FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Pete LaFaucia weighed more than 470 pounds at his heaviest. He said, “I was a heavy athletic guy up until high school, ran track, played football. But after that I went to college, every meal became a buffet, and stopped exercising. And then I went from being a hefty lineman type guy that threw shot and discus in track to just becoming a fat guy. And it just grew and grew and grew and grew from there.”
The moment he realized something needed to change was Christmas Day 2013. His young daughter tried to crawl into his lap, but because he was so large, there was no lap for her to sit on. “It became a fun and games thing where my wife laughing, my daughter was laughing, and I laughed along too but secretly inside that was just tearing me up,” he recalled. “I still look at that picture and it makes me want to cry because I can see the smile on my daughter’s face. You could see that I might smile but if you look into my eyes I kinda feel almost dead inside.” He says he went from being the jolly, fat guy to realizing this was bad and making the decision to never be fat again.
The weight loss was slow at first. He made small changes like cutting back on soda, and decided he would need help to lose all the weight. He underwent weight loss surgery to help kick start this process, but then needed to find ways to exercise to make sure he could keep the weight off. His wife, Elizabeth, said, “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. It’s not just Pete who’s made the transformation. I mean yes, the weight loss is all him. But it has been a whole lifestyle change for the whole family.”
LaFaucia says, “My daughter then started competing in swimming. Well rather than sitting around with all the swim moms for an hour, hour and a half while she’s in practice, I decided to start walking. Walking turned in to a little bit of jogging, jogging turned in to running. And basically that’s where it all started.” This Fort4Fitness marathon comes roughly three years after he started running. and he has now fallen in love with it. His advice to others is to find something you enjoy doing to keep you active. “Any activity is better than no activity,” he says.
He now works at Catalyst Fitness downtown doing membership and marketing. He helps produce a podcast called Smart Fitness that used to be a radio show. He is also starting to work toward becoming a personal trainer. He says there are no personal trainers that he could find who specializes in helping people who have had bariatric surgery to keep the weight off.