In 2019, Peter Schoderbek was a college student at West Virginia University, earning his bachelor’s degree in forestry. It was his goal to be a forester and spend a good deal of time in nature.
But the 23-year-old weighed in at 442 pounds. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to pursue his dream career in his current state.
“In that field, you’re out in the woods all day walking around,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Started to you know, realize, you’re not going to be able to do anything like this as a job one day if you’re like this, so I decided to start dieting pretty hard.”
So Schoderbek did what many do: He cut out carbs, ate more fresh fruits and vegetables and started an exercise regimen.
As he trained to be a forester, he spent a lot of time walking — but he still exercised on top of that. Even on days when he’d put in his outdoor office, he’d get back and work out.
Schoderbek also avoided convenience food and cut out fast food.
“I stopped eating out completely,” he said. “No McDonald’s. No fast food.”
During a time when many were staying indoors and ordering food out constantly, Schoderbek was getting outside and eating healthier.
“He’s a beagle and he kind of inspired me to do more,” Schoderbek said. “He’s pretty hyper so he’s not going to want to sit around with me all day like I do, so we’d go on walks.”
Beagles are notorious for their desire to wander in pursuit of interesting smells, so Toby kept Schoderbek plenty busy in the great outdoors.
In a picture Schoderbek posted on Facebook in early December, the difference is stark.
“Just hit my goal weight 250. Gunna keep going,” was written across the “after” photo.
With a loss of 192 pounds at that time, Schoderbek was able to do things he wasn’t able to do before, such as kayaking. He’s currently an intern state forester in Connecticut, and the future looks bright.
“If I can do it, you can do it,” he said.
Schoderbek also issued a challenge to viewers: Walk 20,000 steps today and every day for the rest of the week. Are you up for it? Your dog (if you have one) probably is!
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