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    Posted October 21, 2011 by
    Moncks Corner, South Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Charleston, SC man loses 270 pounds without surgery


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     BryanGaney says the best thing about losing all this weight is waking up every day and realizing that he doesn't weigh 577 pounds anymore.
    - JacqueCNN, CNN iReport producer

    Watch my YouTube video here: S.C. Man loses 270 pounds on his own: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxb5IkLeW5k


    On 6/20/2010, I was hospitalized for 6 days for a pulmonary embolism (blood clots in my lungs) and I very nearly lost my life. I weighed 577 pounds.


    Enough was enough. I was ready to take my life back.  Doctor after Doctor pushed weight-loss surgery, but I refused. I knew after being in the hospital for 6 days that I didn't want to go back.  I knew what I had to do and I knew the only way to do it right was the hard way.


    For the last 18 months, I have embraced a total lifestyle change through diet and exercise. No gimmicks, no pills, no special foods.  Just good old-fashioned common sense.  It turns out it really is true: if you use more energy than you take in, you will lose weight.


    I started out pushing a grocery cart around the store, since I wasn't able to walk on my own.  After a time, I graduated to walking back and forth to the mailbox at the end of my driveway.  Soon I was going on long distance walks several miles long.


    I joined the gym at my job and with the help of a personal trainer, work out 3 times a week. I measure my portions. I eat about 5 or 6 meals a day totalling 2,500 calories. I write everything down.  Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lowfat dairy and lean meats.  And all I drink is water. Lots and lots of water.


    And here I am, 270 pounds later. I still have more to lose, but I am sharing my story to give other people hope.  You might choose to, but you don't really need to have life-threatening surgery to lose large amounts of weight.


    I maintain a blog about my weight loss experiences at http://www.ganey.com.

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