Healthy Directions

Tim Klousia's Success Story

To understand the changes Tim Klousia has experienced in the past two and half years, the key is not what he's lost, but what he's gained - a new lease on life.

At age 25, Tim weighed 305 pounds. Today, the scale levels off at 185. It's poundage that literally weighed him down. "I was miserable all the time," recalls Tim. "Getting up and down hills was challenging. I would wake up and be tired. I was depressed, because of how I looked and felt."

Klousia works at the John Deere Construction & Forestry plant in Dubuque, Iowa, and credits a co-worker with helping him change his life. Robert Manbert offered him tips on diet and exercise he learned from bodybuilding. "He was the one who showed me the way," says Tim, adding, "Life is too darn short to be miserable. I dedicated a year [to getting healthy] so I can save the next 60-plus years."

What followed was a year-and-a-half of consistent weight-loss achievements, fueled by frequent exercise and sensible eating. Tim halved his daily caloric intake, set small weekly goals, and found that healthy food could taste good, too. "The hardest part isn't losing the weight, but getting your mind around the fact that you could do it," he notes. With his added confidence, he started dating, and is now engaged. The pair met in the company fitness center.

The exterior changes were so extreme that Tim actually had to reintroduce himself to former co-workers on the new product side, who'd missed Tim's progress while he was assigned to the factory. However, the changes are more than skin deep, says Tim. "I'm enjoying life again, and doing things I never would have done before." The now active 28-year-old engineer enjoys serving on the John Deere recruiting team, socializing, advising for Junior Achievement and biking with his fiancée.

The biggest reward (so far) came at his best friend's wedding, where he surprised a few folks with his new joy in life. "I'd never danced before, and I was the guy out there on the dance floor having a blast, of my own free will," he says, adding, "I can't wait to do that at my own wedding."