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Wake-Up Call Gives Clinton Man Strength To Lose 500 Pounds

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CLINTON, N.C. — Losing unnecessary weight is a major accomplishment, but one man in Clinton has lost 500 pounds. It started out as a medical diet to save his life. Now, he has discovered a life he never thought he would have.

Corkey Boyette admits he has always been a big man, but over the years, health and family problems caused him to turn to food for comfort. The more depressed he became, the more he ate.

"I'd sleep all day and I was up all night just watching TV and eating," he says.

He eventually reached 735 pounds. He went into heart failure and had dangerouly high blood pressure. About two years ago, Boyette's doctor gave him a wake-up call -- one he will never forget.

"He sat me down and said if you want to see your 43rd birthday or your grandchild being born, you need to do something," he says.

He decided to do something drastic. Boyette moved into an assisted living center, went on the diet drug Xenical and started a strict 1,000-calorie-a-day diet. At first, he could not even walk around the building.

"It took about four and a half months before I could walk end to end," he says.

Each week, Boyette walked a little farther and lost more weight. He weighed 675 pounds when he held his new granddaughter for the first time. Today, he has lost more than 500 pounds.

"I feel great. I have so much energy," he says.

For motivation, he keeps pictures of his progress, along with a 60-inch belt. Each notch shows just how far he has come. Boyette says he still has 30 pounds to lose. He wants to weigh an even 200.

"I never want to weigh over 230 pounds again as long as I live," he says.

Boyette predicts he will meet his goal by January. He has some big plans for his 45th birthday in April.

"I want to go skydiving to celebrate it. It's something I always wanted to do," he says.

Boyette says he had to learn to overcome his eating disorder and to make good food choices. He says he could not have done it without the help of his family and friends.


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