Bruno Arrais lost 120 pounds

Bruno Arrais at 189 pounds in November 2016 at the Tryptophan Half Marathon, 10K/5K in Cumming. (Tim Nettleton / TrueSpeedPhoto,

Combined ShapeCaption
Bruno Arrais at 189 pounds in November 2016 at the Tryptophan Half Marathon, 10K/5K in Cumming. (Tim Nettleton / TrueSpeedPhoto,

Success story

Bruno Arrais, 37: From 309 pounds to 189 pounds

Former weight: 309 pounds

Current weight: 189 pounds

Pounds lost: 120 pounds

Height: 5 feet, 9 inches

Age: 37 years

How long he's kept it off: He started in November, 2015, and reached his current weight in September, 2016.

Personal life: He lives in Cumming. "I am originally from Brazil. I moved to the U.S. in April 2000. I am married and have three kids; my wife is from New York. … I own my own business, Soyer Flooring."

Turning point: "It was two weeks before Thanksgiving 2015. The doctor checked my cholesterol and my HDL was very low and my LDL was very high. … My weight was over 300 pounds; my doctor was very concerned. She wanted me to come back in four months and, if I didn't get better, she was putting me on cholesterol medicine. It was big for me. I realized I am starting to die today. I started that day — the same day. I started to go to OneLife Fitness ( a few days after Thanksgiving. … I don't like to take medicine. I don't take medicine for anything. I didn't want to take medicine for cholesterol."

Diet plan: "I had gone on diets before that didn't really work." He sees a nutritionist who helps with his eating plan. He starts his day with a protein bar. After working out, he has a protein shake and yogurt. Then, he eats a sandwich and fruit. He also has snacks, usually cheese and fruit, and grilled chicken and vegetables for lunch. He has snacks again in the afternoon, and for dinner, because he is usually working late, he has a meal replacement shake he makes at home.

Exercise routine: "I work out every day, Monday through Saturday, at OneLife Fitness. I get there every day at 4:45 a.m." He enjoys their group classes and, on Sundays, he plays soccer.

Biggest challenge: "The beginning, that is when I struggled the most. I am so competitive, even with myself. When I started, I told myself I did not want that medication. I had to go back to my doctor in four months. When she saw me, she was in shock. Because I didn't want to take the medicine, I thought, 'I am going to work out as much as I can. I am going to lose as much as I can.' … Going to the gym every day is very boring. … (But) once you do something you like there, that is fun, it makes a difference."

How life has changed: "Everything has changed. Physically, of course, but mentally I want to do more. I used to want to stay home all weekend; now I want to do things. I want to play with my kids more; I am way more active. When you're heavy, you are too tired to move." His tips: "Definitely find something you like — that is the key to everything."

Be an inspiration: If you've made positive changes in your diet and/or fitness routine and are happy with the results, please share your success with us. Include your email address, a daytime phone number and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG). Write: Success Stories, c/o The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or e-mail Michelle C. Brooks,