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Robert E. Lee drama teacher loses 100 lbs; Finds Fit City Success

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TYLER (KYTX) - This weekend a drama teacher from Robert E. Lee High School will celebrate his Fit City Success with a "100 pound party."  That's how much weight he's lost since August.

The formula is pretty simple-- hard work.  Michael Ward came to a point in his life where he had to make the choice to live.  To do that, he turned to a martial arts trainer.

"I have had several wake up calls. The death of a friend, my father in law, both big men and I would lose a little bit of weight.

But, Michael Ward would gain it back.  At his heaviest, he weighed 454 pounds.

"It was hard to get up from a chair.  It was hard to get up from the bed and now it is so easy," says Michael Ward, Robert E. Lee Drama Teacher. 

Michael turned to martial arts.  "The core is discipline and second is balance and that is all that life is," says Dometrius Hill.  Dometrius Hill says Michael's body responded to every martial arts challenge.

"Having someone there to push you because I can do a lot more things than I knew I was able to do and just because I was breathing heavy didn't mean I was dying.  It meant I was exercising," says Michael.

Michael has committed to eating right and working out 6 days a week.  "I gave myself until Saturday to hit 100 pounds, but I came in 4 days early and I got off the scale this morning and went and told my wife. It was quite emotional to be quite honest," says Michael.

Losing the weight is helping Michael with his arthritis, sleep apnea and heart issues.  He's now working on losing another 120 pounds.

Michael is using his weight loss to help others by collecting 100 pairs of shoes for "Sole Mission."  If you want to donate, the 100 pound party is this Saturday morning at 10 by the playground at Rose Rudman Park.  You can bring a new pair of shoes by to help him with his Sole Mission.

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