Recent college grad loses nearly 200 pounds over past year

Peter ShoderbekBy ANGELINE JANE BERNABE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — With the coronavirus pandemic keeping many people in their homes, some have gained the “quarantine 15.”

But with the start of a new year, now may be the best time to develop healthier habits and change your mindset to reach your health goals.

One person who did just that is recent college graduate Peter Schoderbek, who decided to use his time in quarantine to get healthy.

In 2019, Schoderbek, 23, weighed 442 pounds. Toward the end of his college experience at West Virginia University, he began to realize his health was deteriorating and needed to make a change to meet his career goal as a forester.

“In that field, you’re out in the woods all day walking around,” Schoderbek told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I started to realize, like, look, you’re not going to be able to do anything like this as a job one day if you’re like this, so I decided to start dieting pretty hard.”

Schoderbek said he began to make diet changes like swapping slices of pizza for fruits and vegetables and launched an exercise routine. He soon started to see major results.

“I stopped eating out completely,” he said. “No McDonald’s. No fast food.”

Even on some of his busiest days in the field, hiking 10 miles through forests all day, Schoderbek would go back home and do a workout.

Another source of inspiration for Schoderbek? His new puppy, Toby.

“He’s a beagle and he kind of inspired me to do more,” said Schoderbek. “He’s pretty hyper so he’s not going to want to sit around with me all day like I do, so we’d go on walks.”

Now, Schoderbek hopes his story motivates others to take control of their health goals this year.

“If I can do it, you can do it,” said Schoderbek, who is currently an intern state forester in Connecticut.

Schoderbek is challenging everyone at home to walk 20,000 steps a day and encouraging people to use the hashtag #GMAMotivationNation on social media to get in on the challenge.

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