HATTIESBURG, MS - A 400 pound man who was depressed and looking for a way out of life decided to make some changes to his life after a doctor's diagnosis.
The Hattiesburg teacher not only wanted to live a healthier life, but also wanted to set a better example to the students he stands before on a daily basis.
"I'm feeling great!" said Robert Thomas as he wrapped up a lap around the track.
"Hard work and sweat. It's just blood sweat and tears." Jharmquis Newsome said that's what brought about a 180 degree change from the life Thomas lead when his reflection caused him depression.
"He was 415 ,and when he went to the doctor, he was 287," Newsome, a trainer, said. "When we first went to the gym, he couldn't do a push up. It was just that hard."
"Beloved I wish that you prosper and be in good health as your soul prosper and be in good health," is the scripture that Thomas said weighed heavy on his heart.
Alongside that, was his desire to be an example to the students he had the platform to influence.
Step by step and pound after pound, Thomas began to transform with the training of his co-worker – both of them growing stronger physically and spiritually.
"Me losing over 100 pounds wasn't easy, but it's worth the wait and worth the while!" Thomas said. "I thank God and I give God the glory for everything that has gone on so far."
"It was rough but as we come along it got better and better each day and we work hard every single day," Newsome said.
"I can only do that with the healthy lifestyle that I choose," Thomas said.
He has a new found confidence as he stands in front of those students he strives to impact, and the journey isn't over.
"The fact that I was able to tie all of this into my profession because it's a lifestyle, it's not New Year's resolution," Thomas said.