Indiana man awarded for 120 lbs. weight loss in one year

Photos of Rick Huffman before and after his weight loss. (Provided Photo/Rick Huffman)

SHERIDAN, Ind. (WISH) – A 120-pound weight loss has earned a Hamilton County man recognition from the American Heart Association.

Rick Huffman was awarded the organization’s Real People. Real Change. Lifestyle Award. after an online vote among seven finalists.

Huffman’s story of a lifestyle change started when tragedy impacted his family in 2007. The emotional toll from the death of his young daughter also became physical.

In May of that year, Huffman discovered his two-year-old had died in the middle of the night after a bunk bed collapsed.

“It was devastating for us. It took a real toll on our family,” Huffman said. “After that happened, I just kind of gave up on things and just turned to food and just kept getting heavier and heavier and heavier and just kind of fell into a trap.”

Huffman was motivated to improve his health after learning two of his children were at risk of heart disease and other deadly diagnoses themselves.

“I realized that because of all the things that I had been doing, I haven’t really set a good example for them,” Huffman said.

Huffman started using his employer’s fitness center and overhauled how his entire family approached food. The difference amounted to the loss of 120 pounds in one year.

“I really didn’t realize before I started this, how bad I felt until I’ve lost this weight and I see how good I could feel,” Huffman reflected. “What I tell people is if you cannot do it for yourself, you need to do it for somebody else because you have people that love you and people that depend on you and that’s what motivated me.”

Huffman said his wife and five children have collectively lost 300 pounds.