Weighing 305 at 17, Jonathan changes course, loses 130 pounds - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Weighing 305 at 17, Jonathan changes course, loses 130 pounds

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Jonathan Bower is a weight loss winner after dropping 130 pounds. Jonathan Bower is a weight loss winner after dropping 130 pounds.

The pediatrician called him a really big baby, his parents believed their boy was genetically destined to be obese, but he proved them all wrong. One day, he made a critical decision and then became a weight loss winner.

"I always looked in the mirror and I saw just this big kid, and I always just thought that was who I was always going to be," said Jonathan Bower.

So a big kid is exactly what the chubby boy became. From the early days, many believed Jonathan was destined to be big.

"The pediatrician said, you know, I've never seen a baby this big," said his father, Jeff.

The years added up and so did Bower's weight. He came to love two things -- food and music -- but for the kind hearted, gentle soul, there were painful, private moments.

"I slipped and fell in the snow, and I just remember these two guys surrounded me and just like laughed and pointed at me saying look at the fat guy rolling on the ground," Jonathan said. "Bad thoughts came into my head, and I started feeling less than."

"I should've never allowed this to get so bad," Jeff said.

Looking back, Jeff realizes he indulged both his boys with junk food and fast food, contributing to the problem and creating conflict in the house.

"There were times where I was totally irresponsible, and I hope there are other families out there that maybe take a lesson from this," he said.

"I was horribly worried," Jonathan's mother Jayne said.

As a news anchor on WWJ Radio mom was acutely aware of the health risks that come from childhood obesity. Fixing it is not as easy to figure out. As she watched Jonathan grow, she tried to be a healthy role model, but she also knew change would have to start with Jonathan.

"You can read all the diet books on the planet, you can go to all the Weight Watchers meetings, but unless you make the decision to do it for yourself, to do it for your family, it's not going to happen," she said.

So at 305 pounds, the young man about to graduate from high school decided it was time to change course.

"17 years old and he came to me and said, 'What I want for Christmas, mom, is a Weight Watchers membership and a leather jacket after I lose the weight.' And I said, 'Done.'"

"Since that day, something just clicked in my brain, and I changed for the better and got healthy," Jonathan said.

Jonathan started paying attention to everything he ate. It was salads instead of sandwiches, no more fast food, and Weight Watchers support meetings helped him realize his mistakes.

"I used to drink like five or six [cans of soda] each day," he said.

It only took about ten months for Jonathan to turn around a problem that plagued him his entire life.

"I've lost around 130 pounds altogether," he said.

Now going into his senior year at the University of Michigan, Jonathan believes he has created new life habits that will stay with him forever.

"It's just a great feeling. I'm going to eat healthy. I'm going to exercise. It's not I'm going to starve myself," he said.

Jonathan got that leather jacket. His brother has also lost 60 pounds just by simple diet and exercise.

If you want to figure out what diet plan might work for you, click here for a review of all the plans.

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