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Lifestyle Changes Transform Body, Life For Teen
November 8, 2013

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox Austin Sanders said he's been fighting weight issues since he was about three years old. He said he's been bullied off and on for his weight, and it had a really big impact on his social life.

His health was deteriorating as he entered his teens. He said he was starting to show signs of pre-diabetes.

"I had darkness around the neck, and actually they'd done blood sugar test, and that came back that I was right on the borderline of becoming a Type 2 diabetic," he said.

Sanders said he had a dream when he was 13 that he'd had a heart attack. That was a key turning point for him to start making changes.

Austin was nearly 300 pounds when he started working with pediatrician Dr. James Bailes at Cabell Huntington Hospital. He said he knew he wanted to make changes. His doctor started him on a low-carb lifestyle.

"Within the first two months, I lost 36 pounds, and at that point, you just start having the motivation to keep on going, and you realize it is possible," Sanders said.

Those quick results were external, and internal.

"I had no signs. I was not even close to the borderline," he said.

His blood pressure that was once dangerously high has also decreased significantly.

He said there is a long line of diabetes in his family, and he knew he had to change his path, so he's stuck with the new lifestyle.

He still enjoys all his favorite foods, including low-carb pizza and burgers without buns, and technology makes it easy to find substitutes.

"Pretty much any food that you love, there's an alternative that you can easily just Google and have another recipe for it that will benefit your journey," he said.

Sanders said figures may show one in four children are overweight or obese, but it shouldn't be discouraging.

"It's a battle that can be won if you just use the right methods," he said.

He is proof positive people can change their lives.

"I'm discovering a life that I've never experienced before, and feel now that I have this behind me and I'm working on a healthy lifestyle, that I can tackle anything and I'm finally able to live the life I was meant to," he said.


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