Rudy Hickman, 61, of Cumming lost 50 pounds

  • Michelle C. Brooks
  • For the AJC
12:00 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 Living
Rudy Hickman weighed 281 pounds when the photo on the left (contributed by Onelife Fitness, www.onelifefitness.com) was taken in November 2016. In the photo on the right, taken in January, he weighed 238 pounds. (photo contributed by Rudy Hickman).

SUCCESS STORY / Rudy Hickman, 61: From 285 pounds to 235 pounds

Former weight: 285 pounds

Current weight: 235 pounds

Pounds lost: 50 pounds

Height: 6 feet

Age: 61

How long he’s kept it off: “I started with Onelife Fitness (www.onelifefitness.com) Jan. 3, 2017,” Hickman said.

“I reached 235 pounds (this January),” he said, “and have 30 more pounds to go to get to my final goal.”

Personal life: “I work in Cumming, Ga., and have been here since 1996,” Hickman said. “I married Laura Hickman in 2009 and was a little under 240 pounds when we met; happiness helped me gain the rest of the weight over the next few years. I am a senior project manager for AT&T — this job keeps me seated at a desk most of the day. I have worked for AT&T for 40 years.” He lives with his wife in Cumming.

Turning point: “I had a couple of motivations,” Hickman said. “The birth of my granddaughter made me look at how bad a shape I was in and the fact that she may never know who I am — and I am worth knowing. The second, and the one I contribute to my success, is that my wife, Laura, and I decided we needed something to do together. So we signed up with Onelife Fitness. … I had been on diets but never linked the workouts to the diets — all ended in more weight gained.”

Diet plan: He starts his day with an egg or a salad with chicken. Lunch is a frozen meal. Dinner is salmon with vegetables.

Exercise routine: “I exercise four to five times a week,” he said. He works out with a trainer who designs his fitness plan, and he also takes gym classes, including body pump and body combat. “Initially, I worked out 30 minutes during a session. I now work out an hour each session and pal up with others to help them stay encouraged. … My regret is not working out in the gym long enough in the past for it to become a habit. That is where it is now, and I have way more strength and endurance,” he said. “Looking back, that first 30-minute workout was one which had me looking at the clock the whole time. Now… (I’m) no longer watching the clock. … (My wife and I) work out together, and if one does not feel like working out, usually the other does and it motivates us both to go then to the gym.”

Biggest challenge: “The biggest hurdle, challenge, brick wall or any other term that says OMG,” he said, “was the one getting to that habit point. … Once three weeks were over, I found I was in a training habit. … It is a fact that Onelife Fitness has given us back our lives — it is now one life worth living.”

How life has changed: “I noticed this last summer: I was in the ocean and next to a boat. Instead of climbing the ladder, I had the arm strength to pull myself up onto the side and get in,” Hickman said. “We have more energy and are happier people.”