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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