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Vaughn Forest staff member sheds 175 poundscomment (0)

February 24, 2011

At 5 feet 6 inches and 320 pounds, Chad Boak waddled more than walked around the facilities of Vaughn Forest Baptist Church, Montgomery, where he has been communications director for five years. He heard the comments.

Boak was always big but obesity slowly oozed over him like marshmallow crème over a second piece of pie once he started making some real money, eating out often and remaining steadfastly sedentary.

Oh, he had a gym membership, courtesy of mutual gifts with his wife, a hospice nurse at the time. But no gym ever replaced equipment worn out by him.

One day, Boak’s wife came home after dealing with an obese client dying of diabetes, took his hands in her own and told him, “Here’s how your life is going to go.”

He did not like talking about his weight and drove off in a huff. Oddly the car took him to the gym, where he fumed while walking slowly on the treadmill.

Boak returned home with a resolve to change. He fashioned an unorthodox diet limited to 1,500 calories a day — from whatever food source he chose. And he started exercising regularly.

Over the next 11 months, Boak lost 175 pounds — 55 percent of his weight — a whole other person.

Today he’s gained back some muscle weight and is a fit 155 pounds.

Right after Boak committed to get healthy, Vaughn Forest sponsored its annual 5K run. Lumbering the course at 320, it took him an hour to cover the 3.1 miles — about the speed of a casual walker. The following year, he ran it in 24 minutes.

On Jan. 15, Boak ran a marathon — 26 miles — in under four hours.

Team Vaughn Forest (see story, this page) “has been huge” in supporting his turn from an early, self-imposed death sentence to a commitment to healthy living. “Having a group of people you can meet with, people to support you, makes all the difference in the world,” he said.

Three months after Boak stopped losing weight, a little girl was born into his family.

He remembered the chest pains he used to have just lying in bed, worrying that he would “die young because I’m a fat dad.”

“Now,” Boak said, “I will be there for my daughter.”  (TAB)

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