‘Half the person I used to be’ – a weight loss story

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“Nothing tastes … as good as being fit feels.”

That may be a simple message, but it is lost on many people who have a hard time connecting that bite of a sugary treat leading to the kind of obesity that can kill you several years later. The weight simply goes on too slowly to truly feel the connection.

But as Rick Hurley’s weight fluctuated between 379 pounds and his peak, at 440, something had to give. His doctor said it was his internal organs.

At that weight, diabetes was about to hit and that would start to destroy his pancreas, kidneys and heart. Being a new grandfather, he decided there was a better way.

Rick isn’t much for exercise -- unless you consider a push mower exercise. He lost his weight by simply writing down everything he ate and keeping his, ‘bible,’ nearby.

The bible is a book that lists the calorie counts for pretty much every food, even at most restaurant chains. Over five or six years, he lost more than 200 pounds and now maintains at 180 pounds -- his same weight when he got married at 16.

Ariel Garl is no Rick Hurley. She needed a different solution.

Her parents divorced when she was three and food became her solace. Although she is happily married, she didn’t want to see her son inherit her habits, so she knew she had to change.

Her weight, peaking at around 220, was something she knew she could eventually out run. Ariel now does half Iron Man races, a far cry from her first workout, several years ago when she ran for a minute, walked for three and thought she was going to die.

Meet Ariel and Rick in this edition of the Buckley Report.


  • Cyndi Wells

    I have known Rick Hurley for almost 40 years. He married my sister in 1974. I watched him over the years as his weight increased but never fully realized the toll it was taking on him until he decided to do something about it. I admire the courage it took for him to take this step and make the changes in his lifestyle. The road was not always easy for him but he stood steadfast. His book of calories wasn’t the only Bible he turned to for support and help. Rick has been an inspiration to his family-both biological and in-laws. Thank you for including him in this story. I am very proud of him and the man he has become. I wish him many more years with my sister, their children and spouses, and those four precious grandchildren.

  • Australia Smith

    Keep up the good work, I have a nephew who has the same weight problem but he’s not trying to lose weight but his problem is that he need clothes to fit him .would you please donate some of your clothes that You no longer wear .thank you if you can in advance.

  • Kathylyn Barnhill

    congratulations to both of you. Ariel you are a “Rock Star” ! Congratulations on Beach to Battleship:)

  • Ariel Olson

    there is an app for that!! on your smartphone look up Myfitnesspal or go to myfitnesspal.com you don’t need to write it in a book it is kept online..

    Ariel.. High point 135 lb in 5 years

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