TYLER (KYTX) - Seventy-five pounds and 3 1/2 years ago, Rick Parks came to the realization that he needed to do something about his weight, or history would repeat itself.
Rick Parks was about 75 pounds overweight. He says he felt terrible about himself and was tired all the time. Then one day he says he "woke up" and realized he needed to change his life.
"The longest journey begins with the first step. It took about 6 months from the time I realized I needed to do something, before I actually did it," Rick explained.
But once Rick took the plunge, there was no stopping him.
His trainer, Emily Dumelle with Premier Fitness said, "We just started out simple... simple body movements... and just building up basic strength."
Rick added, "I love to run now. It's an addiction for me."
But even though Rick found his workout groove, it has been a work in progress.
"This has been about a 3 1/2 year journey for me," he explained.
The 51-year-old father of 3 knew his family history and knew he didn't want to repeat it.
"My dad died young and his dad did, too," said Rick. "I just realized that I needed to change for myself and for my family. That was probably the biggest motivation for me was my family."
Rick's trainer, Emily, says realistic goals are most important when beginning your weight loss journey. She said, "It's setting small-term goals, daily goals, to get to your long-term goals."
Now Rick has a greater appreciation for even the simple things.
"When you're overweight and out of shape and you feel bad about the way you look... and mentally you feel bad, you know, you just don't enjoy life as it was meant to be lived," Rick said.
Emily and Rick agree: One of the hardest things to overcome is the excuses. But once you do that, you're taking the first step to being on your way to "Fit City Success."