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SBU radiation safety officer drops 70 pounds with boxing

Sean Harling, 46, of Mastic, at left in

Sean Harling, 46, of Mastic, at left in December 2016 when he weighed 255 pounds, and after his 70-pound weight loss. Credit: Theresa Harling; Jeffrey Basinger

Sean Harling

46, Mastic

Occupation Radiation safety officer at Stony Brook University

Height 5-foot-10

Before 255 pounds, December 2015

After 185 pounds, April 2018

The unusual part of Sean Harling’s weight loss story is that he didn’t realize he dropped pounds until colleagues started mentioning his baggy clothes.

When Harling, who admits he wouldn’t be mistaken for a dapper dresser, eventually stepped on a scale, he discovered he was down 45 to 50 pounds. He credits the weight loss to boxing classes he’s been taking.

“My son had joined a boxing program in September of 2015, and I decided a few months later to give it a shot. My objective wasn’t to lose weight but to learn how to box,” says Harling.

“At first I went to a class twice a week, but then became more interested in the science of boxing and started going more often. . . . Now I love boxing.”

His interest has turned competitive. He’s signed up to compete in an international boxing tournament in June.

Harling said that about four months ago he started taking an interest in what he was eating. “I really got hooked on watching what I was eating and tracking my calories, weight and steps.”

An added bonus to his weight loss, Harling says, is being more comfortable around people and more confident socializing.

Harling starts his day with a protein shake and doesn’t eat again until lunch time, when he usually has a fish and vegetable meal his wife prepares for him. His boxing class is in the evening, so Harling eats dinner after that, around 8:30 p.m. Dinner is always beef, chicken or fish, a green vegetable and, periodically, a sweet potato.

Harling has never been a sweets eater, and if he eats snacks at all, it’s usually peanut butter, cashews or walnuts.

Harling attends five one-hour boxing classes a week.

“It’s really about committing yourself to whatever program you choose. I love boxing. Find an activity you love and maintain the discipline.”