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Fire fighter loses 200 pounds in less than two years

By Nadine Maeser, nmaeser@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:47:31 PM EST
Updated On: Dec 17 2013 10:27:34 PM EST

One man's fight to lose fat is inspiring others to take charge of their health

ROANOKE, Va. -

One man's fight to lose fat is inspiring others to take charge of their health.

A Catawba fire fighter managed to lose more than 200 pounds in about a year. Now, he's hoping his story will help jump start the weight loss journey for others.

“I still look in the mirror and I still see that same big guy, huge guy and people are like you’re crazy,” said Joe Francisco.

Francisco learned the true meaning of hard work when he stepped into the gym.

 “Sweat is just fat crying,” he said. “So sweat it up.”

The Catawba firefighter started his weight loss journey back in August 2012 when his grandfather died.

Francisco said he took the news hard and dropped about 25 pounds in just a few weeks.

He said he saw a change he liked and so at 521 pounds, he decided to cut out soda and bread from his diet and make a change.

"Within 8 months, of just doing that, without working out just getting rid of that, I lost 134 pounds in eight months.”

Francisco then turned to Complete Nutrition at the Valley View Mall in Roanoke. The group helps people get on the right track to drop the pounds.

He said with their help, some intense workouts and his determination, the fat started falling off and still is to this day.

“I’m just busting my butt, as hard as I can, every time,” he said. “There’s a lot of times I’m sore. I don’t give up. I come back the next day and work something else sore and make that sore. If you ain’t sore, it ain’t working.”

Francisco said he has his life back. Not only is he the healthiest he’s ever been, but he’s helping others be the best they can be as well.

“I love it,” he said. “It just makes my day every single time someone asks me for advice. Never in a million years did I think someone would be asking me for fitness advice.”

Francisco went from 521 pounds to 320 pounds. He said he is far from finished. Right now, he is trying to lose another 60 pounds.

He said the weight loss has allowed him to take pressure off of his knees and feet. He said he can now serve his community as a fire fighter with very few limits.

To follow Joe on his weight loss journey or for health tips, CLICK HERE.