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Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Dennis Bledsoe, Senior Fire Alarm Inspector, North Little Rock

In this installment of "Biggest Losers," as promised, Dennis Bledsoe details how he lost a whopping 74 pounds! 😱

1. What did you do to lose the weight?

I began a diet called Ideal Protein, this diet was offered to me by my Orthopedic doctor in preparations for surgery on my ankle. At the time I was going to have my ankle bones fused together, which would have severely limit my range of motion in the ankle. When I began this Diet in October 2019, I weighed 297lbs. this diet was a very strict low carb diet, in the words of my doctor we were in the process of shutting my pancreas down to make it restart and work as designed, I was also border line diabetic. This meant removing all carbs, cutting out breads, sodas, sweet teas and so on. We also began to cook about 98% of our food at home and quit going out to restaurants and fast food places. To this day I have not had a McDonalds Big Mac since October 2019, nor any Coke A Cola products or any fast food.

2. What does your new healthy routine include?

We now eat nothing but Spinach for salads and meat products and green vegetables, very seldom do we have any fruit. My wife cooks all meals and they are Low Carb meals we watch labels for hidden sugars. I am now on a run walk program and working out at the church with our Kick Boxing outreach ministry. Oh and by the way because I lost the weight, I did not have to have surgery on my ankle. I run and walk about 3 miles a day now... I am now able to successfully tie my shoes. Before I had to wear slip-ons because I could not bend over to tie shoes. I have dropped four pants sizes and three shirt sizes.

3. What made you decide to change your diet or lifestyle?

Health reasons...Before the Covid 19 event happen I was doing a weekly weigh in and getting protein snacks and meal replacements. When covid-19 began...I just continued my plan at home and we found alternative protein products to help with meal replacements and continued to make the way we eat our norm.

This was all due to health issues, facing ankle surgery and an uncomfortable lifestyle I made the choice to change. I was in a boot for 2 months that allowed me to function and be able to continue to work. I had to make a decision to either fix my weight or live a life under the burden of a handicap that I brought on myself.

4. How much weight have you lost?

When I start this program I weighed 297LBS as of today 06-19-2020 I weigh in at 223LBS.

5. What is your overall weight-loss or lifestyle goal you are trying to accomplish?

Overall loss so far is 74LBS. My goals are to be down around 200 to 210. That being said I have not felt this good in a long time. I walk or run about 3 miles a day, I kick box and train with those that kick box. Before I would go home and be completely wiped out now I am able to do more.

6. What helps you stick to your diet?

My progress and the ability to do more not only do I work as a fire alarm inspector for Lonestar, but I am an Associate Pastor for a church of 250 people, I preach 4 times a month I am the Presbyter for the State of Arkansas for our Church Fellowship. I am an Ordained minister and oversee 9 Churches throughout Arkansas so I travel to these churches as well. Also, I over see our Fellowship Camp grounds in Hot Springs Arkansas.

But most importantly what keeps me motivated is my family. I will be 59 years old this month and want to stay around until we have great grand kids.

The one thing that I can say is that I had to recognize that if I did not change my way of eating I would not be around much longer. I tried other diets and they would work for a while, but I never changed my lifestyle. I have been in the ministry for over 39 years and I preach change of Heart, change of Spirit and change of Life Spiritually…but until I recognized it was me who was not changing I could not begin to change.

My wife has also lost over 25 LBS and dropped 2 dress sizes we changed as a family...She has severe heart problems but now she can walk longer than she has before. For the very first time in 30 years she rode a roller coaster by herself and it did not hurt her.

I had to have a vision for what not only I wanted to accomplish, but what the Lord wanted to accomplish in me...

Proverbs 29:18 KJV

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.





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