Valley man has shed more than 100 pounds

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While Mike Thomas is a candidate for the lap band procedure, he can't move forward until he reaches a certain weight and body mass index. By Jennifer Thomas While Mike Thomas is a candidate for the lap band procedure, he can't move forward until he reaches a certain weight and body mass index. By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A Valley man's weight has been spiraling out of control for years. In fact, Mike Thomas’ weight almost reached 600 pounds.

“If this is not a reason to scare somebody, I don't know what is,” Thomas said.
 
Thomas realized he needed to something about his weight after finding out that he was considered morbidly obese. At his heaviest, he weighed in at 575 pounds.

“Everybody looks for the magic pill and there is no magic pill,” Thomas continued.
 
He turned to the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona in November. While he's a candidate for the lap band procedure, Thomas can't move forward until he reaches a certain weight and body mass index.

“It's just one of those things, when I make up my mind to do something, look out,” Thomas said.
 
“We look at where they’re at and where they need to go and realistically how long it should take them to get to that point,” said Marie Everett, registered dietitian at the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona. “And even after that, we have a three-year support program.”
 
Everett said learning how to eat right is key before the surgery even takes place.

“We're trying to work on some of his behaviors and changing his ideas towards food, towards exercise and towards his overall idea of what healthy should be for him,” Everett said.
 
Thomas exchanged unhealthy foods for more fruits and vegetables while cutting his portion sizes in half. But eating right was just the beginning.

Scott's Training Systems in Chandler is Thomas’ exercise partner in his weight-loss journey. When he first started, things we're pretty rough.
 
“We did five exercises, one set of each and that was it,” Scott Keppel said. “And now he's up to doing multiple sets of sometimes five to six exercises in a 30-minute workout.”

Keppel, who owns Scott’s Training Systems, said it's having a good attitude and really knowing why you need to shed those extra pounds that can put you on a road to success.
 
“He's had weeks where he has gained and he’s had weeks where he hasn't gone down,” Keppel said. “But with his attitude, it's been like, I messed up or I don't understand why, but I know this is going to happen.”

“It's very hard to drag myself out of bed, but the good thing is right then I think about little gains and little victories that make it all worth wild,” Thomas said.
 
Thomas has already lost more than 100 pounds. While he still has a ways to go before the surgery, he said things can only get better from here.
 
“You have to have faith in yourself and you have to want to live,” Thomas said.

Thomas needs to be around 450 pounds before he can get the lap band procedure. His goal is 400.

For more information, log onto www.scottstrainingsystems.com or www.wliaz.com.