DENAIR, CA - After attending a weight loss academy, a teenage boy chose to battle obesity the natural way and lost 100 pounds.
Now 18, Freddy Fahl is happy and healthy, but it took a huge reality check to get him to this point. Two years ago at 16, Fahl weighed 360 pounds. Fahl said, "It was kind of hard because obviously kids are going to be kids and make fun of you more."
Fahl's mother, Debi DeShon, said she was in denial, and it took her many years to realize something needed to be done.
DeShon said, "He's 16 years old and 360 pounds. I'm about to grow this kid up and at 18 send him into the world at 400 pounds. I couldn't do that. As a parent, I couldn't do that."
In August 2009, Fahl enrolled in Wellspring Academy in Reedly, which is just south of Fresno. Wellspring Academy is a residential weight-loss school. Along with exercise, Fahl learned to control his portion sizes and make better food choices.
Fahl said, "The whole program is not a diet. They call it a lifestyle." The new lifestyle included 10,000 steps a day and a structured meal plan. "We wore pedometers and ate only up to 20 fat grams."
After 7 months at Wellpsring, Fahl lost 100 pounds. Fahl said one of the best things about losing so much weight was shopping for new clothes, specifically being able to buy a shirt in a size large, as opposed to a triple extra large.
Fahl said, "It makes me feel good now, knowing that I accomplished all of that. I just can't believe I let myself get that big. You just don't really notice it when it's happening."
The tuition at Wellspring Academy is just over $6,000 a month. Fahl's mother says it was well worth it. "I couldn't be any more proud of him. The fact that he lost a hundred pounds is fantastic. The fact that he's kept it off for more than a year is amazing."
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