Conner Volpe, 26 , of Suwanee, Ga. lost 96 pounds

SUCCESS STORY /Conner Volpe, 26: From 256 pounds to 160 pounds

Former weight: 256 pounds

Current weight: 160 pounds

Pounds lost: 96 pounds

Height: 5 feet 8 inches

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Age: 26 years

How long he’s kept it off: He started June 2, 2013 and reached his current weight in May.

Personal life: “I work as a client technical specialist for IBM,” says Volpe. “I run a business called the Fox Den Woodshop creating hand-crafted furniture.” He is married to Mandy Volpe, who appeared in Success Stories on June 4, 2014. They live in Suwanee.

Turning point: “I saw my wife, Mandy, start her journey and my competitive side kicked in two days later,” he says. “I was an athlete in high school, but I knew that I had steadily gotten bigger and bigger over the years since I stopped wrestling. I got on the scale on June 4, 2013, and had gotten to 260 pounds – a difference of 80 pounds since my senior year in high school. Enough was enough and I decided to make a change. We wanted to use our bodies the way that God intended us and we had been abusing them for too long.”

Diet plan: “We are very careful throughout this whole process to never refer to our journey as a diet. Diet implies that it is a temporary plan and we are focused on making a permanent healthy lifestyle,” he says. Meals include lean turkey, vegetables, grilled chicken, fruit and egg-whites.

Exercise routine: “We challenged ourselves at the beginning to work out for 20 minutes, three days a week. After two weeks of not missing a day, we started a streak that is still going today,” he says. “We love varying our routine and it includes swimming, running, walking, hiking, stadium runs and weight-lifting. Since getting in shape, I completed an Olympic triathlon, a Spartan Sprint, and a half-marathon.”

Biggest challenge: “They say that your cravings for unhealthy food subside as you lose weight, but that was not my experience at all,” he says. “I still crave the sweets and fatty foods that I used to eat regularly, but I have learned that those things should be eaten rarely instead of every day.”

How life has changed: “Now I can fulfill my passions and do active things that I enjoy,” he says. “ I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without my wife, Mandy’s, help. She kept me on track food-wise and pushed me to be sure that I had gotten a workout in every day … We kept each other motivated to be sure that we made steady progress.”

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