Kent Altena

Age 36
2012 Atkins All-Star Winner

* The average person can expect to lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Results may vary. Weight loss is influenced by exercise, food consumed and diet
211 lbs lost*
Kent Altena - after
Kent Altena - before

My Story:

I was the typical overweight kid. My parents started charting my weight when I was 6 years old. I don’t recall it helping, and I was usually the tallest slowest person in my class. By the time I reached high school, teenage hormones caused me to lose a lot of weight. During high school, I joined the National Guard and went through Basic Training. I weighed at that time about 180 pounds and ran my two-mile PT test in less than twelve minutes, which seems amazing to me now.

After high school, I married my high school sweetheart. Over the next few years, I went to college and grad school, worked way too much, and wasn’t paying any attention to my body. After six years of military service, I was already on the “fat man’s list” and had problems passing the PT test. I endured another three years of ridicule due to the excess weight, and eventually had to leave the service. I had tried many times to lose the weight, but I never had prolonged success with any diet or exercise program.

Gradually, the weight began to affect other areas of my life. I tried to convince myself that being happy was more important than being healthy. What a fool I was… I eventually got to a point where climbing stairs was difficult, and in meetings, I had to disguise the fact that I was out of breath. I also suffered from a severe case of sleep apnea that caused me to fall asleep several times at stop lights. I definitely saw the problems. Eventually, a car accident drove me to stop ignoring the problems and seek real change.

I started trying to lose weight on my own using low fat or moderation plans. I also tried exercising, but only succeeded in dislocating my kneecap playing basketball. Over the next 8 months, I lost a grand total 10 pounds. The weight loss hardly seemed worth the effort. In January 2004, my brother decided to do the Atkins diet. I viewed his weight loss efforts with skepticism and some derision about the “”fad”” diet. He proceeded to lose 65 pounds. I realized if he could do it, I should at least try. I had little hope that it would work, but I decided to give it a shot. If it didn’t work, I could always follow through on weight loss surgery plans.

My Goals:
Initially, my goal was to get down to 225, but that number was just arbitrary. I was really just looking to be as fit as possible. The end number was unimportant to me as my life and the journey turned out to be the most important things.