The local newspaper in John's hometown, The Democrat and Chronicle published a story a few days ago on his accomplishments and with his permission, I am posting it here. I am in awe of John's success and he will clearly be an inspiration to others. Congratulations, John, I'm so thrilled for you and looking forward to hearing about your next milestones.
Here's the story written by Jim Memmott:
On Sunday, John Follaco of Rochester posted a note on Facebook that began:
“Many of you will make New Year’s resolutions in the coming days. Most will think they are destined for failure. They don’t have to be.”
By way of encouragement, Follaco, who is 30 and grew up in Irondequoit, then wrote about his resolution to lose weight in 2012.
Dropping weight and/or improving diet tops the list of most frequent resolutions. But it’s also a promise not always kept. However, Follaco, a St. John Fisher College graduate who is the public relations manager at The College at Brockport, has stayed the course.
“I knew I would be turning 30 in March and that if I wanted to see 40, I needed to make a change,” he told me.
On the January day that he began his quest, Follaco weighed 392 pounds. He dropped 170 pounds during 2012 and now tips the scale at 222 pounds. He hopes to lose 22 more.
How did he do it? “I’m a firm believer in keeping it simple: Eat well and exercise,” said Follaco, whom I first met when he worked part-time in the Democrat and Chronicle sports department. “The rest should take care of itself.”
Simple, yes. Easy, no. “This is a very difficult process,” he said. “It’s both a physical and mental grind. It’s not a process that I could have been successful with without the unwavering support of my family and some very good friends.”
The first step was to give up unhealthy foods and limit his daily consumption to 1,300 to 1,400 calories.
Follaco, who is single, got guidance from a friend’s blog on cooking healthy dishes. And he turned to the $6 meals at Wegmans Food Markets Inc. that fit his caloric criteria.
Then there was exercise. “I work out no fewer than five times a week for 45-60 minutes at a time,” he said. “I started slow and have built up the intensity of my workouts. The key has been to change up my routine every couple months. … This, I’m told, is what has helped me prevent prolonged plateaus.”
There were weeks when he saw little or no drop in pounds at his Saturday weigh-ins. It would be discouraging, but he didn’t give up. His persistence was worth it.
“I’ve never felt better,” he said. “I’ve battled weight issues my entire life. I’ve had success with diets in the past. But this time I had a different outlook. I don’t call this a diet. This is a way of life.”
And what advice would he give to those people whose 2013 resolutions include a vow to lose weight?
“Formulate a plan that works for you,” he said. “But, whatever it is, make sure it’s something that you can sustain for life. Otherwise, when you’re finished ‘dieting,’ chances are the weight will come right back on.”
Some comments on line:
Deborah Judd · Lackawanna, New York
Good for you, John!!! I need to lose about 65 pounds, and you, my dear, are giving me the encouragement and the incentive to work towards that. You look great!!!