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Personal Stories

Curtis, Age 40

“I was the most fit person at my 20th high school reunion!” – Curtis Shearnin
Highest weight: 220 lbs.

Current weight: 196 lbs.

Total weight lost: 24 lbs.

Height: 5’9″ Age: 40

Time it took to lose the weight: 13 months

Has kept it off for: 14 years

15 Years Ago
Curtis 15 years ago

His Story

I was a chubby kid. I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family. We ate beans, rice, and potatoes, because you could stretch those types of foods. I‘m sure we had vegetables, but I didn’t eat them! My mother tried to get me to go outside and play, but I wanted to stay in the house reading. Kids teased me. The worst was when my mother took me to buy clothes and I had to buy “husky” jeans.

I’ll never forget the moment in my senior year of high school. They’d taken a picture of me in the fall, and when the yearbook came out that spring, somebody showed me a group picture and said, “There you are, Curtis.” I thought, “That’s me!?” It was this huge person. I knew then that I had to do something. I tried joining a gym, but I didn’t stick with it. It was too exhausting.

In my early 20s, I started a new job where they had a “fitness challenge” for employees. I won by losing the most weight – 37 pounds! Thus began my whole dance with fitness. Walking was the thing that really got me to lose. But my coworkers and I ate lunch out a lot, and I’d been taught to “finish everything on your plate.” When the weight crept back on, I started bringing my lunch.

When I went to my 20th high school reunion, everybody had aged tremendously. I had been the heavy, fat kid in high school – but there I was, the most fit person in the room!

How I Did It

I really had to change the way I ate. I used to eat for the taste of the food, instead of stopping when I was full and satisfied. And I started exercising several times a week. Now, I control how much I eat and try to eat small portions. I eat a lot of veggies, tuna, chicken and fish.

Biggest Challenge

Keeping up with the exercise. I have to exercise three to four times a week. No finding excuses! It’s the only way I can control my weight. And vanilla crème sandwich cookies. They are my weakness. When I go to the store, I can’t go down the cookie aisle!

Maintaining the Weight Loss

It’s the eating, the water, the trying to do the right thing. If I miss three days, the “I don’t want to go to the gym” thing sets in. It’s easier just to stick with exercising three to four times every week.

The Biggest Thrill

Being able to put on a pair of jeans that I couldn’t even button — and they fit. They’re loose!

Curtis Today
Curtis Shearnin

Strategies That Work For Me

  • A sandwich-size Tupperware dish — when it's full, that's all I get to bring for lunch!
  • I drink lots of water. I don't drink sodas and I try to limit juices. I might have an orange juice for breakfast, but then that's it for the day.
  • I eat breakfast every day. On the mornings I work out, I buy some scrambled eggs, whole grain toast and a little fruit from the buffet bar at the sandwich shop near my office.
  • Our office is spread out and I walk to get things done. I'll take the long way or take the stairs. Then I feel like I'm extending my workout throughout the day.