Photos courtesy of "The Oprah Winfrey
Hughes with his fiancé, Kim Gales.
There is a celebrity among us—Robert Hughes, field
superintendent, project manager and director of plant operations
for J.D. Miles & Sons Inc., Chesapeake, Va., appeared on the
Incredible Weight-loss Stories episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
After the 43-year-old hit 365 pounds (164 kg), he made a decision
to get his life in order. Hughes began walking 1 mile (1.6 km) a
day and watching what he ate. He read weight-loss magazines to
learn how to create a menu plan. Hughes lost 165 pounds (74 kg); he
now runs 5 miles (8 km) per day and is a trainer at a local
Professional Roofing: Why did you appear on "The Oprah
Hughes: My appearance on the show was the result of a
tremendous amount of meditation, prayer and hard work. My
fiancé, Kim Gales, submitted my story in June 2002 in
response to the show's request for dramatic life changes linked to
personal weight. I didn't hear anything until Jan. 6. Show
representatives then called several times every day for an entire
week asking all types of questions but always ending the
conversation by saying, "We're considering hundreds of people."
Then, on Sunday, Jan. 12, the show called to tell me my flight was
leaving for Chicago at 7:17 a.m. the next Monday. I was in the gym
training a client when I received the call; my client yelled about
the show to a local ABC affiliate news anchor also at the gym. The
anchor had me come to the studio for an interview before leaving
for the airport.
The show aired Feb. 10 and July 21. Although I didn't speak to
Oprah off camera, the experience always will be with me. She's a
wonderful person, and her entire staff redefined the meaning of
first class. For three days, I was treated like...
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