(NEW YORK) — A professional poker player shed 70 pounds after his buddies bet him $1 million that he could not drop down to just 10 percent body fat in six months.
Walter Fisher, 36, said that he blamed his recent weight gain on the fact that he mostly worked in a casino, telling ABC News, “They have all these amazing, wonderful, rich restaurants and I just started ordering by the truckload: veal Parmesan, pastas.”
“The weight piled on,” he said. “I was looking in the mirror and I didn’t know who this person was.”
Fisher said that eight months ago he tipped the scale at 245 pounds. Around the same time, he said a few big losses at the poker table left him more than half a million dollars in debt.
Some of his gambling buddies then challenged him with a $1 million bet that he could not get his body down to just 10 percent body fat in six months.
Fisher says he went “all-in,” hitting the gym for up to 10 hours a day and eating clean. He even hired a personal trainer, Chris DiVecchio.
“He was down, down on his luck,” DiVecchio, the owner of Premier Mind & Body in Los Angeles, said of Fisher at the time they started working together. “But at the same time I could see that light behind his eyes.”
After five-and-a-half months of grueling hard work, Fisher reached his goal and weighed-in at 175 pounds. He also walked away with $600,000.
People with financial motivation are five times more likely to meet their weight-loss goals than people without a cash incentive, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Fisher said for him, however, that money wasn’t the main motivator that helped him lose weight, saying that he wanted to be someone his young nephews and nieces could look up to.
“I wanted to be around my nephews and nieces and … give them .. the uncle they should look up to, not somebody who is a mess,” Fisher said. “Money shouldn’t be the motivating factor.”
Fisher said his life has changed for the better since his dramatic transformation, and adds that he thinks there is no way he’ll ever gain that weight back. But if he does, he says he will just make another bet.
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