Josh Johnson says "At my heaviest I weighed 425 pounds"
And to no surprise Josh was saddled with medical problems including diabetes.
Josh Johnson says "It opened my eyes to something has got to change."
So after several unsuccessful diet attempts, Josh turned to weight loss surgery, and it did more than just help him shed all the extra weight. In one of the most rigorous studies of its kind, researchers found that obesity surgery worked much better at reducing and even reversing diabetes than medication and lifestyle changes.
I sat down with Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Jaime (hi-) Ponce. He says this surgery does two key things when it comes to diabetes.
Dr. Jaime Ponce says "One is weight loss, weight loss is one of those things that makes the pancreas work better."
Dr. Jaime Ponce says "The second thing that happens with surgery is that the food goes to the bowel faster."
While the recently released yearlong study indicates that gastric bypass, can effectively treat diabetes in patients with mild to moderate obesity, which is about 50 to 70 pounds overweight, results showed it can also reverse diabetes in severely obese patients,like Josh, although the disease sometimes comes back.
Dr. Jaime Ponce says "Varies from patient to patient."
Dr. Ponce says the best candidate is someone whose had type 2 diabetes for five years or less. Josh was diagnosed three years ago.
Josh Johnson says "I honestly take no medication now at this point. I do take a multivitamin."
But Dr. Ponce stresses this isn't the easy way out, only a tool.
Dr. Jaime Ponce says "They still need to exercise, they still need to select the best food."
Josh has definitely made a lifestyle change. He's lost almost 200 pounds, and plans to keep it off.
Josh Johnson says "I used to get out of breath walking from one room to the next, now I'm actually going to be in a 5K next week."
No matter where he places, just crossing the finish line makes him a big winner, especially when it comes to his health.