Trevor Feuring loves theme parks. In fact, he loves them so much that every year, he makes a solo trip to a different park for a weekend of thrilling rollercoasters and other rides.
However, in October 2016, while visiting Six Flags in St. Louis, he received a wake-up call that would change his life.
“I was about to ride the Batman rollercoaster, when the ride attendant told me if the seatbelt wouldn’t fasten completely, I couldn’t go on the ride,” he recalled. “It hit me that if I was going to continue to visit a theme park every year, I needed to get healthier.”
Feuring, who lives in Robinsonville, Miss., and works as the lighting coordinator for Bluesville at the Horseshoe Casino, weighed 345 pounds. He began following a low-carb diet, quit eating fried foods and began taking daily walks around his apartment complex.
“At first, I would get winded after six laps around the complex,” he said, “but eventually, I was able to build myself up to eight to 10 laps, and I have even added in some running.”
Coupled with strength training and calisthenics, the weight began to melt away.
However, when Christmas rolled around, he struggled.
“That was the hardest time of year when it came to sticking to the diet,” he said. “People would bring me food-based gifts, but I just had to stay motivated and know what I was doing it for.”
In just a little over eight months, Feuring has lost 96 pounds. He’s down to 249, and hopes to eventually hit his goal weight of 220.
Feuring’s dedication to his new lifestyle is one of the reasons he was selected to receive the American Heart Association’s Lifestyle Change Award.
The Lifestyle Change Award, which is sponsored locally by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, is awarded to individuals who have made positive changes to improve their quality of life and health.
Each quarter, the American Heart Association accepts nominations for the award, and a committee picks the winner after reviewing the nomination. Feuring was selected as the fourth quarter winner.
“I am so honored to be recognized for what I’ve accomplished,” he said. “I have to work extra hard now to keep losing weight, but I know it is going to be worth it in the end.”
Just a few weeks ago, Feuring had the opportunity to visit King’s Island Theme Park in Ohio, but he has an even bigger goal for 2018.
“My parents took me to my very first theme park, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia,” he said. “So next year, I plan to return to favor and take them.”