NC firefighter loses 93 pounds in 3 months
Robert Heussy, an 11-year veteran of the Union Road Fire Department, has lost 93 pounds in three months after deciding to join a gym in July
By Adam Lawson
Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C.
GASTONIA — Eleven years spent working long hours at the fire department and consuming an unhealthy diet inevitably wore on Robert Heussy's body.
Hurt knees, sore feet and bad cardiovascular health battered at the Union Road Fire Department captain and full-time Crowders Mountain Volunteer Fire and Rescue firefighter. He couldn't help but worry about his future.
"I was scared of being in my 30s and having a hard time getting this weight off," Heussy, 27, said. "Still wanting to be a fireman, still wanting to do this as long as I can. I'm so passionate about it that I want to keep doing it as long as I can."
Heussy finally decided enough was enough in early July and signed up for a gym membership at the Loray Athletic Club.
Three months later he's lost 93 pounds, and once-difficult tasks now feel much easier to achieve.
"I went down a size. I had been bigger than this," he said. "My shorts are baggy. I'm having to go to Goodwill to get clothes just for now just because I'm losing so fast. There's some clothes I can't wear anymore at all because they're so baggy. My knees getting out of the truck, lifting myself up, going on calls where you're getting in and out of the truck, it all feels easier."
Heussy, who still has to drop about 60 more pounds to reach his goal, credits small steps for big success.
His workout regimen started light. Now he'll jump straight from the stair stepper machine to the treadmill and then to weight training.
Quick meals are often a necessity for a firefighter, but that doesn't have to mean fried fast food sandwiches. And at catered events, he's learning to make smarter decisions filling up his plate.
"It doesn't mean you have to spend so much time at the dessert table," he said. "I really enjoyed sweets. I always had a sweet tooth. I eat sweets now, I just try to do it in moderation."
Heussy chronicles his weight loss journey through posts and live videos on his Facebook page. It's hard to hide a big weight loss, he says, and being public about it could help others trying to take the same steps.
Plus it allows him to hold himself accountable, he said.
"It's a motivating, inspiring thing," he said. "Really it's me wanting to motivate others but in a sense I'm getting a lot of motivation from it."
Heussy, who started his Fireman's Faith ministry to help fire departments in third-world countries, says he wants his body to "represent the kingdom of God."
His end goal, he says, is realistic. It's not about having a six pack or winning a strength competition. His mission is just to live a normal life.
"I don't want to be a bodybuilder," he said. "I don't have a desire to be in a Crossfit competition. Really, I want to be healthy."
(c)2018 Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C.