According to Today, 35-year-old Dara Sarshuri of Vonore, Tennessee, grew up surrounded by food. With a mother from the deep South and a father who was a Persian immigrant, he got to experience a variety of different comfort foods. For him, food was what brought the family together and it was the center of every gathering. His mother’s specialty was fried food and as a little boy he grew up being told he needed to finish everything on his plate. Because he played sports in his youth, the overeating didn’t seem to be a problem. He knew he was husky but his poor health was not evident by his appearance.
However, like in the case with many people, Sarshuri’s level of physical activity decreased as he aged and got busier. He began working full time at a position that didn’t allow him to get much exercise and he soon began steadily putting on the pounds. “The older I got, the less active I got,” he said. “My choices got worse and worse and I was putting on more weight.”
Vonore Elementary first-grade teacher Dara Sarshuri lost 180 pounds in a year. No surgery. No pills. Nothing other than his raw willpower.
— knoxnews (@knoxnews) November 16, 2018
Sarshuri went years without stepping on a scale. When he finally did back in February he was shocked by the number he saw. He weighed in at nearly 390 pounds. He was frustrated and immensely disappointed in himself that he’d let his poor eating habits get so out of control. “It was way more than I thought,” he told Today. “I was just mad at myself. It really just hit me and I thought, ‘You got to do something. You are almost 400 pounds.'”
Sarshuri knew it was time to make a change so he planned to undergo a gastric bypass surgery. However, before he could have the procedure he’d have to lose some weight on his own. He began following a strict diet plan full of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. Although he felt too uncomfortable to join a gym, he decided to start walking short distances every day. He persisted through the rough first couple months and eventually was able to walk five miles a day.
As it turned out, Sarshuri never needed the weight loss surgery he was preparing for. He was able to drop the weight all on his own through his own drastic lifestyle changes. Since February he has shed a remarkable 180 pounds and is a changed man. “I am stronger than I ever thought I was,” he said. “I never had any confidence and now I see how far I have come. I can run. I can do burpees. I can do push-ups. I can do planks. I take these small victories.”