Subway Guy Shares Obesity Battle With Gulfport Students - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/21/03

Subway Guy Shares Obesity Battle With Gulfport Students

25-year old Jared Fogle shared with 8th graders at Bayou View Middle School the agony of growing up an overweight kid.

"I started out just being a little chunky. Gradually by middle school, I ended up being, I'm sure, termed obese at that point. Before I knew it, my weight had started to spiral out of control completely. I maxxed out at 425 pounds, and that was back as late as March 1998," Fogle said.

Five years ago, hit with health problems and the fear of not having a future, Jared vowed to change his life. He started the famous "Subway Diet" of turkey and veggie sandwiches for lunch and dinner.

"Within the first three months alone, I'd already lost 94 pounds. Within the year, I lost the entire 245 pounds."

His dramatic weight loss catapulted Jared into the national spotlight. Through Subway commercials and personal appearances, he became a role model for people who are fighting fat.

Sometimes, it takes more than words to get his message across. Jared held up a pair of jeans he used to wear. 

"Anyone who's ever wanted to know what a 60 inch pair of pants look like, this is what they look like. This is what I'm encouraging none of you to ever have to wear".

Eighth Grader Tyler Eid said "The large pants, that was pretty surprising, and that shirt was pretty big. That's why I'm going to stop eating junk food".

Eighth Grader Ravin Floyd said "He was great. Losing that weight is really hard and just doing it is like a big accomplishment".

Jared hopes his story will inspire children and spare them the pain that comes with packing on the pounds.

"They can take my story and say, 'I don't want to do what Jared did. I don't ever want to be that heavy, and I can set goals for myself. I can motivate myself. I can do things that I didn't think I can do'".

Jared Fogle is also in town to promote the Ninth Annual "HeartWalk" in Gulfport. It kicks off Saturday morning at 8:30. The American Heart Association hopes the event will raise $265,000.

by Trang Pham-Bui

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