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    Posted April 29, 2014 by
    Rochester, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

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    154 pounds lost... A new life gained

    I've been overweight for most of my life. I graduated high school at 250lbs, but as a mostly in-shape football player. I met my wife in college and got married before my senior year started. As life went on and difficulties came, the scale read higher and higher. I didn't know I was putting on all of the weight that I was, but I certainly knew I didn't feel well. After losing my father to liver disease and having my daughter born two weeks later I began to think that a change was necessary. That change didn't officially start until the following Christmas when the scale read 343lbs. At that point I made my goal to once again reach 250lbs, my high school weight.

    Right after I started on my journey I visited the doctor for a physical and asked him to check my blood sugar, which read 273 in the office. Alarmed, he immediately put me on metformin and diagnosed me with diabetes (which runs in my family). I promised myself that this disease would not defeat me.

    I worked out 5 days per week with strength training and treadmill walking. I tracked all of my calories using MyFitnessPal. Being extremely diligent, I began to see the weight come off, typically between 1-3 pounds per week. Treadmill walking turned into jogging, which turned into running. I was (and still am) very strict about my daily calorie intake. After dropping 40lbs in 4 months I visited my doctor again. He was shocked at my progress and reduced my metformin dose to once per day. My blood sugar was getting under control.

    I continued to work hard and set realistic goals for myself. I also completely changed the way that I cooked and approached food in general. I still loved to eat, but I made it a fun challenge to create delicious food that was completely healthy, even dessert. I knew that for my new outlook to stick, I had to change my life. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but with consistency is completely achievable.

    I used fitness challenges to keep myself motivated. These included distance running races, new strength training personal bests, and participating at a high level in sports. Eventually I visited my doctor again and heard the beautiful words: "You have officially cured yourself of diabetes." Not only that, but I was taken off of cholesterol and blood pressure medication too. He trotted me out in front of everyone in the office that day exclaiming “this guy actually did it! He lost over 100 pounds and cured himself!” What a thrilling feeling.

    Having now officially lost 154 pounds, I continue to set goals for myself. I continue to participate in endurance sports including long-distance running and cycling as well as triathlon. I want to use my success to show others that it is possible to change your life! Members of my workplace and church have asked me for advice on starting a healthy lifestyle. It's an amazing feeling when others call you their inspiration. I could not have done this without strength from the Lord, support of my family, and the birth of my little girl... I wanted to be here to walk her down the aisle one day.

    Starting weight: 343
    Ending weight: 189
    Total loss: 154 pounds
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