HOMETOWN: Sterling, Virginia
FAMILY: My significant other, Valerie
What prompted you to start working out?
One day I noticed that the newspaper obituaries were full of faces with big double chins like mine. I wondered about them. They were people who were looking forward to years of laughing, crying, celebrating, learning, loving…living. Having been morbidly obese for 15 years, my time to die was coming. I was 40 years old in October 2009, and on a day I felt "good" about myself, the scale still said I was 285 pounds (at 5-foot-7). I never weighed myself in "bad" periods, but I'm sure I must have exceeded 300. I resolved to try again to bring my weight down in winter 2009.
MORE: Follow us during Weight Loss Week, where our experts offer tips guaranteed to jump-start your 2014 goals!
How did you start?
I applied common sense about portion control, vegetables, and avoiding typical junk food. And I tried a coed fitness boot camp