In June 2006 Wade Hannah thought long and hard about his life. He was 370 pounds, had a stressful job, was in his mid-thirties and had a young family.
"I said to myself, I'm 35-years-old, and I need to reevaluate where I'm at," Hannah said. "I have two children and my quality of life is not where I want it to be."
After much research, he decided to have bariatric surgery and was confident he'd succeed.
"I'm a stubborn person and when I make a choice, I stick to it," Hannah said. "I also didn't want to let my wife or myself down."
He certainly did not let anybody down, including the surgeons who performed the surgery.
"The doctors are amazed that I've lost as much as I have," Hannah said.
After losing 100 pounds during the six months after surgery, currently he maintains a 170-pound weight loss through cardio exercise and strength training.
Along with the weight loss came a newfound comfort in working out at the gym.
"I didn't have the stigma of the fat guy in the gym," he said, adding that his waist has shrunk from 50 to 36 inches, he's added two inches of arm muscle and he can lift 40 to 50 pounds, up from the 10 pounds he could lift during his first workout.
He stresses that people should do their research before having surgery, have a support system and be committed.
"Surgery is only a tool and not the cure," Hannah said. "It is a mindset. If you're not committed, you're wasting your time."
Now Hannah likes to share his experiences with others whenever he can.
"The cool thing is I hope I can be their support," Hannah said. "And that's what it's all about."