Benton Man Hopes Dramatic Weight Loss Inspires Others

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By Matthew Searcy

BENTON --  A Franklin County man is hoping to inspire others to keep their New Year's Resolutions of getting healthy in 2014.  

Jonathon Walters has lost 177 pounds since July of last year, simply through diet and exercise. 
 
"I saw 477 pounds," explained Walters. "A little piece of me died on the inside."
 
Six months ago he hit rock bottom.  
 
"I could feel my life slipping away and I knew nobody was going to fix it for me," said Walters. 
 
The stress of his father's recent death became the most difficult challenge the 25-year-old has ever faced.  
 
"I immediately slipped into the darkest depression I had ever seen," said Walters. "There wasn't a day for the next month I could talk without crying."
 
He turned to food to cope.
 
"I wanted to eat myself into a coma," explained Walters.  
 
Walters dealt with weight problems at a young age, but his father's heart attack at only 53 years old  became a wake up call. 
 
"I constantly thought I was going to die," said Walters. "I started going to bed at night praying that I would wake up in the morning."
 
He knew he needed to change. His journey began on July 5, 2013.  
 
"I said I'm going to lose a lot of weight and I'm going to lose it quick," said Walters.  
 
He replaced fast food with daily walks at the park. A difficult change he says, "My feet hurt, my legs hurt, my back hurt from carrying my gut. I was so out of breath from just walking. On the inside I was crying."
 
His short walks quickly became half mile jogs and then mile long runs. Losing 50 pounds in the first month.  
    
"Everyday I do the best I can do to get towards my end goal," said Walters. "There isn't anything out there that substitutes hard work and good exercise."
 
After six months he dropped 177 pounds and 20 inches in his waist.  He runs 5 miles twice a day and no longer has hypertension or high cholesterol.   
 
"I really hope there are other people out there that can take this story and apply it to their own lives," explained Walters. "Take what seems like negative happenings in their life and use that as fuel." 
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