Heading off to college at Texas A&M weighing 352 pounds, Alton Ward of Lake Jackson decided at age 18 it was time to get serious about losing weight.
He realized he was at risk of a heart attack, stroke or perhaps diabetes, so he started exercising and eating a more healthy diet. Specifically, Chick-fil-A.
“I tried all the diets,” he told Business Insider. “Jenny Craig, Atkins, no carbs ... juice diets, the lose-10-pounds-in-5-days, all the different things, and none of it worked for me.”
He did a little strategizing. He had liked Chick-fil-A since childhood and said he knew the portions were reasonable, so he figured why not start there.
He ate Chick-fil-A several times a week — two boiled eggs with oatmeal for breakfast, grilled chicken wrap or chicken strips for lunch and dinner on occasion. His favorite was the grilled chicken sandwich and he often got salads, he says in his success story on the Chick-fil-A website.
Throw in cardio work and strength training, and in less than a year, he’d lost more than 150 pounds. He eventually got down to a trim 190.
“I wouldn’t say all of it was Chick-fil-A, because I have to make my own decisions,” he told Business Insider. But the “tasty, healthy options worked for me and ... my palate,” he said.
That was several years ago, and he’s managed to keep the weight off, though he doesn’t eat at Chick-fil-A quite as often. Many of his Facebook posts these days deal with exercise and food and promoting a healthy lifestyle. He says he speaks at churches, youth camps and other events targeting kids, especially those with weight challenges.
“I was able to get down to a normal body weight and live a healthy life,” he told The Tab website. “I don’t have any of the complications that came with my obesity. No more high blood pressure and no more high cholesterol.”
Ward has been living in Denver working in sales and is moving back to Texas on Sunday, he told the Star-Telegram.
He might have trouble finding mountains to hike in Houston, but he won’t have trouble finding a Chick-fil-A.
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