Duluth man heeds his late father’s words and loses 110 pounds

Scott Greenhut remembers his dad regularly begging him to lose weight.

“He didn’t want me to end up just like him,” said Greenhut, 37, of Duluth.

Dad Gordon Greenhut lived for years with excess weight, out-of-control diabetes, two failing kidneys, and a dialysis machine keeping him alive. He died at age 62 in August 2017.

“It took me seeing his lifeless body lying there for me to get my life together,” Scott said.

Four months and a day after his father’s death, Scott was ready for change. He wanted a new body and a healthier lifestyle. And through regular exercise and better eating, he shed 110 pounds from his 5-foot-5-inch frame in 11 months and has kept it off.

“I ate my feelings all the time,” Scott said. “I finally realized enough is enough.”

A graduate of Brookwood High School in Snellville, Scott has had more than his share of heartache. His mother, Harriet, was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was 4 and died in July 1998 when he was 12. The disease had spread to her liver and brain. His father, Gordon, died in August 2017 after seven years of dialysis and “no real quality of life.” Then in February 2019, he lost his best friend and only sibling, Melissa, to a rare form of cancer in her right eye called ocular melanoma.

At age 33, he had to face that he was the last living member of his immediate family.

“Until I turned it around, my story was sad, really very sad,” Scott said. “But I no longer feel sorry for myself, and now I want to inspire others.”

His weight loss journey started slowly. On Day 1, he jumped on his elliptical for 20 minutes, adding more time each week and building up to 10 miles daily. And he’s been diligent – just recently logging 1,300 consecutive days on the machine.

He started working out on Dec. 11, 2017 and has missed only 23 days, most after he was diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s in 2019. His daily exercise routine is now four miles in the morning and six in the afternoon.

The foundation of Scott’s food plan is simple: no fast food, fried food or desserts. He’s made no exceptions since 2018. He started his journey weighing 268 pounds and reached his goal of 158 in November 2018.

“My biggest regret is my dad can’t be here to see me,” Scott said. “He can’t be here to say: ‘I’m proud of you, my boy.”

Scott is now trying to launch a career as an inspirational speaker. He also hopes to do a little philanthropy on the side and has set up a GoFundMe account to get it going. He’d like to be able to go around the country doing small acts of kindness for people dealing with the same health conditions his mother, father, and sister had.

He said, “I hope to inspire others to live a life with no regrets.”

Credit: Photo courtesy of Scott Greenhut

Credit: Photo courtesy of Scott Greenhut

Scott said he has told his story to audiences several times, primarily to groups associated with Brookwood, his high-school alma mater. In December, he spoke to basketball players at Gwinnett County’s Seckinger High School.

“He talked a little about his weight loss, about how he handled dealing with the loss of his family, and how he changed his mindset from being one of pity to turning it into a positive as best he can,” said Nate Hamilton, the school’s head basketball coach.

In every talk he gives, Scott says he offers one critical piece of advice: “Don’t wait for something negative to happen in your life for you to make the positive change you always think about.”

His mantra is: “#PleaseJustStart.”


Reach out to Scott on Instagram @scott_inspires; or email him at scott@scottinspires.com

Learn more about his GoFundMe at gofundme.com/f/greenhut-family-fund