“Two years ago, I was 43 years old and 398 pounds, that was my heaviest. I decided to undergo weight loss surgery, a lot because of my 8-year-old daughter Avery. I started thinking, how many 70-year-olds do you know who weigh 400 pounds? I didn’t know any. How many 60-year-olds do you know? I need to see my daughter grow up; I want to walk her down the aisle one day. It was time. Right after surgery, I had to get back into the gym. Surgery was just the first step; I still had a lot of work to do. We had been Y members years ago, Avery and I used to swim here. It was convenient, Avery could go to Child Watch while I exercised, I live close by and I felt comfortable here. I also wanted a place that had everything, basketball, weights, cardio and a pool. Now, I’m exercising for about 2 ½ hours a day, five days a week. I’ll get in the pool for an hour, then go and use an elliptical or exercise bike. When I’m not at the Y, I try to stay as active as possible. I coach my daughter’s basketball team. When she goes to track practice, I’ll walk around the perimeter of the track for 3 to 4 miles. At home, I volunteer to go upstairs to get things. From the combination of surgery and exercise, I’ve lost 163 pounds. My goal for this year is just to continue. I still need to be here. It’s very easy, if I’m sitting at home, to grab a bag of chips, but if I’ve just worked out for two hours, I ask myself: is it worth it? It’s easier to say no when I’ve been here. My job offers me the freedom to be here often, but even for people who can’t be, there’s always something you can do – take the stairs instead of an elevator, go for a walk after dinner. There are times when you just don’t have the time to exercise, but don’t waste the opportunity for the time you do have.”