If you met David and Andre Cowan today, you’d have no clue they used to struggle with their health.

Saturday night leg day with my bro

A photo posted by David Cowan Jr (@dlcj21) on

David topped the scales at 435 pounds but says he probably weighed more and just didn’t take the time find out the truth.

“I set a goal to be at 250 by my birthday this year, and I went to 248 by my birthday last year-- which is a whole year early,” says David. “I didn’t expect it to come off that quick.”

Today, November 2nd, marks month 23 since I started living my healthy and active lifestyle. I started at 435 pounds and today I'm 221. Total loss of 214 pounds. To put it in perspective the white shirt I was wearing was a size 6xl and the pants were a size 60. Today I wear a medium and size 34. The scale hasn't really been my focus anymore, I hit 221 back in June and began to focus on lifting heavy and building muscle mass. I began eating more and bulked up to 237. 2 months ago I really locked in on my nutrition and began prepping regularly and for the most part do not deviate from my prep. I also began to focus more on form and technique while lifting and the gains I'm seeing are ridiculous. I lost 16 pounds of fat and I have built muscle so I'm much more tone. I've also hit goals as far as cardio. I ran 5 miles without stopping last month as well as ran my fastest mile to date under 7:30. I'd really like to see how much I can improve on that time but with my 2 leg days a week, it's hard to focus on endurance running so I just focus on shorter high intensity cardio sessions a few times a week so that I can still build muscle and get the health benefits from cardio. Of everything I'm still shocked that I'm this far along, my original goal when I started was to be to 250 by the end of this year but I hit 248 at the end of last year. At times I still can't believe that it's me when I look in the mirror. If I can do it, you can do it! Just approach it as I did and start out by making changes you can sustain for life. We can do anything for a short period of time if it's hard but after a while we'll go back to our old habits. If you make changes and find healthy alternatives that you enjoy, it'll be much easier to sustain for life and you won't fall back into those old habits. Just set goals and as my buddy Adrian (@adriancpt1) told me before I started, make sure each decision you make gets you closer to your goal then further away and you'll be successful. Here's to a new month!

A photo posted by David Cowan Jr (@dlcj21) on

David started his weight loss journey in 2014 and along the way convinced his brother Andre to join in.

“I was kind of hesitant,” said Andre. “I was the type of person that was like, ‘Ah, I don’t need to do it.’”

In fact, Andre did need to do it. He had high blood pressure and weighed 320 pounds at his highest recorded weight.

“I’ve been off my medication for about 18 months now, and I feel great,” said Andre.

The two didn’t use shortcuts or gimmicks. They say they tracked what they ate and lifted weights every day for at least 30 minutes. Cardio is an addition, but it’s not the main focus. David, who works as an analyst, says his research led him to lift weights because it helps burn calories all through the day and then some. In fact, he says when he broke his arm and could only do cardio for a while, he gained nine pounds.

Related: Dave and Andre's 10 tips for jumpstarting weight loss in 2017 and a sample meal plan

“Lifting is where it’s at,” said David. “Weight lifting helps increase your metabolism because you’re tearing your fibers. While your fibers are repairing, your body uses fat cells.”

Though the two work out as much as they can, they do a lot of the heavy lifting in the kitchen. David and his son live in a house in Puyallup, and when the house next door to him became vacant, Andre and his family moved in. The two now spend a lot of time cooking clean dishes like chicken and broccoli while getting in family time.

“We honestly talk every day,” said David.

David and Andre work out in several places, but L.A. Fitness in Puyallup seems to be their hub. When they work out, random people walk up to congratulate them on their progress.

Got in a good workout with my bro earlier on a chill Friday night.

A photo posted by David Cowan Jr (@dlcj21) on

The brothers are dreaming of a time when they can become personal trainers or even open their own gym. David has already been helping people in the 400-pound range lose weight on the program he created for himself. David says he's helped one man lose nearly 70 pounds.

Still, that doesn’t mean they want to be at the gym all the time.

“There are days I don’t want to come in,” said David. “There are days I’d rather just lay in bed. There are days I’m like ‘I’m not going in' and I’m like what am I doing? It’s a lifestyle. You have to define what you want for yourself.”

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