New York, NY, December 23, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Adjusting the speed on his stationary bike, Randy Jernigan shifted his weight, wiped at the sweat that had collected on his brow, then began to peddle.
For an entire hour, the 53 year old American freelance writer biked without getting out of breath or stopping because of pain.
That feat was a remarkable accomplishment for Jernigan, who weighed in at 355 pounds (huge for his 5’8 frame) a little over two years ago and could barely walk to his mailbox without severe pain or total exhaustion.
He has lost 163 pounds to date, has beat a severe case of gout, diabetes and hypertension, and has resolved to keep the weight off and remain healthy for the rest of his life with his own maintenance program.
Jernigan says he was fighting for his life.
His weight-loss journey began a little more than two years ago when he collapsed in his bathroom at home one evening. His blood sugars and blood pressure was out of control and if his best friend and roommate (Jackson Fackrell) hadn’t got him to the emergency room in time he may not have lived to tell his story.
A doctor told Jernigan that if he didn’t make some quick changes he’s be dead within 3 months.
His success so far–without the help of surgery or an organized weight-loss program–is nothing less than stunning, local health care officials noted.
“It’s been a hard road but I’m determined to keep it off and stay healthy,” says Jernigan, who kept a daily diary on his Facebook page, then ended up penning a best selling book about his experiences titled, “Losing To Win! A Digest of Recipes and Tips to Keep You Fit and Healthy” through Creative Partners Publishing House.
As soon as Jernigan left the hospital he began to walk, as well as use his apartment complex's workout room.
Pound by pound the weight began to drop off. His shirt size shrank from 3X to medium and his pant size shrank from size 54 waist to 36 waist. “I can actually see my toes now when I’m standing straight up.”
His meals shrank, too. On the advice of a dietician he began eating whole fruits and vegetables and lean meats.
“Once I began to lose about 10 to 15 percent of my body weight I began to feel so much better health-wise and emotionally and I began to realize that the health benefits were all well worth the journey.”
Jernigan now speaks to weight-loss groups and writer’s conferences about his experiences and has another cookbook slated to be published shortly after the first of the year.
Jernigan's first cookbook, which was never published, was a collection of traditional, unhealthy Southern fare and was about to be shipped off to his publisher when he collapsed and became seriously ill. After working hard and getting his life back on track, Jernigan decided to pull the manuscript back and put together his healthy tips and recipes that helped him turn his life around. "Losing to Win!" became an instant best-seller and Jernigan's story was featured in magazines and newspapers around the world.
Now after successfully keeping the weight off and enjoying a higher degree of health, the author has decided to revisit the idea of a Southern foods cookbook, but this time the recipes will be a much healthier version.
“There's no need for Southern foods to always be deep-fried and heavy. Like all good regional cuisine they rely on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and a deft hand at seasoning,” Jernigan recently explained to Britains, The Guardian. “Good Southern cooking incorporates many regional influences from old English cookery, to Cajon and Creole spices. It's not easy to define. Great Barbecue, cornbread and collard greens to Jambalaya and Gumbo. Southern cooking is all these and more!
So how has life changed for Jernigan since losing the weight and beating his health issues?
“I have a lot more energy to get things done,” says the veteran writer. “My writing work used to suffer a lot—I was always late for editorial deadlines and I'd drop a lot of really great writing projects because I was so freak'en sick and lazy. I can't tell you how many agents dropped me because of it. I don't have to do that now. I get things done and I'm always on time,” brags Jernigan.
According to several news reports, the busy author has multiple books scheduled for release next year and has completed a screenplay for a production house. Jernigan is also in talks with a producer friend to host his own healthy cooking show on one of the cooking channels. And on a much more personal note one of Jernigan's social media pages (as well as a candid photo floating out their on the net) reveals that the author is romantically involved with a special someone who will remain nameless for this story.
Jernigan's new book, "Southern Cooking Made Healthy," will become available early 2015 through Creative Partners Books, Amazon and Kindle.