MIDLANDS (WIS) - We have a truly inspiring story about overcoming obesity. WIS News 10's Dan Tordjman introduces us to a Midlands boy who, at just ten years old, decided he had to change his life to live a better one.
"I look like a different person. I used to be big and chunky. Now I'm thin and lean."
In just three months, ten-year-old Peyton Richburg lost 30 pounds. "People used to call me big, say I was fat. I wanted to lose weight so that people couldn't say that anymore."
Most important for Peyton was football, but at 130 pounds, he couldn't pull his weight as a lineman on his Pop-Warner team. "I used to breathe heavy because I was big and heavy."
Even worse, Peyton had to wear a red-dot on his helmet, which meant, as his mother explains, "He could not play certain positions. He wanted to play certain positions. He was not very proud of that red-sticker. That was his motivation - I am not going to be this size!"
So without any prompting from his mom, Peyton started shedding the pounds. He's 30 pounds lighter, and a lot happier. "I can get many more tackles. If they do a little move, I can get 'em, yeah."
Peyton's place was on the football field, but it was at home this past summer that he lost most of his weight. Thanks to his inspiration, a guy who has a pretty neat story of his own.
"He was always a big kid. To see him lose weight makes me feel good as well."
Big brother Kelan got the ball rolling with a strict plan of diet and exercise for Peyton and himself. "Cut back on a lot of sweets and fast food. Go in the back yard, run laps, jump ropes."
"He pushed me a lot, made me work hard," says Peyton.
"I didn't have any input. They did it themselves - and that made me proud," says the boys' mother.
She's proud of Peyton and Kelan, who lost 20-pounds himself.
This is the last game of the season. The game plan moving forward, Peyton says, is to keep the weight off and inspire others. "I encourage myself to do it. I encourage others to do it."
Peyton's story comes as researchers note obesity rates are on the rise. They've steadily increased over the past 20 years, and a new study also ranks South Carolina 42nd in the US in terms of health.
Reported by Dan Tordjman