Friends For Life: David’s Story

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Obesity is a growing problem that now affects one third of all Americans.

The impact being overweight and obese can lead to some serious health problems.

Doctors tell us those extra pounds can increase your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and even some cancers.

Sometimes the weight can creep up you before you even notice.

That’s what happened to 6 News Chief Meteorologist David Young.

Now David has reclaimed his life and shows us that with some simple changes you can too.

“I’ve been in television news for close to 20 years so let’s just say I’ve seen more than my share of health casts,” said David Young.

“Of course there are stories on health and obesity so I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this kind of video. It’s what you typically see when you watch a health cast and the story is about obesity. I just never imagined the story would one day be about me.”

“You typically see me, on the green screen giving you the forecast.”

Back in January, “believe it or not, I was close to 300 pounds. Even at 6 foot 2 that’s a lot of weight. The kind of weight that can be dangerous and that’s where my journey to being healthy began.”

“My wife Shannon was worried about me. I knew my weight was up but I didn’t want to believe it was affecting me so much.”

“David was really tired all the time; he wasn’t interested in doing the things that we normally like to do. Honestly I thought he was depressed because he was just so tired all the time, and you know, took naps when he would come home on his dinner break from work, and that was just so unlike him,” said Shannon Young, David’s wife.

“It was hard to even run across the yard playing with my kids. I knew for myself, for them, for my future if I was going to have one I had to do something,” said David Young.

“I decided to take back my life and i knew the place to start was with my family doctor.”

“Dr. Eric Smith has been my physician for over a decade and he has been telling me for years that I needed to watch my weight, to get it under control. After all I have a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Genetics are stacked against me. I always thought I was too young to worry about that, but I’m in my 40s now. The days of waiting had to be over. To add to my weight problem, my Vitamin D was low reducing my desire to get up and do anything.”

“Dr. Smith says the most obvious signs of low Vitamin D vary greatly. Some people may have only subtle symptoms. In my case though, fatigue, feeling blue, and being achy were enough for a blood test and it confirmed my levels were very low.”

“That’s where we began. I started right away replacing my Vitamin D and saw an instant increase in my energy. It was then time to burn some calories.”

“I started slowly just walking, with some very slow runs mixed in. That turned into running a half mile, then a mile, and now I average two-three miles per day. I also got back into kayaking and just enjoying the outdoors again. Just 20 minutes or so exercise per day is my minimum, but I often do a few extra things to burn a few extra calories. Under Dr. Smith’s guidance, I started eating healthier too.”

“My wife always ate healthy, so she didn’t mind that at all. The pounds started coming off. First slowly, but then a few pounds a week. As of today I am down 80 pounds. My life has changed for the better and I don’t ever want to go back. It’s just the opposite. I want to continue going forward, forward to enjoying each day with my family and friends. If there’s ever a down day I just tell myself, one day that little girl of yours, she’s going to get married. You will be there to give her away and to have your daddy-daughter dance.”

“And for those like me in their 40s wondering what they need to do to start their journey, Dr. Smith says the best way to begin your journey is to first visit your doctor. Make sure you are healthy enough for exercise. Good nutrition is critical. While burning calories is an important part of losing weight, replacing vitamins and minerals you lose is as well. Finally, make a plan for the long haul. A diet and some exercise for a month is great, but a sustainable lifestyle change is what will really lead you on your journey to reclaiming good health.”

We welcome thoughts and comments from our viewers. We ask that everyone keep their remarks civil and respectful. Postings that contain profanity, racist, or potentially libelous remarks will be deleted. We will delete any commercial postings, as well.

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