Amazing #TeamDrew Transformation – My Brother in Law Mentioned in My Book

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Many of you may remember my brother-in-law James. I mention him in my book as he was part of the reason I decided to start this journey. James and his wife Kristin are both working hard to lose weight and become healthier. Kristin's journey is being charted on my wife's blog.

I wanted people to see the amazing progress James has made so far. He's still on his journey and I will continue to update everyone on his progress.

Beginning Weight: 348 lbs                                                            Current Weight 2/25/13: 280

Beginning Pant Size: 50"                                                               Current Pant Size: 42"

Here is James' story:

Have you ever been in a doctor’s office and they say “you really need to lose some weight"? If I had a dime for every time my doctor told me that I would be a millionaire. The funny thing is it is true.

I am 42 years old, married and have three children under the age of three. If you have been following Kristin’s Journey you pretty much have my back story.

I wasn’t always overweight, it’s really only been the last 13 yrs that I have let myself go. When I was in high school I weighed 170 pounds and was pretty active. I didn’t start putting on weight until I was 30, when I got into a motorcycle accident that put me in the hospital for a week and then recovery for another month. I gained 30 pounds from just sitting around doing nothing. Then a year later my mom died and I decided to go and help the family. I wasn’t working and was eating the normal American diet of fried foods and junk food. I gained more weight. 

Fast forward to a few years ago when my brother-in law Drew Manning had a crazy idea to gain 70 pounds in six months and then lose it in six months to show people that the American diet can put weight on anyone pretty fast. He was going to show how to lose the weight with a healthy lifestyle. I remember thinking how crazy that would be for Drew, a totally in shape person, to do that to his body.

My turning point was when my family and I were on vacation at Sea World a year ago and I was told that I was too big to go on a ride. Imagine the horror and shame you would feel having to exit a ride you won’t be able to enjoy. I took it pretty hard and remember vowing to myself that day this would never happen to me again.  A few weeks later I decided to start eating healthy by following some of the examples that Drew had posted to his website. In just a month I had lost 20 pounds and decided that I can do this.

It hasn’t been easy losing the weight, but it has been worth it. I didn’t tell anyone about trying to lose weight until I had lost 40 pounds and knew I had this lifestyle thing down to a science. There is always temptation around me from work and at family parties. With my job I am constantly seeing food that is unhealthy and at first it was tough.

Before I started living a healthy lifestyle a normal day would consist of driving thru the McDonalds for breakfast and getting an extra large coke so it would last me to my first stop of the day. Then I would drink at least three more 44 oz. Mountain Dews for the day. I remember after I had lost 50 pounds I sat and figured my daily calorie intake was over 5000 calories a day. My job requires me to drive a lot and I am in and out of accounts that have all kinds of foods right there tempting you to eat them. Now I just think how healthy I am and it isn’t worth eating the junk food.

A few reasons why it was important for me to lose the weight were so that I would be around for my kids when they got older. My dad died when I was 21 and he wasn’t able to be there when I got married or had children. I want to be able to dance at my daughter’s wedding and be a football coach for my son. I want to be able to go to an amusement ride and not be asked to get off the ride. I want to be able to grow old with my wife and play with my grandchildren.

The Journey is far from being over. I still have over 80-100 pounds to go to get to my desired weight. My goal is to be at 180 pounds in the next year. With the encouragement of my wife, extended family, friends, and a new healthy lifestyle I know that this goal is within my reach.

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