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This man's weight loss was inspired by his dogs.

Patrick Stokes, 49, said that if his dogs were sedentary and gaining weight, then he, too. So they became active and lost weight. This is his story, as she tells Maria Masters.

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For each January, we will introduce a new history of physical and mental transformation.Click here to learn more.

I was never one big junk food eater, but I was about instead of eating chicken breast, baked potato and a side of asparagus, I would eat four chicken breasts, two potatoes and a whole bag of asparagus over the years My weight was gradually getting bigger, and I was calmer, and not only did I suffer. Major, my six-year-old boxer, had gotten around 10 pounds, and Frank, my 3-year-old pug, had won about 3. They looked at the leash or door, as if they were saying, "Why do not we go outside?" And I always thought, "If your dogs gain weight, they do not train enough.

At the end of 2016 I was 299 pounds and decided to make a change. I downloaded a weight loss app called "Lose It" and started watching my calories and physical activity. I limited myself to 2,000 calories or less per day. One way to maintain portion control while still feeling satisfied was with the use of Smoothie King meal replacement drinks. My favorite is her Vanilla Slim and Trim. My dinner did not change much in terms of what I ate. I just started to look more closely at the portion sizes that I consumed. One of the biggest benefits of lots It's that it did not limit the food – it just showed me how much of it I should eat to achieve my weight loss goals. That was huge for me because I still ate different foods but could monitor and visualize my food intake.

About six months after I lost weight, I started running and hustled to reach a ten-minute mile for two to three miles. I did not want to prefer that to the dogs, especially in the hot summer. But I wanted to incorporate it into my workout routine, so I would put it back about half a mile before or after running. The change in them was obvious – they loved being outside.

As I decreased more and more and made running part of my daily routine, I extended the duration of my runs and improved my time. Last year, I probably participated in about 15 races. I drove 7 miles all the time and have already won several races in my age group!

I actually won several races in my age group.

By the end of 2017, I had lost 102 pounds, Major had lost 8 and Frank had lost 4. We still go every day and go to a local dog park a few times a month. Now Major will be with me for 2 or 3 miles if the weather is nice and Frank can walk half a mile. (I never try to miss a day of running – on weekends I often go more than 10km each time.) When we get home, we all eat microwaved popcorn together; They're pretty good at catching kernels from the air. Everyone is much happier and healthier.

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