MOUNT GILEAD Scott Jones doesn’t shy away from recalling the time when he was, as he puts it, “fat.”
In January 2015 he weighed 327 pounds and was on medication for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure as well as needing a breathing apparatus. He was depressed with his life and ate to fill the void; he then became more depressed and ate even more.
He shared his story of weight loss when he was speaker for the 90-Day Fitness Challenge at the Morrow County Community Center recently.
Scare causes major changes
Jones is a truck driver and began to realize the seriousness of his health problems when he had two blackouts on the freeway on his way to work. Fortunately was able to pull off the road and regain his bearings before going on to work.
His wake up call came when he had his third blackout at work and had to stay in the hospital for three days.
For the next 10 months Jones made monthly visits to his physician who encouraged him to lose weight. He said his doctor was brutally honest and finally told him he was tired of telling him to lose weight and tired of seeing him killing himself.
He initially was angry with the doctor, but now credits the doctor for giving him the scare and push he needed to make some major changes in his life. He started to research how he could lose weight and began to make a plan.
Start with a plan
Jones emphasized that fitness starts with a plan and then you need discipline to carry out your plan. He began using My Fitness Plan online and got a digital scale on Amazon.
He started looking at the worth and value of food in what calories, protein and fiber they contain. When he ate at restaurants he looked up their menus online to see the calories on food.
Jones lost more than 140 pounds in a little over a year. He shared that he did it primarily by counting calories and changing his daily eating plan. He gave a list of his usual plan for the day that begins with oatmeal and blueberries and includes grilled chicken and fish along with lots of vegetables and fruit.
He eats lots of peanut butter and makes his own “just because it’s fun to do and I enjoy making it.”
The benefits of fitness
Jones conceded that eating lots of fruits, vegetables and lean meat is more expensive than eating processed and fast foods. The upside is that he no longer takes any of the expensive medications he needed previously.
“I was fat and now I’m fit and can be an example to my children and wife and anyone who is placed in my life,” said Jones with a smile.
After losing weight Jones began walking. At first it was a major accomplishment to walk to the mailbox and then he began walking around the Chesterville Cemetery near his home. He started coming in to the Community Center after it got too cold to walk outside.
“People at the Community Center are like-minded. We have the same need of getting fit and keeping fit,” Jones said. “We all encourage each other.”
Community Center member Greg Smith said that much of Jones story was similar to his own. He said that he had also lost a lot of weight and it began with him realizing that his life depended on losing weight.
Smith said he lost more than 200 pounds after getting up to 427 pounds a couple of years ago.
Smith said that he began running after he had lost some weight and now is doing strength training at the Community Center with Caitlin Trainer’s class.
Both Smith and Jones said that it’s important to keep the focus on your goal.
“When you have bad days or fail, don’t give up,” said Jones. “Stick with your plan.”
After losing weight, Jones focus in 2017 was preparing for the Pelotonia, the 180-mile bike ride fundraiser for cancer research. He is pleased to have completed it last summer and once again is keeping focused on his health, his family and sharing his story.
He has completed 689 days on My Fitness Plan and his next goal is 1,000 days.