"My average pizza delivery meal was a large pizza, an order of breadsticks, maybe even some hot wings," Jason Stevens said. "That was a Sunday dinner for me."
"If you could've seen Jason Stevens come in here 18 months ago, at 710 lbs., and could only walk from his truck to a tire in front of my door," said Neal Lyday, a personal trainer and the owner of Lyday Fitness. "He had to rest for about 15 minutes before we could even talk."
Lyday remembers the first day Jason Stevens, 34, walked through his door asking for help. Stevens' father sought Neal out to help his son get healthy after he packed on more than 400 pounds in the 15 years since he'd graduated from high school.
"A lot of the trainers around town wouldn't do it," Jason Stevens said. "They all told my father that I was a heart attack waiting for a place to happen."
But Lyday agreed to make Stevens his project and began with his diet.
"It's 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise here. If you can't get the eating right, you're pretty much wasting your time in the gym," Lyday said.
So the first thing Stevens did was change his eating habits.
"Healthy foods, whole grains, vegetables, fruits supplementing some of my meals with replacement shakes," he said.
And simultaneously started to add activity into his lifestyle.
"I could always walk, but I had to start somewhere and walking seemed to be the place to start," Stevens said.
Now, he's stepped it up.
"Jason is basically on the same program we put a lot of people on," Lyday said.
And it's no easy feat.
"Weight is weight, but we base our program here on body composition. You can be 156 pounds, 40 percent body fat or you can be 156 pounds, 20 percent body fat. Big difference," Lyday said.
Stevens says he doesn't have a set number in his head for his ideal weight, but he does have his next goal on the horizon.
"At 300 pounds I can go to see a plastic surgeon and talk about body sculpting, after that I don't know. It depends on where I am with muscle mass versus my body type versus my height," Stevens said.
However, his progress so far has changed his life.
"I'm actually able to do physical labor it and doesn't faze me very much anymore," he said.
Stevens believes that support is key-- you need a good support system and if you don't have one, find one. And don't beat yourself up if you slip up every once in a while.
"You can give it 100 percent while you're here, but you're always gonna have those days where you're not motivated to come in or you're unable to come in," he said.
Lyday and his wife say they started the fitness center after they both lost weight and got back in shape, winning the success story in the February 2010 edition of Men's Fitness magazine.
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