TAMPA (FOX 13) - Three people - three different lives - are connected by a common thread. They're members of the Century Club, meaning they've all lost 100 pounds and are keeping it off.
As senior director of food services at metropolitan ministries, Chef Cliff Barsi's plate at work is always full. But six years ago, at 310 pounds, his passion for serving others became his motivation to lose weight.
"I was prediabetic, high blood pressure, acid reflux, so I was probably taking 10 to 12 pills a day," Barsi says.
He chose a doctor-supervised "ideal" plan and started dropping a pound a day.
"Within 30 days I was off all my meds," he explains.
Barsi's perseverance is fueled by his faith.
"It’s a total life change. It's not just, lose the weight and go back to where you were. You don't want to go back there," he said.
Barsi got down to 195 pounds.
A failed relationship launched Michael Tamez into a comfort food frenzy.
“I was drinking about two 2-liters a day and I was eating fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner," he explains.
He weighed 250 pounds.
It got so bad, Michael fell asleep while driving.
"I had sleep apnea so bad and I got into a car accident and that like literally woke me up," he says.
Tamez used addition to lose his weight over 10 months. He added exercise and instead of subtracting foods he craved, he "crowded" them out with healthy options.
"You don't have to restrict anything because eventually the more good you add, the bad can't survive in that environment," he explained.
It's a mind- body equation that's helped him keep the excess 105 pounds off for 16 years. Michael is now guiding others as a health coach.
"I can relate to people because I know the struggle and what it takes," Tamez said.
For more information on Tamez’s services go to http://www.Michaeltamez.Com/
Ten years ago, Heather Shrouds' doctor told her she was headed for a heart attack at age 31. She weighed 230 pounds.
"He told me I had to do something. I was like a 60-year-old inside," she says.
Shrouds now competes in world athletic events, but her initial weight loss began with the help of a personal trainer and took a year and a half. She got down to 130 pounds.
A decade later, she's paying it forward as a masters swim coach at New Tampa Family YMCA.
"I love inspiring and motivating people, just bringing brightness to other peoples' days," she said.
In August, Shrouds will be competing for Team USA in the Duathlon World Championships in Canada. To support her trip, visit https://www.Gofundme.Com/230lbs-to-duathlon-team-usa