In the photo on the left, taken in July 2018, Stephen Sauls weighed 375 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in October, he weighed 207 pounds. (Photos contributed by Stephen Sauls)

Stephen Sauls, 42, of Peachtree Corners lost 105 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Stephen Sauls, 42: From 375 pounds to 270 pounds

Former weight: 375 pounds

Current weight: 270 pounds

Pounds lost: 105 pounds

Height: 6 feet

Age: 42 years

How long he’s kept it off: Started in January and reached his current weight in September.

Personal life: “I am married and have a 14-year-old. I have been a stay-at-home dad since my daughter was born and my wife went back to work,” said Sauls, who lives in Peachtree Corners with his family.

Turning point: “Before my diet, I had a hard time just going up and down the stairs at home. I had tried a few diets and working out through the years but always would give up after a month or two because I would always expect some dramatic change fast and would get frustrated when that wouldn’t happen,” Sauls said. “I had one of my doctors tell me it was imperative that I get some weight off and referred me to Dr. Eduard Fatakhov at the Center for Internal and Integrative Medicine. What I didn’t know was my life was about to change for the better. I know this column is about my story, but without his guidance and compassion I would be miserable still.”

Diet plan: “The first six months were only about changing my diet: no sugar, sodas, desserts or eating out,” Sauls said. Breakfast is a protein shake; lunch is another shake or nuts or a granola bar. Dinner is protein and vegetables. “My amount of sugar intake before my diet was astronomical. … I still crave sugar, about every fourth day it gets bad and I have to eat things like sugar-free sweets,” Sauls said. He also took prescription Saxenda and Phentermine.

Exercise routine: “I took it slow at first. I would walk two miles every other day for the first month, then three the second,” Sauls said. “I am now doing five miles every other day. I have also included workout videos to strengthen my core.”

Biggest challenge: “The hardest part has been going through the different clothing sizes,” Sauls said. “I completely skipped some sizes and learned early not to buy much because a month later it didn’t fit. I started at a size 52 waist and 4XL shirts, and I am currently in size 40 waist and XL shirts.”

How life has changed: “My family life has changed so much with this weight loss, I can now do physical activities with them. That wasn’t possible before,” Sauls said. “… In the near future, I am planning on re-entering the work force but have decided that I want to help other overweight people. I feel going through the process I could help people who are not comfortable working with a person who has never had a weight problem — it’s just something that if you haven’t lived it, you could never understand.”

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