Jon Stanton of Lansing, Michigan lost 230 pounds in almost two years by adopting a healthy diet and walking every day. Jon decided to make this major lifestyle change after being diagnosed in August of 2007 with Type 2 Diabetes.
At the start of his weight loss journey, Jon weighed 430 pounds and was on several medications for chronic health conditions including congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis.
Since losing the weight, Jon has become an outspoken advocate for healthier lifestyles and he remains medication-free. In 2009, Governor Jennifer Granholm presented Jon with the Charles T. Kuntzleman Award for his efforts to inspire Michigan citizens to be healthy. He also serves as a healthy living ambassador for the American Diabetes Association.
1. What is your favorite thing about living in Michigan?
My favorite thing is the wealth of trails, parks and beautiful nature areas our state offers. There are hundreds of places in Michigan where an individual can walk or cycle and enjoy the beauty that this state has to offer.
2. What things do you find yourself doing that you said you’d “never” do?
I never thought for a second that I would be able to complete a half-marathon or ride a bike 100 miles. I’ve now completed two half-marathons, and I hope to tackle my first triathlon in 2011. I’m also planning to skydive sometime within the next year – a dream that I told myself I WOULD accomplish when I reached a healthy weight.
3. What are your favorite ways to stay healthy?
Walking is my “maintenance” exercise, and I walk at least two to three miles every day – NO EXCUSE. Now that I enjoy healthy activities so much, I also cycle during warm weather months and compete in various cycling events. In addition to physical activities I also follow a healthy diet but allow myself the occasional indulgence.
4. What songs or artists are in heavy rotation in your iPod right now?
My music tastes are very eclectic. I majored in music in college, so I have several classical numbers on my iPod. I also really enjoy Christian contemporary and Southern Gospel music.
5. What are your favorite things to read online? How do you stay informed and inspired?
I enjoy reading all the posts here on aHealthierMichigan.org. Many of them have helped me by offering new ideas and insights into ways to stay healthy. I also enjoy reading the blogs of other individuals who have struggled with their weight. Reading their words of encouragement helps me stay motivated.