NATIONAL (NBC/KAIT) -
One trainer, who lost a drastic amount of weight, encouraged others to strive towards their goal through a lifestyle change.
Personal Trainer Jacob Johnson pushes clients to take life one step at a time. Before opening his gym, Johnson had a burden to lift. He said at his heaviest he was 390 lbs.
“I was really overweight most of my life,” Johnson said. “I just got to the point in my early 20s and gonna become a father. I realized I may not live to see my daughter get married or see my grandchildren weighing as much as a I did.”
18 years later Johnson advocates for healthy lifestyles. He often shares his story and family history with black men. He said his diabetic grandfather had four hear attacks over his lifetime. Diabetes is the fifth deadliest disease black men will face as an epidemic of diabetes by the year 2050.
“I think in other communities it is more evident," Johnson said. "Exercise equals improved quality of life.”
Now Johnson's daughter Simone is following her father's footsteps.
“Working out with my dad is a whole different experience," Simone said. "You get the personal trainer but you also get somebody you are comfortable with. So you’re comfortable making mistakes in front of them, knowing that they will always be honest with you.”
Johnson hopes his story will encourage a lifestyle change as people race toward a new start this year.
“It is never to late to make changes," Johnson said. "There is going to come a time when you have to live with the consequences of the health choices you’ve made.”
According to the national institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases, more than three in four african-americans adults are overweight or obese.