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Dropping Pounds: Michael Georgio, 26

HIS STORY After letting his weight creep up for five years because of complacency about both his health and his love life, it took a breakup to shake up the life of Michael Georgio.

"We were relaxed and would sit in front of the TV and eat pizza," says Georgio of his now-defunct relationship. "After we broke up, I really looked at myself and saw how large I was."

His self-esteem had tanked as his weight rose. It was a contest at work that helped him regain his self-confidence.

"We started a 'Biggest Loser' contest," says Georgio, who adds that he won five weeks in a row. "People kept arguing, and the contest sort of fell away. But I kept at it because I was getting so many compliments, and it was building my self-esteem.''

He says he changed his eating habits and practiced portion control. As a lawn-care specialist, he drags heavy hoses, walks and does other physical activity for eight or more hours a day.

"Before, for breakfast every day I'd have a Hungry-Man Hero. That's three eggs on a roll with sausage, potatoes, ham, bacon and cheese," Georgio says, adding that lunch and dinner were fast food or pizza, sometimes both. "Dessert was a gallon of ice cream."

Well, he's a changed man in a lot of ways.

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"I have so much energy and so much confidence now," Georgio says. "Now, girls actually come up to me and talk to me. That didn't happen before."

DIET Far from a Hungry-Man, Georgio's breakfast is a banana and a Special K bar. Lunch is usually a salad with chicken and low-fat dressing, followed by a grilled- chicken or grilled-fish sandwich on whole-wheat bread for dinner. "Dessert is fruit," says Georgio, who adds that he drinks at least a gallon of water a day.

EXERCISE He walks 10 to 15 miles a day five days a week.

"When I'm not working and during the off-season or on the weekends, I go to the gym and run on the treadmill for three to five miles and lift weights," Georgio says.

ADVICE It's all about the commitment and paying attention to your health, he says. "When you start seeing results, you won't look back. . . . I'm committed because when I have children, I want to be able to play with them without needing to catch my breath."

Michael Georgio

26, Medford

Occupation Lawn-care specialist

Height 6-foot-3

367 Weight before January 2011

278 Weight after July 2012

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