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    Posted August 18, 2014 by
    Pompton Plains, New Jersey
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Fat to Fit in One Year

    I was always a skinny kid; when I graduated high school in 1979, I weighed about 120 pounds. After college, however, I began to gain weight. Every few years, I'd do some kind of diet and lose a few pounds, but then inevitably slide back into overeating.

    I stepped on the bathroom scale on June 24, 2013, and saw that I weighed nearly 210 pounds (I'm 5'8"). And since I hadn't been on the scale for a while, I knew at some point I must have weighed closer to 220.. I decided then and there that I was through being overweight.

    That day I started cutting back on calories, eating salads for lunch and reducing the amount of sugar and carbohydrates I was consuming. Instead of a bacon-and-egg sandwich for breakfast, I'd have a protein shake.

    About two weeks later, I began going to the gym, just walking on the treadmill for a half-hour at a time. The weight began to come off again.

    On August 1, I took my first class at Jersey Strength Systems, a privately-owned gym. The owner runs a 5:30 a.m. class twice a week, and an 8:00 a.m. class on Saturdays. I committed to going three times a week.

    The strength training consists of various body-weight exercises along with kettle bell work and things like rope climbing.

    In early October, I ran my first 5K race. I really wasn't sure I'd make it, but I finished in about 35 minutes. Just a few weeks later, I ran my second. I was still doing strength training three times a week, and the treadmill the other days.

    Since then, I've run a total of 24 races, including two Spartan races and three other obstacle/mud races. I try to get in some kind of competitive race each weekend. In a few weeks, I'll be running a Super Spartan, eight miles up and down a mountain, the course filled with tough obstacles.

    In just a year, I lost nearly 50 pounds. But that's not all--I lost eight inches off my waist, and have packed on lots of muscle. I'm not just thin--I'm fitter than I've ever been in my life. I feel great about how I look, and have every intention of building on my progress going forward.

    Thanks to the encouragement of my strength-training classmates, I've transformed my body. And now others are telling me I've inspired them to begin exercising.

    I'm 53 years old, and I'm told I look ten years younger. Fat to fit in just a year--imagine what the years to come will bring!
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