Edgewater Man Sheds Nearly 200 Pounds Through Diet and Exercise Changes
Jimmy Amburgey said that he has a little less than 200 pounds to go on his weight loss journey.
Twenty six year old, Jimmy Amburgey knew that he was overweight. He had always been a big guy. Even after childhood when he began to grow into it, he was a heavier than most his age. But he used the weight to his advantage and joined the football team at Southern High School.
For four years Amburgey played football, working out as much as his coaches called for—but no more.
By his senior year, he weighed 300 pounds. He said that he was okay with that.
“No matter what I ate, I weighed 300 pounds,” Amburgey said, “The weight never went up and it never went down.”
But after high school, with no coach to make him work out, the eating habits he had developed began to catch up with him. Still, he didn’t worry. He watched the weight creep up. He made guesses at how much he weighed and listened as family and friends told him that it might be time to lose weight. Still, he wasn’t concerned. He was young—he would worry about that later.
His wake up call came this January while out with a friend.
“I had had one drink when my best friend turned to me and said, ‘Jimmy, are you okay? Do I need to take you to the hospital?’” Amburgey said, “That is the first time I began to worry.”
As his weight had crept up on him, Amburgey had changed his life. He was no longer able to do things he could before. He was winded more easily. Just standing up became a chore.
His first step on his weight loss journey was a fitness assessment at South River Fitness in Edgewater.
Casey Donaldson, a trainer at SRF has been working with Amburgey for the past several months. She said, “when he walked in, we knew this was going to be the biggest challenge we had ever faced.”
After weighing in at a stunning 600 pounds, Amburgey had two paths. He could either take on what seemed to be an insurmountable challenge to lose the weight, or he could go home and wait for his health to continue its downward spiral.
According to Donaldson and his nutrition coach, Bri Simpson, Amburgey never hesitated. Donaldson said there have even been times when she had to slow him down.
Currently he works out four days a week with Donaldson, walking a mile each way to and from his sessions. The other three days a week, he works out on his own at home.
In addition to exercise, the South River team believed in the importance of changing the way Amburgey eats. He has to be mindful of how he fuels his body. To help him with this, Bri Simpson meets one-on-one with him every week.
At 6'4", Amburgey's Body Mass Index (BMI) when he started was 73. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. A BMI in a range from 19 to 26 is considered a healthy weight.
Since January, Amburgey has lost 192 pounds. He plans to lose another 188 pounds by next summer reaching his goal of 220 pounds.
At South River Fitness, Amburgey has found a support system he had never expected. Other members of the gym, both at South River Fitness and the Parisi Speed School have watched his progress over the past nine months and are some Amburgey’s biggest supporters.
Donaldson jokes, “he’s got fans.”
But meeting this young man, seeing the confidence he has built through this challenge and the progress he has made, it might not be a joke. Amburgey is certainly worthy of fans.
“He has never missed a session. He is never late. And most importantly he has never lost the enthusiasm,” Simpson said.