When Robert's son overdosed, he decided to make a complete lifestyle change -- including shedding 113 pounds to be leaner and healthier.

Name: Robert R.

LIVE*STRONG*.COM Username: hckofarush
LIVESTRONG.COM Member since: October 23, 2011

Age: 48 years old
Height: 6 foot

Before Measurements
Weight: 285 pounds
Pant Size: 46 to 48

After Measurements
172 pounds
Pant Size: 32

What my life was like before joining LIVESTRONG.COM:

In 2011, before stumbling across LIVESTRONG.COM and calorie tracking, I had become concerned about my health and managed to lose about 20 pounds just by eating a bit healthier. But on May 15, 2011, my son overdosed, and on May 17, 2011, I finally got sober. We attended support group meetings together -- every day for 90 days.

About 60 days into my sobriety, I realized I was at a point where I wanted to address my obesity. High blood pressure medication and a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for sleep apnea were medical necessities due to my unhealthy lifestyle. I signed up for LIVESTRONG.COM, and 90 days later I was down more than 50 pounds (and a total of about 85 pounds). I had gone from an unhealthy, sedentary, obese drug addict to a healthy and fit sober runner and weightlifter in about six months. I was on a roll.

My inspiration to make a change:

My turning point was my son's overdose. My own destructive lifestyle had spilled over into the rest of my family. I was killing myself and poisoning those that I loved. With 60 plus days of sobriety under my belt and the tools and knowledge I gained from LIVESTRONG.COM, I was ready to make a successful change. This time it worked and I stuck with it.

How LIVESTRONG.COM helped me lose the weight:

Using MyPlate to track my calories was essential to my weight loss. I tracked consistently for 28 months! It took me about one year to lose 110 pounds. Last winter, after an injury and possibly "diet fatigue," I went from 175 to 203. I am back on track now though and sitting at about 185 pounds and am feeling great. I'm looking forward to the 2015 Eugene [Oregon] Marathon, where I plan to punch my ticket to Boston and "BQ" (Boston Qualify).

My support system was/is:

My son stood by me and my daughter forgave me for my past. My wife and mother-in-law also cheered me on. But without my son I simply wouldn't be here. He was and remains my inspiration and my biggest motivation. Understanding my caloric needs and being able to track my calories through MyPlate was the magic bullet I needed. I had zero clue on how to eat right or track calories before I found LIVESTRONG.COM. It was a game changer for me.

The biggest challenge(s) I faced:

One of my biggest challenges was becoming injured and regaining some weight. Also, the transition to maintaining weight from losing weight was tricky. My family also went through some "weirdness" with all the changes, but now my wife uses LIVESTRONG.COM to build meals and help me stay on top of my game with all the nutrition info. Setbacks are behind me for now. I am ready for anything.

My biggest secret(s) to success that I want to share with others:

It's tough, I won't lie. The best chance for success involves a slow transition and not an overnight overhaul. Take small steps and build on success until you've revamped your lifestyle. Prepare your meals and snacks in advance when possible. Don't worry about others or their dietary habits. Focus on your own needs because this is your journey and that's OK. My family doesn't weigh their food -- who cares? It all worked out in the end. Most of all, be in it for yourself at the end of the day and embrace it and yourself as you become someone you're proud of. Be the one who finishes what they start and succeeds where others fail. It's time to be a winner.

What my life is like now:

My life now? It's pretty normal. I run four times a week (35 to 40 miles total), lift twice a week and also take one rest day. I love running and being active. Although I don't bother with eating "clean," I try to keep it mostly healthy and stay well within my caloric limits with the occasional indulgence. Tracking calories is essential, and tools like MyPlate make that very simple.

I can admit that in the depths of my addiction and obesity I wasn't a huge fan of myself. These days I am pretty cool with who I am if not outright proud of myself. My wife keeps my feet on the ground, but, honestly, I feel like a superhero. I beat drugs and obesity at the same time and continue today with more than three years of sobriety and over two years of keeping the vast majority of the weight off. What are the odds? Don't tell me, I don't want to know.

The CPAP machine and blood pressure meds? Gone! I am fit and love the new me. I am proud of what I accomplished. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and I am just getting started.

Written by: Kelly Plowe

The Wrap Up

Focus on your own needs because this is your journey and that's OK. My family doesn't weigh their food -- who cares? My turning point was my son's overdose. Written by: Kelly Plowe When Robert's son overdosed, he decided to make a complete lifestyle change -- including shedding 113 pounds to be leaner and healthier.