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ID man featured in People Magazine after losing 264 lbs

Star resident Mark Bryant has done something almost unimaginable. He lost more than half his weight in three years.
Mark Bryant - Before and After

ID=21076439BOISE -- Star resident Mark Bryant has done something almost unimaginable. He lost more than half his weight in three years.

At one time, Bryant weighed 442 pounds, and now he's at 178.

His story was so inspirational, he was chosen to be featured in a December issue of People magazine, which hit store shelves on December 24th.

Bryant has also been featured on several national programs, and now for the first time, he's speaking locally about his weight loss journey. He says he didn't use gimmicks, or pills, or surgery, instead he lost 264 pounds by exercising and eating healthy.

Looking at the 40-year-old now, you'd never know he used to be nearly 300 pounds bigger.

He says he wasn't overweight in high school, but as he got older he exercised less and ate more, and the pounds slowly piled on.


"Ten pounds, becomes twenty and thirty and you're like it's not too bad yet, I'll get to it, and then it's like fifty, sixty and you're like, 'Oh it's just easier to eat,'" said Bryant.

Bryant says he eventually hit 442 pounds, but then a trip to the hospital changed everything.

"They chalked it up to an anxiety attack which mimicks a heart attack almost identically," he said. "To me, that was kind of like okay, that's what it could have been, it could have been something disastrous, a total tragedy, and I have three little girls who wouldn't have a dad."


Bryant said he realized he wouldn't see his daughters' wedding days unless he made the decision to start losing weight.

"I realized I had been very selfish, that I was making choices that I wanted to do. I wanted to eat, I wanted that last bit of food. I love food," said Bryant.

He started simply by cutting back calories. He says he went from nearly 8,000 calories a day down to 4,000. Then, he began lifting weights at the gym.

He says he avoided the scale, but could feel the pounds start to fall off. He slowly started feeling better, and became the man and father, he wanted to be instead of the person trapped in a bigger body.

"That becomes a very emotional thing for me, to be a dad that they can look at and be like, 'That's my dad,' instead of 'That's my dad,'" said Bryant.

This spring, when he'd lost more than half his size, his wife entered his story into a local contest at his gym. Although he didn't win, People magazine heard about the Idaho dad, and chose him among thousands to be highlighted in their December issue.

He's the only man featured in the top five and hopes his experience will motivate others this new year.

"When you're ready and you start making those steps, just make small ones. There's no reason to just dive in. You didn't get this way overnight. I didn't get that way overnight, it's going to be a journey and to make the most of it," he said.

Bryant says he's still tempted by unhealthy foods like ice cream, but says he's learned to eat smaller portions and makes sure everything fits into his calorie count each day.

You can learn more about Bryant's story here.

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