Many people struggle with their weight. A Syracuse man knows that battle all too well.
Less than a year ago, Ron Brower weighed 674 pounds. With the help of his loved ones and trainers he's lost 180 pounds and counting. Our Iris St. Meran tells us how his journey is taking him from "600 lbs to Success."
EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Working out and eating healthy is now part of 28-year-old Ron Brower's daily routine. This is a far cry from how he lived just eight months ago.
Brower explained what he used to eat, "Cheeseburgers, lots of cheeseburgers, McDonald's, a lot of processed stuff, a ton, a lot of alcohol."
His turning point came during a visit to the doctor, when he tipped the scale at 674 pounds. His prognosis was grim.
"The doctor told me I'd be dead by 30. So, that's when it really hit home and I wanted to make a better life for myself," Brower said.
Better came when a friend connected him with trainer Nick Murphy. He and his partner Jill Rupert knew this would be a challenge because Brower was the largest client they ever had, but they were up for it.
Mission Fitness Owner Nick Murphy said, "We should use whatever platform God has given us to reach out and help others. So I knew I had the answers to his questions and I knew what we needed to do."
The first 100 days Murphy and Rupert had to go to him because it was difficult for Ron to move around. He could only use his arms, but built his strength and lost weight so he could move his routine to this gym, where he spends about three hours of his time six days a week. The trainers take turns volunteering their time to help Ron meet his goal weight of 250 pounds.
"Nick primarily trains him with resistance training. Ronnie's very strong so he does lift very heavy weight, so I feel more comfortable with Nick doing the spotting with that. So I'll train him on the stairs and I also spend some time with Ronnie going over what it takes to be a trainer," said Mission Fitness Personal Trainer Jill Rupert.
He says he wants to help others like Nick and Jill have helped him. He's not yet to his goal but he's come a long way, from barely moving, to now running up flights of stairs and eating healthy foods. Ron has seen other changes in himself, changes you can't measure with a scale.
Brower explained, "Well I've got a lot of confidence. I can go out in public now, talk to anybody and I'm not nervous. I don't care about the way I look like. I think I look great."
And just like they're helping him he has returned the favor.
"I feel blessed working with Ronnie,” Murphy added, “He's an inspiration to me to watch him never have a bad day."
Rupert said, "This experience for me has really been fulfilling for me. It's definitely challenged me to think differently."
They say there's no special formula or science to Ron's success; just a little hard work and belief that it can be done.
Follow his journey: www.facebook.com/pages/600-lbs-to-Success