Plymouth couple collectively loses over 400 pounds - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Plymouth couple collectively loses over 400 pounds

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By Deena Centofanti
Fox 2 News Health Reporter


PLYMOUTH, Mich. (WJBK) -- A Plymouth couple was trudging down the dangerous path of obesity when suddenly they made a U-turn.  Together, they have lost more than 400 pounds.  Nick and Tonya Kopas say it's not easy, the struggle continues every day, but no doubt about it together they are weight loss winners.

"When you're labeled the fat kid, you put yourself in the box and you don't want to come out," said Nick Kopas.

"We didn't realize how many calories we were eating.  We just ate this big bunch of food because it felt good," said Tonya Kopas.

Valentine's Day 2004, Nick and Tonya said I do, but the real test of their commitment would come years later.  As they built their lives together, they gained weight together.  Tonya reached more than 300 pounds while Nick couldn't find a scale big enough.

"I weighted significantly north of 500 pounds," he said.  "I weighed 350 pounds when I started high school, and it just got worse and worse and worse over the years."

Eventually, he struggled to walk, sleep and play with his son.  Finally, a health scare forced Nick to face his lifelong battle with obesity and Tonya was ready to join him.

"I was an emotional wreck, and I just decided enough was enough," he remarked.

"There would've been no way that he could've done it or I could've done it without the support of each other," his wife told us.

December 2010, determined and dedicated, Nick and Tonya made radical changes to their lives eating vegetables, fruits, reading labels and counting calories.  They also started walking one lap at a time.

"I walked around twice and I thought I was going to die.  I was out of breath.  My knees hurt.  My feet hurt.  Everything was just aching," said Nick Kopas.

It was and still is hard.

"One of the things that I like to say as an overeater is a drug addict an alcoholic, they can stop drinking alcohol and they can stop taking drugs, but you still have to eat.  I mean, you have to eat to live.  You can't stop eating food, so that having to control your urges is really difficult," he explained.

"That first month, he lost like 50 pounds and I did not lose anything, and that to me was just enormously frustrating just to say how can this be possible," said Tonya Kopas.

In his own little way without knowing it, their son is helping to motivate his parents.  They want to be the right example for him.

"So that he grows up not struggling with weight like we did all our lives," his mother said.

As months passed, pounds dropped.  No longer intimidated by the gym, the Kopas joined Lifetime Fitness in Canton Township.

Now 130 pounds lighter, Tonya has come to understand weight loss is a tough battle.

"I just want to say to every other woman just don't give up.  You're going to eventually start shedding those two pounds a week, and those two pounds may not seem like a lot, but after 52 weeks its over a hundred."

Nick is more than 300 pounds lighter and living a different life, which he realized when he made his triumphant return to Cedar Point.  He could finally ride the roller coaster with his son.

Nick is now sleeping better.  His blood pressure has improved, and Tonya feels better, but both admit they will continue to fight this battle every day.

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