One family surpassed all odds and lost a combined total of more than 450 pounds together. Sarah Bentley and her husband Dave liked to eat out for every meal. They realized something had to change. And they did it. Their secret? Commitment to changes in their diet and exercise.
“I was tired,” Sarah Bentley, 31, said. “I was always sitting at home or watching TV. Dave and I are very outgoing, happy people on the outside, but we were super uncomfortable in our skin.”
She knew something had to change. She also wanted to help her family but to do that, she knew she had to start with herself.
“For me to make change in my family, I had to make change for myself,” Bentley said.
After she was "sick and tired of being sick and tired," one woman decided to make a change that inspired her family—and led to a massive weight loss milestone.
And so, in January 2014, Bentley was ready to make that change. When a friend told her about a health and wellness company called AdvoCare, she decided to sign up, reported People.
“I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I just had a mindset switch,” she said.
Bentley started on AdvoCare’s 2040 Jumpstart program, and immediately lost weight.
“My energy was up and I was trying recipes and I had a lot of support,” Bentley said. “In three months I was able to lose 50 pounds and that’s when my mother and husband decided to join me.”
David, Bentley’s husband, was skeptical at first. But then, he “watched Sarah transform before [his] eyes.” He said, “Her energy level, the way that she was eating and carrying herself; literally she inspired me to start.”
Bentley’s mother also had a similar reaction, stating about Bentley’s transformation that “She’s got all this energy, and in the three months she was down 50 pounds. I just thought, ‘My God, she’s onto something. I have to do this,” Debbie, 64, said.
Their previous unhealthy lifestyle had led to Sarah weighing in at 280 pounds, while Dave reached 347 pounds.
Through the AdvoCare program, they learned to eat clean, unprocessed foods, instead of irregular, junk-filled meals.
“I learned how to properly meal prep and eat and fuel my body,” Bentley said. “It was the energy, in the way that I felt, that’s why I decided to continue on.”
For Dave, his motivation came from his wife as well as their two children, now 7 and 9 years old, according to Good Morning America.
“For my kids, that’s what really kinda kills me,” he said. “I felt like I was living off of the couch and I was just feeding them microwave chicken nuggets.”
When they started out, Sarah was at 280 pounds while Dave hit 347 pounds. Sarah’s parents, Debbie and Steve Hoffman also followed her progress. They were overweight as well, with Debbie at 299 pounds and dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. Steve was at 410 pounds, morbidly obese and pre-diabetic.
“We didn’t work out that first year,” Bentley said. “Then we had goals we set for ourselves after losing 100 pounds.”
The Weight Loss Journey
Without the use of diet pills or weight loss surgery the family was able to lose weight. In the beginning, they just focused on their diets and later started implementing exercise, CrossFit for David and spinning and a personal trainer for Sarah.
Debbie and Dave both started four months after Sarah, in April of 2014, and Steve, 66, joined a few months later. Sarah has now lost 110 pounds, Dave is down 137 pounds, Debbie lost 119 pounds, and Steve 121 pounds. Together, they have lost a combined 487 pounds.
The four have not only managed to maintain their weights but are continually losing more and toning. They also turned their weight loss into a family business by working with AdvoCare.
“We have meetings at our house and show [people] how to cut carbs and calories,” Bentley said. “It’s teaching people how to eat and how supplementation works.”
“When I started, I had so much support. That’s why I succeeded,” she added.
The Family Now
PEOPLE Now: Meet the Family Who Lost Nearly a Combined 500 Lbs — Watch the Full Episode https://t.co/Cgk6ngz3fv
— People (@people) January 2, 2019
They’re now doing activities they never thought they could. Dave and Sarah are into CrossFit and love to hike with their two children. Steve recently remodeled their house in Buffalo, New York, while Debbie walks five miles a day and goes on long bike rides.
“I got back the quality of life I never thought with rheumatoid arthritis that I would ever have again,” Debbie said. “I feel fantastic. I really do.”
Just feeling fantastic isn’t the only upside though. Debbie said, “It seems to have really brought us even closer together as a family. We do so much together now.”
As the saying goes, those who sweat together, stay together.