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Name: Robert E. Jones
Before Weight: 498 pounds
How I Gained It: I was raised to eat all the wrong things all the time. I was raised in a single-parent home by my mom. Food was my way of escaping the pain of watching my mother being beaten by boyfriends. My mother never married my father. My father was never around, yet he only lived a few miles away. I felt unwanted, and it drove me to try to eat away the pain.
Breaking Point: About 12 years ago while on vacation in Connecticut for a family reunion, I was rushed to the hospital because my blood sugar levels had spiked to 500. I had literally eaten myself into diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition. My body was shutting down. The pain was unbearable. My body was rejecting insulin, and the doctors had tried all that they could do. A specialist from Boston was brought in. He determined that I suffered from a rare form of diabetes in which the body rejects traditional insulin. It was so rare, in fact, that the doctor had seen only one other case in his career. He placed me on an experimental insulin, and I remained in intensive care for a week. I prayed to God for my life and to be relieved of the pain. At that moment, my system suddenly started working. Within 24 hours I was released and on my way back home to Michigan.
How I Lost It: Determined to be healthy, I started working out at home and in about a year I lost 100 pounds. But it had not clicked in my head. I fell at work and tore my ACL. I lost my job and was close to losing my home. I then gained all of the weight back.
About a year and a half ago it finally clicked. I started eating more healthfully. I eat lean chicken, turkey, fish and vegetables mostly now. I started walking and lifting light weights. Then I joined a Zumba class and got hooked. Now I open and sometimes lead Zumba routines. I follow the 90-10 rule when it comes to eating: I eat healthy 90 percent of the time and the other 10 percent of the time I may have a small portion of something not so healthy.
Now, I am on a path to lose even more weight. I do three days a week of Zumba, using weights for added resistance, and two additional days of weight lifting with abdominal work. I'm off insulin. I can fit into an airplane seat and buckle up without having to ask for a seatbelt extender. I can run with my kids.
I am often in front of people in my line of work: I am a Gospel/Christian recording artist. People see me as an award-winning artist and think I have a perfect, exciting life. In reality, I am an imperfect human -- as we all are. I want to inspire people to be the best that they can be, through my music and through my living. That's why I post updates on my music website to let people know how I am doing.
After Weight: 280 pounds. My goal weight is about 230.
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