By Nick Austin, Meteorologist / Reporter - bio | email
DALTON, GA (WRCB-TV) -- Roughly one third of Americans plan to get fit at the beginning of the year, only to drop the idea within the first couple weeks. But that's not the case for one north Georgia man who made the lifestyle changes necessary to shed nearly 200 pounds.
Nearly a year and half ago Alex Smith of Dalton could barely walk without pain, let alone jog at the gym or perform his martial arts. The six-foot-two, nearly 42 year-old weighed in at a whopping 465 pounds back then. He put on the extra weight after his wrestling career stalled.
"I had a lot of injuries from wrestling and so I decided initially that I was going to take six months to heal. And that six months turned into eight to ten years of no activity," explains Smith.
The excess weight led to arthritis, diabetes, and even low testosterone. He was taking medications for each condition. But the only safe road to better health, Smith believed, would be to drop the weight naturally.
"When I would go to the doctor and the doctor would tell me these numbers mean you're dying. These numbers mean there's not going to be an Alex at 45," says Smith.
It was a definite wake-up call. Through support from family and friends, Smith eased into regular exercise and portion control of his food. He's lost 170 pounds and counting without surgery, fad diets, or diet pills. It makes his 19 year-old son, Logan, very proud.
"I was glad that he got into this not only because it's something that I think is really cool, but it helped him out," says Logan.
Smith is now off almost all his medications and has enjoyed being able to do more with his family and be more active. His days of size 5X T-shirts and 60-inch jeans are now hopefully things of the past. He's now wearing a 2X and 46 jeans.
"Every day I look at those clothes and I think these are not going to fit," says Smith. But they do fit. "And I get to start my day off really happy."
It's the small things he used to take for granted which are now reward for his dedication and desire.
"Something I really like now is going to a restaurant and when they say table or booth, I'll ask for a booth because I can sit in one," exclaims Smith.
Smith wants to lose another 50 pounds by the end of the summer. This would bring him to just below 250, a weight at which he says he'd be comfortable given his height and frame.
For those wanting to lose weight without drugs or gimmicks, Smith has this advice: have a strong support system of people to help you and find a routine which works for you.
Always consult your physician before beginning a new diet and exercise plan.