PORTLAND, Tenn. - A Sumner County man said he was once so big, he had to get on an industrial scale at the local scrap yard just to see how much he weighed. Now, he's dropped 242 pounds and won $100,000 in the process.
27-year-old Richard Neal said he's struggled with obesity his entire life.
"I was morbidly obese, borderline diabetic, I was on blood pressure medication at the age of 25," he said. 'I wasn't able to have children, and the doctor told me I wasn't going to be able to make it to the age of 30."
That was all the motivation Neal needed.
Someone introduced him to P90X, and within a few work-outs, he was hooked.
"I just wheezed and sweated my way though," he said, of the first few weeks when he was at his starting weight of 426 pounds.
Slowly, the weight started to melt away.
"And so now, 19 months later, I'm 242 pounds lighter," he said.
When the company behind P90X found out about his weight loss, Neal was named the Beachbody Challenge Grand Prize Winner, and awarded $100,000.
"Just for losing weight," he said. "Just for living a healthy lifestyle. By leading by example, by wanting to pay it forward, and help end the cycle of obesity. Now that is literally my life's passion," he said.
When NewsChannel 5 caught up with him on Tuesday, Neal was participating in a community walk in Portland, with the mayors of Nashville and Portland by his side.
Events like that always make him proud, but Neal said his biggest accomplishment, by far, was the birth of his son, Brady.
"When you work so hard for something, and you're blessed to get that, it's the greatest thing in life," he said. "I don't care about the weight loss, I just care about him."
Richard and his family are now completely debt-free, thanks to the $100,000 prize he received from Beachbody. He now works as a fitness coach for the company, helping other people get in shape.
What he's most excited about is getting to play with and raise his little boy without losing his breath.