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


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
6/15/2014 12:00 AM   :  219 comments   :  42,234 Views

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!
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

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  • HYY45055
    Congratulations I am so happy for you - 1/24/2015   10:27:43 PM
  • CINDYB011
    I love it. Your story inspires me. I like "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." - 1/12/2015   1:38:35 PM
    Big thumbs up. You've inspired me,so much. I've also lost and gained and I'm ready to get off the roller coaster. From one Hoosier to another, good job, Brad and thanks for sharing. - 12/31/2014   12:46:54 AM
    Keep up the good work; you're an inspiration! - 12/29/2014   12:21:56 PM
    Awesome you rock! What am inspiration. I am hoping for your kind of motivation to help me reach my goal and stay there. - 12/27/2014   8:14:29 PM
  • 111111110110
    Congrats! - 12/25/2014   8:08:39 PM
  • 213
  • 212
    As a single person, I usually eat dinner alone, so I go to face book to catch up on relatives and friends at that time, but tonight I decided to read an inspiring story, and I read yours. God bless you for all your hard work and for loving your kids enough to change your life. You have so inspired me to continue to make the hard changes in my life that I need to. Thank you for sharing your story! - 12/13/2014   5:23:10 PM
  • 211
    As a single person, I usually eat dinner alone, so I go to face book to catch up on relatives and friends at that time, but tonight I decided to read an inspiring story, and I read yours. God bless you for all your hard work and for loving your kids enough to change your life. You have so inspired me to continue to make the hard changes in my life that I need to. Thank you for sharing your story! - 12/13/2014   5:23:09 PM
  • 210
    What an inspiration! WTG Brad and kudos to you for doing what you set out to do!!! Thank you!! - 12/2/2014   1:37:08 PM
    Brad what an achievement and what a great role model for your kids congrats on your success Happy Holidays - 11/23/2014   5:04:38 PM
  • 208
    Brad, you are amazing. I thank you for sharing your story. Great job! - 11/5/2014   9:03:41 AM
  • 207
    Congratulations Brad! I can completely relate to your story as well. I, too, joined SP in 2009 and lost about 40ish lbs, but by overdoing it - eating just enough calories, and working out feverishly... but once I tried to maintain it, it all came back because my routine wasn't realistic. Now, I am losing weight at a much slower pace, but by making lifestyle modifications that I can keep up with. While it's a shame I've had to 're-lose' the same 40 lbs, I know that we all learn from our struggles the first time around, and I am confident, this time will be it for me! - 10/31/2014   9:55:32 AM
  • 206
    Wonderful! You're so inspiring :-) - 10/25/2014   7:04:35 AM
  • 205
    In a word? Inspiring?
    Why? Because you did it with others' support and encouragement --
    And because you did it for your kids ----
    GO GO GO! - 10/12/2014   3:12:57 PM
  • 204
    Way to go!! Great inspiration for everyone; I wish my nephew could meet you so you could pass this knowledge on to him before he has physical problems. Thank you - 10/8/2014   1:49:51 PM
  • 203
    I admire your accomplishments for many reasons, but one thing that stood out to me is that you didn't excuse your obesity because of the fact that you had been a big person for most of your life. Some people may use this as an excuse to not get serious about getting healthy. I've even had people tell me that I will never be able to get back to the healthy weight that I was when I was 20 because my body has "changed" since I've gotten older and I just need to accept that. Well, I do not and I will not and thanks to you, I have more motivation than I did before I read this article. THANK YOU & CONGRATULATIONS on your success! - 10/5/2014   1:49:12 PM
  • 202
    Like the "be the change comment." - 9/26/2014   6:46:46 PM
  • 201
    Thanks for sharing your story. It inspires me make change, when I see how great you look. - 9/23/2014   5:09:46 AM
    Wow what a transformation. Good on you champ - 9/23/2014   12:59:57 AM
  • 199
    Fantastic lifelong achievement...I like that you mentioned it is a day to day effort instead of a DIET & the fact of the extra nutritional education & tracker support we all get from SPARKS makes it doable for EVERYONE...thank you for sharing your personal journey & being a wonderful example for your children to follow! - 9/11/2014   2:56:13 PM
  • 198
    Awesome testimony!!! Please share your great story on my facebook page Overcoming Obesity! www.facebook.com/groups/overcomingo
    - 8/27/2014   8:09:57 AM
  • 197
    Brad, you are really inspiring. Thank you for sharing. - 8/24/2014   11:31:31 AM
  • 196
    Awesome job! - 8/13/2014   3:21:36 PM
  • 195
    WOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW that's amazing. You have given me motivation to lose weight. Have happy time with your family. - 7/11/2014   3:01:01 PM
  • 194
    What a fantastic change you have made. Congrats on your success and hard work. - 7/10/2014   1:52:20 PM
  • 193
    Very inspiring story! Congratulations! - 7/10/2014   12:39:45 PM
  • 192
    Thank you for sharing your success story! You are very inspiring. Congratulations for your fabulous achievement!!! - 7/7/2014   9:55:56 AM
    Amazing and inspirational. Congratulations and thanks for sharing. Be well, be happy and enjoy your children. They must be so proud! - 6/30/2014   12:01:50 PM
  • EHARRIS139
    You are an inspiration...congrads!!! - 6/23/2014   7:17:27 AM
  • 189
    You are amazing! - 6/20/2014   6:08:01 PM
    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.. - 6/19/2014   6:44:05 PM
  • 187
    Way to Go Brad!!! - 6/19/2014   8:38:30 AM
  • 186
    Wow! Get it Brad! Awesome!!!!! - 6/16/2014   6:43:11 PM
  • 185
    Congrats, Brad. Good for you. - 6/16/2014   2:19:58 PM
  • 184
    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 - 6/16/2014   2:00:10 PM
  • 183
    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!
    - 6/16/2014   1:25:05 PM
  • 182
    I am so grateful to read your story and re-believe in possibilities ... thank you...you are more helpful than you know... - 6/16/2014   10:28:05 AM
  • 181
    i wish I had your strength, You look great - 6/16/2014   8:18:24 AM
  • 180
    i wish I had your strength, You look great - 6/16/2014   8:18:04 AM
  • 179
    Way to go Brad! - 6/16/2014   7:12:30 AM
  • 178
    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! - 6/16/2014   6:58:20 AM
  • 177
    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. - 6/16/2014   6:00:21 AM
  • 176
    You look fantastic!
    Your story is so inspiring. Keep up the good work! - 6/16/2014   5:21:20 AM
    Bravo! Amazing and a great inspiration. - 6/16/2014   3:10:42 AM
  • 174
    Good job! What an inspiring story! - 6/15/2014   11:45:22 PM
  • 173
    Yay Brad! You are AWESOME!!! - 6/15/2014   11:28:11 PM
    What an amazing story! Thank you for taking the time to share it with everyone. I hope you had a happy Father's Day. - 6/15/2014   10:49:33 PM
  • 171
    Fantastic - thanks for the motivation and keep up the good work, - 6/15/2014   10:39:37 PM
  • 170
    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 - 6/15/2014   10:19:40 PM

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