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Gr8 Inspirations: Firefighter shifts lifestyle, loses 100 lbs.

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – A 21-year veteran in the Carmel Fire Department has not only worked to protect his community, he has inspired its members.

Sean Sutton, 42, recently celebrated a milestone in an intensive weight loss journey. After joining the department at the age of 21, Sutton said he continually gained to a high of 340 pounds.

“I remember a couple times going on fire alarms at hotels or some of the high-rise buildings and having to climb those stairs. Literally, I could feel my heart just pumping out of my chest,” Sutton said.

Doctors diagnosed Sutton with Type 2 diabetes and poor triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which motivated him to make a drastic change in his lifestyle.

Sutton chose to eat a plant-based diet and started an exercise routine with a coach.

The diet, he admits, has been challenging especially considering his work environment when the entire firehouse cooks and eats meals together. He runs an Instagram page that highlights his meals and workouts for personal accountability.

“They support me 100 percent in what I’m doing, especially now that they see my results,” Sutton said of his coworkers. “I don’t want to be a statistic so that’s why I changed my life.”

He started by running 30 seconds at a time and gradually increased to a straight half hour run that ended emotionally on Christmas Eve. Three months later, Sutton would aim to complete a new goal of 13.1 miles in the Carmel Half Marathon.

“Before, I never really moved my body with purpose and I was just going through the motions because I had to because I was either playing football or because I was a firefighter and that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Sutton said.

Sutton has lost 100 pounds and has a goal of dropping more. He will run in Carmel’s event on March 31.