S. Georgia man wins obesity battle to join the Guard - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

S. Georgia man wins obesity battle to join the Guard

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January 8, 2008

Albany--In the United States, approximately 64 percent of Americans are overweight---and that number is only getting larger. But at least one south Georgia man will no longer be a part of that statistic.

Anthony Hanson dropped an unbelievable amount of weight to join the Georgia National Guard.   In two years, he dropped about 200 pounds.  He now weighs 173 pounds.

"I was over 350 pounds-- way over," says Hanson.

Like most Americans who struggle to lose weight, Hanson also struggled with his addiction to food.

"My mom, Nancy, can cook awesome food. My wife, she cooks the best broccoli casserole in the world," says Hanson.

But it's an addiction Hanson eventually overcame. He lost the weight the old-fashioned way.

 "No lap band, no gastric bypass, nothing.  I started researching different kinds of diets, and I took bits and pieces out of diets and came up with my own stuff," says Hanson.

Hanson also joined a gym and worked out five days a week and changed his eating habits completely.

"I drink lots of water and I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables before I'd eat a meal and that helped me out," says Hanson.

But it was a date that will live on in history that inspired Hanson to drop the weight to begin with, that date was 9-11.

"I just didn't want to see anything like that happen again. I love my country, and I love my family. And I want them to be free," says Hanson.

So after dropping the weight, Hanson joined the Georgia National Guard. He has been undergoing training ever since--a decision he doesn't regret.

"Yes, it's hard work. I knew it was going to be hard work when I went in. And I just push through and I think about my kids," says Hanson.

"Just watching him come from what he was to what he is today is just inspirational," says step-son, 17-year-old Nicholas Barry, who is ready to follow his lead.

"Seeing him doing it, now it's like 'yeah,' I'm just waiting to get in there,'" says Barry.

For Barry, watching Anthony transform into a new man has shown him that you can accomplish anything, when you have plenty of determination.

"Just don't let anybody or anything tell you that you can't," says Barry.

"If I can do it, then anybody can do it," says Hanson.

Hanson is currently in Oklahoma undergoing physical training.  Once he finishes there in late February, he'll undergo medic combat training in Texas.

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