John Bryson: 60 pounds lighter

  • Age: 47
  • Family: Wife, Beth, and six children ages 3-11
  • Occupation: Pastor of Fellowship Memphis
  • Total weight loss: 60 pounds

For most of his life, weight had never been an issue for John Bryson. He played college sports, worked out fairly consistently, and ran the occasional half marathon to managed to maintain his health. But into his mid-forties, keeping weight off wasn’t as easy as it had been. By age 45 he was 50 pounds heavier, which needed to change.

“I asked myself how active I wanted to be 20 years down the road. I knew I wanted to be able to keep up with my six children, and in order to do that, I needed to get my health in check,” he said.

John joined Iron Tribe in East Memphis In November 2014. Iron Tribe is a competitive group fitness sport that centers on HIIT style training. With scalable levels to achieve, the fitness program cultivates a more diverse blend of athletes from kids to seniors. John went to Iron Tribe classes four days a week and immediately loved the atmosphere.

“Iron Tribe provided me with coaching, a community, and a schedule to follow,” he said. “There’s no substitute for a community of other individuals who are working on their health and wellness to help you push yourself harder.” To keep himself on track, John schedules the classes in his calendar 60-90 days in advance. “Going to Iron Tribe classes has become part of my weekly routine. If I schedule time for it, just like I schedule time for anything else, I make it a priority to be there.”

Since joining two years ago, John has lost 60 pounds, going from a size XXL shirt and 40” waist to to a size Large shirt and 34” waist. Once reaching his goal, John donated all of his old clothing to charity.

“I knew that if I gained the weight back, it would be expensive to buy new clothes, so getting rid of the larger clothes is another way to hold myself accountable to maintaining my weight.” In addition to Iron Tribe classes, John has journaled all of his meals with MyFitnessPal app for more than 650 days, which he credits with helping him eat enough protein and healthy fat while staying in his calorie range. On average, John eats 1,800-2,000 calories per day and noticed a drastic change in his energy levels.

“I have a much better quality of life now. I’m able to keep up with my kids, and we get out and do activities as a family much more often.” In addition to Iron Tribe, John joins his family for a walk or bike ride once a week. “I had to make a lifestyle change for my wife and children’s sake. I want to be active and energetic as they get older.”

By Christin Yates. Photo by Baxter Buck.

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