05/01/2014 08:48 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Tired Of Being Unhappy, Ernie Lauro Lost 157 Pounds

Ernie Lauro

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Name: Ernie Lauro
Age: 29
Height: 5'10"
Before Weight: 352 pounds

How I Gained It: I've always been overweight. I never watched what I ate. Basically, I ate whatever I wanted to -- fast food, sweets -- and a lot of it, too.

Breaking Point: I started to notice I was always short of breath and sweating a lot. It was hard to find clothes that fit. I was just unhappy and miserable. One day, I got on the scale, and it said over 350 pounds. I was embarrassed and ashamed. That day, I decided to make a change.

How I Lost It: I completely changed my diet. I cut out all the junk food and stopped the fast food. I started eating oatmeal, protein shakes made with unsweetened almond milk and protein powder, bananas, almonds, Greek yogurt, fruits, vegetables, brown rice, chicken and fish. I do a lot of reading now on what is good or bad for you. I also joined a gym. At first, I did mostly cardio on the treadmill and the bike. I felt a little intimidated at first, but I got used to using the machines and now I love it. I go in the morning before work five to six days a week. My workouts consist of mostly weightlifting now, as I'm trying to add muscle and tone up.

I feel amazing now, better than I ever have. I have so much more energy, whether it's at my work in construction or playing with my children at the park. I just feel great.

After Weight: 195 pounds
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As told to Sarah Klein.