Dave Shuman

"I bought my willpower," jokes the 36-year-old contractor, who weighed 361 pounds before his gastric bypass surgery in December 2005 at St. Francis. "I've made lifestyle changes now to support the weight loss. To do otherwise would be like taking a $100,000 truck off road and smashing it into a tree. I still have to eat right and exercise."

The father of three played high school football and continued to be an active adult, playing softball and framing houses. However, 18-hour days often led to doughnut breakfasts, fast-food lunches and late-night pizzas.

He lost his breath easily when playing with his kids or tying his shoes, his joints ached, his back hurt and he couldn't sleep. His turning point came one night while holding his infant daughter and watching a television show about gastric bypass surgery.

"I want to walk my daughter down the aisle," Shuman said. "I want to watch my kids grow up, and I want to be healthy."

Shuman lost 56 pounds the first month, ultimately reaching his goal weight of 197 pounds about 11 months later. He had plastic surgery in December 2006 to remove seven pounds of skin and took his Harley-Davidson to Sturgis, N.D., with his wife, Beth, to ride "without my shirt for the first time in my life."