COTTONWOOD, CALIF. - Many people dream to lose even 10 pounds over the course of a year. But one Cottonwood man managed to drop 200 pounds since 2010.
Scott Chalfant weighed 422 pounds only 4 years ago. He admits to being a couch potato and says he spent most of his time doing nothing but playing video games.
That changed one day when he realized his nephew wanted to be exactly like him. That threw a switch in his brain and Scott started walking.
He started out only walking about five to ten minutes at a time but he kept at it. Eventually he was walking up to 30 minutes at a stretch and he was dropping pounds quickly. In the first year he said he lost almost 100 pounds.
But it wasn't just the walking that shaved weight, he cut his crutch junk food, soda, almost completely out of his life. He stopped eating fast food and began eating salads and lean meats more often. He also was walking more and more every day.
Scott's road to weight loss wasn't without obstacles. A few years ago he got hurt at work and couldn't walk for a few weeks straight. During that time he gained back about 20 pounds before he could get back on his feet to work it back off.
But he said he didn't do it for himself, but for his nephew.
"When I was at my heaviest my oldest nephew wanted to watch me play video games constantly, nonstop, that's all he wanted to do," said Chalfant. "And that got me thinking, I do nothing but sit here and play video games. So I got out and started walking to show him that there's more to life than video games."
It seems to be working because now his nieces and nephews are all more active. They still love video games like any kids, but now they'll actively go outside and play with their friends.
Scott's sister Sara Moody is amazed.
"All my son wanted to do was sit there and watch Scott play and be just like him," said Moody. "Now suddenly he's wanting to come outside. He's making new friends, he's becoming more active. He's even eating vegetables which is amazing."
Scott's transformation has left him with a few souvenirs from his obesity. His old size 56 pants are now large enough to fit him, and all three of his nieces and nephews together. And his old shirts are big enough to hold almost two of him. He said shopping has become much easier for him since he lost the weight.
Chalfant's key was just getting outside and walking every day.
"Just get out and walk," Scott advises. "Even for just a few minutes. It's better than not doing it at all."
He also recommended that people be patient. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to really lose the weight. But his before and after pictures are staggering, it's almost like looking at a completely different person. There's a visible twinkle in his eye that is notably absent from most of his before pictures. He just seems like he feels good.
But the biggest thing is that weight loss is not a mysterious activity. Just don't eat the bad food we all know is bad and get more active. Even if that activity is only walking for 10 to 20 minutes a day, that 10 to 20 minutes is much better than nothing.