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Man Whose Yoga Photo Went Viral Lost Weight and Self-Hate, Gained Self-Esteem and Self-Love

in YD News

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We learn even more about the inspiring story of yoga newbie Richard Widmark.

At age 38, Richard Widmark weighs close to 700 pounds. He’s already lost weight practicing yoga, but that’s not really all that matters. Because, through yoga, Richard Widmark has also felt encouraged to think more positively about himself, to make healthier choices and to take steps to improve his life.

raw-experience-yoga-every-bodyWe met Richard when we came across his photo (seen right) shared around on facebook. His accompanying words about working to overcome years of self-hate and his astonishment at how his teacher saw the worth in his pose when he, at first glance, only felt disgust, was something that really struck home with us. Widmark then wrote, “Years of hating myself won’t go away over night, but with the help of supportive friends I’ll get there. Yoga is for EVERY BODY.” Yeah, man. This, we thought, is what matters.

In a recent interview with Richmond CBS affiliate WTVR, Widmark explained that he’s had a history of eating as a method of self-comfort and has been dealing with the consequences both physically and emotionally for years.

“As the years went by, I started losing friends, which made me have a lot more time to myself,” said Widmark. “Then, my friends are getting married having kids and here’s me — a big failure at life.”

At one point he was at such a low that he attempted suicide, he said.

However, his life began to turn around when he decided to make healthier choices and started documenting his raw food diet adventures through his The Raw Xperience blog and YouTube channel. This led Widmark to yoga because he happened to know someone who taught at a local studio, and he preferred being encouraged instead of being disciplined or, rather, shouted at in a boot camp-style fitness class likely found at a gym.

So far, his yoga practice has helped him lose about 20 pounds in a couple of months, but just being healthy is what’s most important to him, he says. He’s lost weight and self-hate, but he’s gained self-esteem.

“I feel amazing for doing it. And I hope that everybody does yoga,” he said.

Meanwhile, a group of his supporters are helping to raise money for him to travel to see mega motivational speaker Tony Robbins. The GoFundMe page explains:

Our friend Richard hasn’t had the easiest life (to say the least), but for the last couple of years he’s been trying to better his health taking it one day at a time. There have been many ups and downs and despite the wonderful person that he is, it’s often been a lack of self-love that has made him give up on himself over and over again. After years of struggling, he recently decided to overcome one of his biggest fears and attended a Yoga class.

Tony Robbins or not, we adore the outpouring of support and care that people clearly have for this man – the YD facebook page has never been so full of love! – and we wish him all the best on his journey. Thank you, sir, for helping to share the message that yoga is and can be for every body. Practice on.


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9 comments… add one
  • Wow, what a touching story! Yoga is a wonderful way to reconnect with your body and learn to love yourself. A healthier and leaner body are a natural result. I love reading peoples success stories… especially life changing ones like this one.

  • Keep up the awesome work, Richard! You are an inspiration! Namaste. ~Maria

  • Yoga_Dude

    Good for him!

  • Awesome story!!!

  • Thank you for sharing your story, Richard. Yoga, indeed, does a lot of wonders – from keeping us healthy and increasing our confidence. I hope that a lot of other people would realize that. Continue being an inspiration! Namaste~

  • Dharna Ashar

    This is an amazing journey u decided to embark upon,and it is only YOU who’s going to eventually benefit from it. Don’t gv up,n be patient. Lots of us r proud of you!u make us yogi’s proud!! Namaste x peace and Light. Wish u well Richard xxx

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