WASHINGTON, July 7 (UPI) -- America's obesity epidemic is a complicated problem with no easy solutions. But in a nation where shedding a few pounds has become a medical imperative, a little motivation can never hurt, which is why Kerry Hoffman's story has been making the rounds on Internet news feeds.
Hoffman recently won his first-ever triathlon, which is impressive enough on its own, but the kicker is he did it not long after losing 153 pounds -- nearly half his body mass.
Hoffman said he decided to take his weight and health seriously for the sake his young daughter. "I need to be here to walk her down the aisle," he told CNN.
Hoffman graduated high school as a hefty 250-pound, weight-lifting football player -- at just over six feet tall Hoffman wasn't exactly fat, but he wasn't much for cardio exercise. But he said he started subconsciously using food as a coping mechanism after his father died at the age of 55. He ballooned up to 343 pounds. His blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure were all dangerously high, and his doctor confirmed that he'd developed diabetes.
But that was a couple years ago. Today, Hoffman is down to 190 and a recent triathlon champion -- a winner on his first attempt at the fitness event combining running, swimming and cycling.
His road to redemption isn't an advertisement for any miracle pill or sandwich restaurant. Hoffman says he simply started going to the gym five days a week and limiting himself to 2,000 calories a day. If anything, Hoffman is a boon to all the health experts who've been urging consumers to ignore easy answers, fad diets and TV weight-loss pills. Eat less, be more active -- they say in unison.
That's what Hoffman did. And it worked.
A year after Hoffman had been informed of the health implications of his obesity, he returned to the doctor to get an update on his progress.
"The doctor called all the nurses and doctors and pediatricians out of their rooms and said 'This guy actually did it,'" Hoffman recalled. "Everyone clapped."