What They Gained by What They Lost

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Two more inspiring stories now in Healthwatch 16’s “What They Gained by What They Lost” reports.

Mike Farrell, 21, from the Back Mountain, showed us a picture of a person he doesn’t even recognize: a picture of himself from about about two years ago.

“I was 430 pounds,” he admits.

Mike said he’d always been the so-called ‘fat guy’ his whole life and says he was teased nearly every day in school. But it wasn’t until his first year of college when he says he decided to change his life.

“I was walking to the cafeteria, probably 500 yards, down steps. Not even up steps. By the time I got to the cafeteria I was out of breath and my back was hurting. I was in the cafeteria getting ready to eat, and I was in pain from eating too much.”

That began a new life for Mike. He started eating smaller food portions and exercising, alternating days of basketball or other activities and weight lifting with the help of a trainer. In a year and a half, he’d lost 160 pounds.

“I have a friend who’s 160 pounds, and when people ask how much I lost and I’m with him, I just point to him. That’s how much I lost!” he says.

Mike tells us his work isn’t done and admits he’d like to lose more. But he feels like his life has finally started.

“If I could give anyone advice it would be to start now. And just don’t stop.”

Maureen Fox of Pringle has a similar story. She says she’d always been physical, working in landscape maintenace. But when she hit 320 pounds, she knew something had to change.

“I thought life was good,” says Maureen. “But I realized I wasn’t really living life. I wasn’t really happy. I wasn’t feeling anything.”

For Maureen, it took only simple tweaks in her workout routine, but a totally new mindset about not using food as a crutch.

“I try to eat healthy. Everybody tries to eat healthy” she laughs. “You do the best you can, right?”

In 18 months, Maureen had dropped 130 pounds. She says she’d like to lose more, but now understands that it’s not about the number. What she loves is doing something every day that scares her, something the “old” Maureen woudn’t have even attempted.

“For me it’s baby steps. Even this interview- everything you do makes you feel just a little bit stronger. I’ve been doing lots of things that scare me lately! And it’s interesting. The more I do, the more I can do.”