Man Loses 320 Pounds, Opens Gym to Help Others - KOAM TV 7

Man Loses 320 Pounds, Opens Gym to Help Others


Many people set weight loss goals in the new year but for a new Joplin fitness business owner
it's a goal achieved in a big way. 
The owner of Earned Fitness is an inspiration to his weight loss clients. 

Ryan Atchison  is  the picture of fitness. But he didn't always look the way he does now.

He says, "I've battled with my weight my  entire life, much  like a lot of people has.  And I got to the point  where, I hate  to use this word,   its kind of an ugly word,  morbidly obese.  I'd  gotten to where I was 520 pounds."

Ryan was given a grim prognosis from his doctor- five years to live.  He then learned about gastric bypass surgery.

 "If I could lose twenty pounds, he would operate. The hospital bed had a  500 pound weight  limit. That was throwing a life preserver to a drowning man. I was just, 
you know amazed  and thanking God cause I had this opportunity.  I had another chance."

Ryan  had gastric bypass surgery which helped him lose 100 pounds but the rest happened through exercise.

He says, "It took me just under two years and I lost 320 pounds. And I started my business called Earned Fitness.  He began as a personal trainer at gyms, people's homes and even at the park. 
And  now he's helping others facing similar struggles at his own gym. 
Like Debbie Little from Lamar.  She says, "Its  kind of  a shock when you find out a  nurse  writes down on records  that you are morbidly obese and  you had no clue.  Its kind of  totally changes your world at that point.  I realized my weight  was affecting every part of my life I'm a very active person and it was slowing me down  a lot. And so I knew I  had to make a change."

And Perry Johnson another gastric bypass patient who had tried to drop pounds at gyms with no success. 

Johnson says, "I went a few times. It  wasn't for me. There was  too much going on,   too many people there trying to prove things, for whatever reason they're  trying to prove. The environment here is the only thing you  prove here is the  chance you have on life now."

Ryan says he knows what it was like to go to gyms as an obese person.  He says, "You're afraid people  will look at you and honestly they do.  You don't just see 400 pound plus people in the gym.  So I wanted to provide a place for them where they're going to feel comfortable yet still provide adequate  service to them where they're going to be able to lose the weight and 
get where they need to go." 

 Debbie says it helps to know, "He's been where you're at that point,  knows what you're going through  and can give you tips."  

Ryan went back to school studying nursing first then moved into fitness becoming a licensed trainer.

He says, "The nursing taught me about different hormones, the anatomy and how the body works which added to personal training aspect of it. They went hand in hand.  It taught me how to lose weight and how to help people  lose weight and develop fitness plans for people."

Ryan's old clothes hang on the walls of his new gym called Earned Fitness which is  also adorned with inspirational messages. One in particular from the movie Shawshank Redemption. That hit home when Ryan's old self had eaten a large pizza with his then  six year old son, who became his motivation to change. 

Ryan says  emotionally of the movie moment, "He looked at him and said get busy living or get busy dying. And I'd  already  been told that I was gonna die. I decided to get busy living.  He was the motivating  factor for it. I wanted to be around for him  and for myself .'

 Earned Fitness is located across from Northpark Mall and has a facebook page. click here for a link or go to  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Earned-Fitness/247911218647481


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