The first step to getting anywhere is deciding you’re not willing to stay where you are. Jayson Prater knows that is much easier said than done – especially when it comes to living a healthier life.
For Jayson and his wife, Lisa, there’s never a dull moment raising three boys (Jake, 16; Luke, 14; Will, 12). When he’s not on the road traveling for work, he’s actively involved in the boys’ sports and activities and even finds time to raise a few cattle on their small acreage.
While he never really struggled with his weight, Jayson’s the first to admit he was always a little heavier than he should have been. “As I got older, the scale kept creeping up,” he says. “Being in sales, I spend a lot of time in my car, and I didn’t always make the best food choices.”
In September 2016, Jayson had a wake-up call when he lost two fraternity brothers to sudden heart issues within a few weeks of each other. Over the next few months, he began experiencing some chest pain and after a stress test showed an irregularity, his doctor ordered an angiogram.
“I was terrified they were going to find clogged arteries or other significant problems,” he recalls. Thankfully, the angiogram was normal. “I felt like I’d dodged a bullet, but knowing that I was about to turn 50 and weighed 278 pounds made me realize it was time to do something.”
“I felt like I’d dodged a bullet, but knowing that I was about to turn 50 and weighed 278 pounds made me realize it was time to do something.”
Other than going to mess around with his kids once in a while, Jayson rarely used their YMCA membership. In April 2017, that all changed when he started hitting the Indianola Y a few mornings a week to walk and bike. He also got serious about his diet.
An app called “Lose It”, which tracks food and exercise, helped step up his weight loss and by June he was working out five to six times a week and was even running. When he started having some knee pain, Lisa suggested he try swimming. “Last fall I added resistance training and met with a wellness coach who helped me get my ActivTrax going so I can easily manage my workouts.”
Jayson lost 70 pounds by Thanksgiving – just seven and a half months after he took that first step. “I want to set an example for my boys that it's easier to stay in shape than to get in shape.” He continues to maintain his weight loss with consistent workouts and by tracking everything he eats. Jayson says if he can do it, anyone can. “You just can’t quit. Even if you have a bad weigh-in or fall off the wagon, just start again and don't give up. Focus on winning the day.”
“You just can’t quit. Even if you have a bad weigh-in or fall off the wagon, just start again and don't give up. Focus on winning the day.”