Age: 33 years
How long he's kept it off: "My life journey started in June 2016," said Pierce, who reached his current weight in the past two months.
Personal life: "I currently live in Athens, Ga., with my parents. This journey has been so much more than weight loss," Pierce said. "I have Asperger's syndrome, and I have always been very bad at social interaction. My journey has brought me so far out of my shell — I'm so thankful for my friends who have helped me along the way. … I work in food service at St Mary's Hospital in Athens."
Turning point: "The turning point was when I got kicked in the head by accident at a wrestling show. It was like a wake-up call, and it's where I met my friends that helped me on this journey. Also, a couple of months into the journey, I was left with a difficult task of climbing out of a gorge that I had hiked down in Tennessee. I didn't think I could make it back out, but my friends kept pushing me and I made it. I knew that day that I could do anything," Pierce said. "… I spent most of my life being sedentary, but I started working at Adrenaline Climbing in Suwanee in 2016 which is owned by a good friend of mine. Working there along with doing kickboxing at Creighton MMA & Fitness Academy next door started my weight loss. I lost 100 pounds in the first year."
Diet plan: Breakfast is turkey bacon, egg whites and cranberry juice. Lunch is a protein bar, shake or tuna, and dinner is low-carb.
Exercise routine: "My routine right now is Orangetheory Fitness, which is a 60-minute cardio and strength group training class. I do it five days a week before work, and I also do alternating cardio and strength sessions after work at another gym," Pierce said. "I don't drive, something I'm working on, so I'm able to walk back and forth from work to my gyms." He runs three miles on his days off.
Biggest challenge: "Biggest challenge is getting started. I've learned it's all mental. You have to have your brain right to succeed," Pierce said. "… If I could share just one thing for anybody reading this, it is that it's never going to get easy. I wish I could say that wasn't the case. You just have to keep fighting."
How life has changed: "I am now able to talk to people when used to, I could not. I can work an active job and not be too tired," Pierce said. "… I went from getting less than 2,000 steps in a day, and now it's a lazy day if I get less than 20,000 steps. While I'm currently single, I have experienced relationships for the first time in the last two years after being too shy and awkward to ever date before."
Share Your Success: Each week, Success Stories focuses on an individual’s unique weight loss journey. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific weight loss program but includes names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. Have you lost weight successfully with a healthy lifestyle change? If you would like to share your story with our readers, please include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG), and contact us at: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email Michelle C. Brooks, email@example.com.