specifically, podcast-regular and comedian, Bert Kreischer, who announced on Joe Rogan that he would run a 5K with only two and half weeks of training.
“Of the four [regular hosts], Bert is the most relatable to me,” Hinds says. “He’s a partying frat boy from Florida. He’s a huge drinker. Huge partier. He lives life to the fullest.” A 1997 issue of Rolling Stone dubbed Bert Kreischer, then a 6th year FSU student, “The Nation’s Top Partier.”
“If [Bert] can run a half marathon, I can get my fat ass off this chair make the video and tag it," Hinds says.
The next morning, Hinds, then a 52-year-old lawyer from Waxahachie, Texas, instagrammed a video of himself standing on a scale in his underwear at 215 kilos. “Well that’s the starting point,” he says, looking into the camera. Hinds tagged Joe Rogan and all his regular guests. Bert was the only one who responded.
“[My wife] jumped all over me for posting that on Instagram. She thought I was gonna get fired,” he laughs. His boss, it turns out, was very supportive. “People were coming out of the wood work that I hadn’t seen for years. And once that started happening. It was like a snowball effect.”
Hinds credits his success to DDP Yoga, a nutrition and exercise program self-described as “not your mama’s yoga.” The logo is a fist smashing through the “o” in “yoga.”
“Make sure to say ‘DDP Yoga’ when you write this. Not just yoga,” Vance stresses. “He hates that.” He is Diamond Dallas Page, the founder of DDP Yoga and former WWE wrestler. Hinds emails him a daily food and exercise journal.
Hinds is no longer the guy on the airplane that “no one wants to sit next to,” but he’s still himself. Loud. Confident. A total Bert. He reflected on life at his previous size: “At a certain point, you become invisible. You look at people and they look away. I don’t think people understand how hard it is getting dressed. Feeling like you’re in a straight jacket. Feeling people looking at you and making fun of you.” He talks about broken chairs, untied shoes, and stores that don’t carry your size. “The world’s not made for people at this weight.”
Is Hinds worried about gaining weight back given all the attention he’s received? After all, a study that looked at Biggest Loser contestants found that six years after the show, 13 out of 14 contestants studied had regained weight.
“Everyone’s telling me I’m an inspiration. If I gain weight, I’m letting down all those people,” Hinds says. He gained 4 pounds last week. “But it’s like my neighbor’s dog, FiFi. [you] kick some grass on it and walk away from that shit.”
This article originally appeared on Men's Health