Father's Day Success Story: 'I Want to Be There for My 3 Kids' *

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Brad Milligan (BRADMILL2922)

Weight Lost: 197 pounds
Hometown: Jeffersonville, IN
What was life like before losing weight?
I was a big kid and a big teenager. Being 6'7", I was never going to be small. I never enjoyed exercise much, but I did it because it was part of playing sports. I was always an athlete growing up, including playing baseball in college. When sports ended for me, I stopped exercising. I steadily gained weight in my 20s from lack of exercise and poor diet. When I was at my highest weight of 509 pounds, I didn't feel like doing anything. I didn't want to go out of the house and hang out with friends because I was embarrassed of myself. I really couldn't participate in many sporting activities or physical activities in general because it made me tired. I had no energy.

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My main motivation was my kids. I am a single dad of three children and I wanted to be around for them, be more active with them and set a good example.  I realized that the way I was going, that wasn't going to happen. I had a lot of "dieting" stops and starts over the years that failed every time. I had lost myself and who I was. On May 4, 2012, I weighed in at 466 pounds and I decided that on May 5 (Kentucky Derby Day around here), I wasn't going to do this anymore. I came up with a plan of diet and, eventually, exercise that I thought would help me lose the weight. No shortcuts. No fad diets. No trainers. No surgery. No diet pills. It was going to be hard work and I knew I needed some help along the way which is where SparkPeople.com came in. I set a goal to lose 167 pounds, which would get me down to 299 pounds. I would be less than 300 pounds for the first time since college!

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey.
I actually started on SparkPeople in 2009 and lost nearly 121 pounds from my highest of 509 pounds I had a lot of success in the process of losing weight but I really didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know a lot about nutrition or exercise and basically succeeded by just not eating much. After that, I gained back around 78 pounds over the next two years until I found my way back to SparkPeople in May 2012.

This time, I was better prepared with diet and exercise knowledge that I could put to use in my journey. I started by just eating better and cutting out a lot of bad stuff. I walked and tried to be more active in general but I didn't start an exercise program until I lost some weight so it was easier on my knees and feet.

After six weeks of just eating right, I lost 33.9 pounds. I finished the Insanity workout program in August 2012 and lost another 30.4 pounds. After Insanity, I finished the Tap Out XT workout program in November 2012, and lost another 43.4 pounds. I finished the P90x program in February 2013 and lost 26.4 more pounds Then, I finished the Les Mills Combat program in May 2013 and lost another 8 pounds. Now I have set up my own exercise routine consisting of a hybrid of the four programs and have lost nearly 12 pounds in the first two weeks.

That puts me at 154 pounds lost since May 2012 and 197 pounds down from my highest weight in May of 2009! SparkPeople has played a huge role in my weight loss. It helped me at first by just tracking my food. It really taught me how to eat and how important a balanced diet is. Eventually, I got more involved in the community by writing blogs and posting on team boards. I have met some really great people along this journey.

Do you have any personal fitness goals you're working to achieve?
I have been working on a C25K (Couch to 5K) program in hopes of working my way up to running my first 5K!

What advice would you give to someone just beginning a weight-loss program?
The first thing I would say is learn everything you can about health and nutrition. There is so much information out there to help you along the way. If you want true, lasting success, you have to be willing to make a lifestyle change. It is much more than just a diet. Then, find what works for you and stick to it. Give it 100%! If you want to see success, you have to commit. It won't be easy! It will take work! It will be worth it!

Do you have a personal mantra, quote or saying that keeps you motivated?
The title of my SparkPage has been "Embrace the Possibilities." To me, that encompasses the entire lifestyle change journey that I have been on. We all have it within us to be who we want to be; sometimes we just have to embrace the possibilities in our lives! I also like: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone," "Earn It," and "Be the change."

How has your life changed since losing weight and improving your health?
My life has changed a lot! I really enjoy going out with friends and being involved in activities. I play a lot of basketball and golf and try to get outside as often as possible to be active. I have no problems running around with the kids and having fun with them. My activity and energy has increased dramatically and I even enjoy being in pictures, for the first time, with my kids and friends. I feel more optimistic about the future and what it has to offer now than I have in a long time! I have a renewed passion for life and all the possibilities it has to offer!
Way to go, Brad!

Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

Have you lost weight and kept it off using SparkPeople.com? We'd love to share your story. Email us: sparkpeoplesuccess (at) gmail (dot) com

* Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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WOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW that's amazing. You have given me motivation to lose weight. Have happy time with your family. Report
What a fantastic change you have made. Congrats on your success and hard work. Report
Very inspiring story! Congratulations! Report
Thank you for sharing your success story! You are very inspiring. Congratulations for your fabulous achievement!!! Report
Amazing and inspirational. Congratulations and thanks for sharing. Be well, be happy and enjoy your children. They must be so proud! Report
You are an inspiration...congrads!!! Report
You are amazing! Report
I don't think there is more of an inspiration for losing weight than to be around for years for one's children and grandchildren. Kudos to you! I know that was a lot of hard work.. Report
Way to Go Brad!!! Report
Wow! Get it Brad! Awesome!!!!! Report
Congrats, Brad. Good for you. Report
That is wonderful, you have a whole new world open up for you. My Son Brad lost a lot so he could join the army, and now he is doing every thing he wants without having any thing hold him back also! He is the one inspiring me, like I am sure you are for so many others in your life. Best Wishes Report
Thanks for being such a great inspiration to others . . . especially your kids. I am a maintainer (18+ months now) after losing 155 lbs. which, too, was inspired by my 'adult' kids.

You have a great story and, as with myself, a much more 'mobile' life.

Thanks for sharing!
I am so grateful to read your story and re-believe in possibilities ... thank you...you are more helpful than you know... Report
i wish I had your strength, You look great Report
i wish I had your strength, You look great Report
Way to go Brad! Report
Way to Go Brad! I enjoy all your blogs but it was nice to hear your whole story and you look Awesome! Keep up the good work .... You are a great inspiration! Report
Brad, I have enjoyed reading your blogs since I joined SparkPeople. It's great to learn more about who you are and the journey to health you've been on. Amazing and inspirational!! Your children are fortunate to have such a great role model. And you look fantastic. Thanks for sharing your story. Report
You look fantastic!
Your story is so inspiring. Keep up the good work! Report
Bravo! Amazing and a great inspiration. Report
Good job! What an inspiring story! Report
Yay Brad! You are AWESOME!!! Report
What an amazing story! Thank you for taking the time to share it with everyone. I hope you had a happy Father's Day. Report
Fantastic - thanks for the motivation and keep up the good work, Report
Brad like I have told you before you totally rock. You are such an inspiration to me. I enjoy very blog you write. I take the information, ideas and motivation and apply them to my lifestyle. Buddy I am so proud of you! So glad to have you as a Sparks friend. Congrats Brad! Hugs Cathe Report
I am so totally impressed by what you have done. Congratulations. Report
That is awesome! Report
Way to go. You look like and are a totally different person. Thanks for sharing Report
This is an awesome story and I am so glad you are sharing. Really you do,not even look like the same person. The new one is a healthy young man who will be around for a very long time for his children. What a wonderful thing you have done for your family!!! Report
Way go Brad! Keep up the good work for yourself and your family. Report
Awesomely inspiring!!! Congrats on your weight loss and other non scale victories. And Happy Father's Day! Report
Wow. Now that's impressive. Wishing you a very Happy Father's Day. Report
You did it, Brad!! Happy Father's Day and God loves you..!! Report
Congratulations on all your accomplishments!!!! You continue to inspire me!! Report
Way to go BRAD! You look great :) Be blessed & continue to enjoy life with friends and your kiddos! Amazing story, thx for sharing Report
Your story is familiar in that so many lose, then regain. But you took the needed extra steps and started again, you lost weight, . You said it very well if you are committed, you will keep trying, no matter how long it takes, you can achive weight loss, fitness, your health if you just keep at it.You look great and I know feel like a new person. Well done. Report
Good for you! Thank you for sharing your story. Report
Good for you! Thank you for sharing your story. Report
Well done, Brad! I love Spark success stories... the ordinary folks who just DECIDED to do something to change our lives... and did it!

p.s. And there is no better motivation that wanting to be there for our kids! Report
WOW! You are an inspiration! Thanks for posting that you started on SparkPeople, lost weight, gained some back and then restarted. I have stopped and started many times. This time, I really feel it's going to stick. Your story confirmed that I can make it stick this time. Report
So glad to see your story featured! Much deserved! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and I hope you are having a wonderful Father's Day! Report
Mega congratulations on being the featured blog on Father's Day. Your story always leaves the biggest smile on my face. Report
Congratulations Brad on your Weight Loss and a very Successful Journey. You have a lot to be Proud of. We are Proud of You Too. WELL Done!!! WTG!!! You are an Inspiration to Everyone. You are a Great Motivator too. Keep It Up. Happy Father's Day. Have a Wonderful Day. God Blessings Always. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take Care. Report
I know this is a re-run, but your story is just amazing, Brad! Happy Father's Day to you and all the dads out there. :) Report
Way to go Brad! What a journey! Change, even good change can be tough. It's inspiring to see how you embraced that change and made it work for you and your family. Your kids will have the benefit of growing up with their dad and being taught nutrition and exercise from their very own expert. Report
Congratulations Brad! You've got so much to be proud of! Report
Woot Woot!!!!! Report
Wow, that is a huge transformation and you look great!! Report
Well Done! Report
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