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

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
6/16/2013 6:00 AM   :  148 comments   :  17,242 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 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 We'd love to share your story. Email us: sparkpeoplesuccess (at) gmail (dot) com

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    98 are an encouragement!!!! THANK YOU!!!! - 6/17/2013   10:01:28 AM
  • 97
    Congratulations! And Happy Father's Day for MANY years to come!!!!

    I did it for my kids too! Mine are much older, but the fact that my (now grown) children had followed my footsteps straight into obesity made me rethink what my weight issues had done to my family. Hopefully, your example can avert your children from a life of obesity.

    Thanks for sharing and now, go play with your kids!!! - 6/17/2013   10:01:28 AM
  • EEJAA70
    Wow - congratulations. - 6/17/2013   10:00:26 AM
  • 95
    Great & inspirational story for us all. Thanks for sharing & Way to go !!!! - 6/17/2013   9:59:21 AM
  • 94
    Wow Brad! Happy Father's Day! You have given your kids the best gift ..the present of a Father..who wants, and will be there for them - for a lot longer!
    Kudos on the new life style! - 6/17/2013   9:41:21 AM
  • 93
    Awesome, you have done so much for yourself and your family. An whole new beginning. You inspire all of us. - 6/17/2013   9:40:23 AM
  • 92
    Wow! You look like a completely different man. Way to go! - 6/17/2013   9:10:57 AM
  • 91
    You are incredibly motivation, great way to start the day reading your story. You are an inspiration. - 6/17/2013   8:19:43 AM
  • 90
    What a great thing to do for you and your kids. Happy (belated) Father's Day! What a great present you've given your kids! - 6/17/2013   8:15:30 AM
    YOU ARE THE MAN!!! AWESOME! - 6/17/2013   7:58:02 AM
  • 88
    Way.To.Go!!! You look amazing!!!! :-) - 6/17/2013   7:57:24 AM
  • 87
    Hard work, amazing results. - 6/17/2013   7:32:21 AM
  • 86
    Brad, so excited to see your story on my Spark e-mail! Congrats on all you have continue to inspire me! - 6/17/2013   7:28:57 AM
    GREAT AWESOME : ) such an inspiration!!! - 6/17/2013   7:21:59 AM
  • 84
    way to go Brad! - 6/17/2013   7:15:15 AM
    Good for you! Good! And I'll bet your kids are glad to have a healthier Dad! - 6/17/2013   7:05:29 AM
  • 82
    Congratulations on all your successes!! You are a true inspiration - and how awesome for you and your three kids!! - 6/17/2013   6:58:20 AM
  • 81
    Congratulations Brad!! What a great inspiration you are for everyone!! Thanks so much for sharing!! - 6/17/2013   6:47:32 AM
  • 80
    Wonderful to read about your changes. - 6/17/2013   6:44:39 AM
  • 79
    Awesome! What a precious gift to give to your children in so many ways. Now you will be around more in time, spirit and physically to enjoy your family more. I have 73 more pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal. You are an awesome role model!! I have grand children I want to enjoy more... Thank you. - 6/17/2013   5:18:12 AM
    Reading your story this Monday morning has given me the push I needed to get going. I was going to talk myself out of my 3 mile walk but seeing how much you have accomplished motivated me to do the same.

    Congratulations, Brad! You are an inspiration. Hope you had a lovely Father's Day! - 6/17/2013   5:01:28 AM
  • 77
    Wow...just WOW! Awesome journey reaching your goals. Thank you for sharing. You rock! - 6/17/2013   4:33:34 AM
  • 123ELAINE456
    Congratulations on Your Weight Loss and Journey. Very Inspiring to All. You are doing Marvelous. Keep It Up. This is the WTG!!! May You Have a Wonderful Life with Your Children. God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!! - 6/17/2013   4:24:24 AM
    Thank you for sharing your story... I found it very inspirational.
    - 6/17/2013   3:35:42 AM
  • 74
    Great to see you featured in the Spark Mail. Spark Guy says it is read by one and one half million, so you are a huge inspiration today. - 6/17/2013   3:20:15 AM
  • 73
    Amazing and a great inspiration! - 6/17/2013   2:54:44 AM
  • 72
    I'm so happy for you. God bless you! - 6/17/2013   1:46:38 AM
  • 71
    You are truly a very good example of what healthy living looks like. I am very happy and proud of you! - 6/16/2013   11:20:29 PM
  • JUNEBUG1956
    Brad, Happy Father's Day! I am so encouraged by your weight loss journey and your story. WOW!! What a change. I couldn't believe your before pic! You looked so much older. Oh my, you look great and it sounds like you have learned so much. I joined Spark this week, and I know I can lose my 70 lbs, because of how you and others have succeeded. Thanks for sharing, and all the best to you! - 6/16/2013   11:05:42 PM
  • 69
    Amazing!! Happy Father's Day! - 6/16/2013   11:02:28 PM
  • 68
    Congratulations in your success! I hope you had a wonderful father's day! - 6/16/2013   10:34:26 PM
  • 67
    Congratulations!! Thank you so much for sharing. "I lost myself and who I was." Wow!! This has been me for the past 20 years! I am still working on what I want things to look like (even that's a process) and setting small goals to aim for along the way. This has been very inspirational - thank you. - 6/16/2013   10:29:45 PM
  • 66
    Look at you on the success story blog! CONGRATULATIONS! You've definitely got this! - 6/16/2013   10:26:19 PM
  • 65
    What a wonderful Father's Day story, congratulations on your feature! Can't wait to meet you at the DMB concert this weekend! Best wishes for a healthy, blessed future! - 6/16/2013   10:16:46 PM
  • 64
    Congratulations Brad and Happy Fathers Day! You write a great blog. Your journey has been amazing. I'm glad SparkPeople was a great help to you. You are now a motivator to many of us your sparkfriends.
    You have reminded me that the changes we make are small compared to the
    rewards we get by doing the hard work. - 6/16/2013   9:39:03 PM
  • 63
    Yours is an amazing story! Kudos! I bet there is never a day you say to yourself "Wow! I sure am sorry I put all that effort in". Your results are phenomenal and I know you worked hard for them. Congratulations on your success. - 6/16/2013   9:24:51 PM
    Congratulations. You're story inspired me to keep on track. - 6/16/2013   9:12:24 PM
  • 61
    Congrats Brad!!!! So happy for you and the inspiration is great!!!! - 6/16/2013   8:52:04 PM
  • 60
    First of All. . . Happy Father's Day Brad (and all other dads out there). Secondly, OMG you are AMAZING!!! So inspirational. Thanks for sharing! - 6/16/2013   8:51:53 PM
  • 59
    very inspirational. keep up the good work - 6/16/2013   8:32:13 PM
  • 58
    congratulations brad! thanks for sharing! - 6/16/2013   8:16:08 PM
  • 57
    Thank you for sharing your process with us. Happy Father's day. - 6/16/2013   7:57:08 PM
  • 56
    I have read some of your other blogs, and seen you on my friend Michelle's spark page. Now I know more of the story. Wow, I am so glad I read this. I left Sparks, gained my weight back and am starting all over again. Your story will be my motivator and help to keep, keeping on. - 6/16/2013   7:34:26 PM
  • SHAN09
    You must be so proud and glad of your accomplishment! Thank you for your are an inspiration! ☺♥˚◦☼&
    #9702;˚♥☺ - 6/16/2013   7:10:39 PM
  • 54
    Way to go and it is an inspirational story which will help to motivate myself and others. Happy Father's Day! - 6/16/2013   7:10:05 PM
  • 53
    Happy Father's Day! I hope you enjoy it. - 6/16/2013   6:45:57 PM
  • 52
    Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. You definitely are an inspiration!! Your family must be very proud of you!

    Happy Father's Day! Blessings! Marge - 6/16/2013   6:44:16 PM
  • 51
    Fantastic. I haven't looked at your page but there some maintainer's teams you might be interested in. I will send you an invite.
    Irene - 6/16/2013   6:35:52 PM
  • 50
    An inspirational story! Thank you for sharing and I wish you a very Happy Father's Day... - 6/16/2013   6:34:07 PM
  • 49
    Congratulations! You are truly an inspiration! Hope you are having a great Father's Day with your children! - 6/16/2013   4:53:13 PM

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