One Guilderland man has a truly inspirational story of weight loss.
At one point, he tipped the scales at almost 400 pounds, but managed to drop about 150 pounds and even compete in the Iron Man Triathlon last year.
Robert Norman played football in high school and college, and kept a good appetite, but his eating progressed after stepping off the field. And over the years, food became a part of Robert's life in every aspect.
"It was pretty much a love, love relationship…you would eat when your happy, eat when your sad, you eat to celebrate, you eat in social situations, you're bored you eat, you watch TV, you eat," said Robert. "If I looked back probably being putting on like 10, 20 a year, it just adds up slowly, then over time you go from like maybe 230 to 240 up to 380."
After topping the scale at 380 pounds, Robert decided to make a change.
"First step I decided to just walk into a gym, like Bally's I said 'I want to work with a trainer to lose weight,' they worked out a plan for me and they set up a lifting plan, a cardio exercise program, told me what to do, they also set up like an eating plan I decided might as well try it. And I tried it! And slowly overtime it was like a pound or two a week and that adds up after a while," said the 35-year-old.
Robert admitted his love for fast food and soda contributed to his weight gain.
"I think it was a lot of soda, a lot of soda and a lot of junk food, I think the biggest thing when I look back to it, is no vegetables, no fruits," said Robert. "At every meal I make sure like during lunch, vegetables, during dinner I had vegetables, fruit for snacks."
All the fruits and veggies added up as well. Robert says a healthier lifestyle gave him the drive to compete.
"It was like a three year process," said Robert. "My first goal was to do a 5K, and I was so happy I did a 5K, and I'm like 'okay you know what? I can probably do it faster.' Then it just slowly builds up to a 10K, a 15K…when I first started all this I never, ever considered doing an Iron Man, doing a marathon or anything like that."
"The one thing that amazes me when I do the races or anything like, how much I can actually go," added Robert.
And although the Iron Man was over a year ago, Robert says his biggest obstacle is still food.
"It's an ongoing battle just to constantly watch what I eat and continue exercising, even after Iron Man I put on like 10 pounds, because you stop exercising like 10, 20 hours a week," said Robert. "So its a constant battle to keep the weight off."
He also has advice for others struggling with weight.
"I know when I was heavy there's nothing anyone could've told me to lose the weight cause when your heavy you know what you have to do to lose the weight, but you need the motivation to do it and there's nobody that can tell you anything to do it or anything. It always comes to, do you really want it, you can do it."
And if you're still craving the sweet stuff… "I think it comes down to portion control not too much of anything unless it's fruits and vegetables of course," said Robert.
And as far as all the gimmicks and weight loss pills or formulas…"I tell everybody just diet and exercise, there's really no magic bullet for it. It's just eating right, you know," said Robert.
Robert did not do the Iron Man race this year, but is competing in several races this summer.