A Texas father-of-three who two years ago says he was an overweight, over-medicated insomniac watching infomercials in the middle of the night is now 118 pounds lighter and $106,000 richer thanks to one of those infomercials.
Casey Walker, 42, of Hurst, Texas, won $100,000 Saturday night as one of the two grand prize winners of the 2015 Beachbody Challenge, having already won $6,000 in the months leading up to the grand prize announcement.
Walker told ABC News he weighed 275 pounds and was in and out of the hospital due to an undiagnosed autoimmune condition in September 2013 when he “reached the end of his rope” and turned to Beachbody, a Santa Monica, California-based company famous for workouts like P90X and INSANITY.
“One morning I was sitting in my chair on a ton of medications and was watching Beachbody infomercials because I couldn’t sleep,” Walker said. “I felt like God said, ‘It’s time for you to get up and get moving.’”
“Something clicked in my head,” he said.
Walker then had to convince his wife, Erica, that he was committed enough to purchase the workout DVDs plus the company’s Shakeology shakes because, at the time, he was unable to work as a pastor due to his health. It was left to Erica, a nurse, to support him and the couple’s three children, ages 9, 7 and 4.
“I’d just lost another job and my wife said, ‘We really can’t afford this,’” Walker recalled. “I said to her, ‘I know I can do this.’”
Walker began drinking a shake every day and doing Beachbody’s 25-minute Focus T25 workout daily, modified because of his limited mobility.
“I just started moving in my living room,” said Walker, who says he lost 70 pounds in the first three months.
Walker went from eating Oreos, pizza and hamburgers to a diet of Shakeology, lean proteins, vegetables and fruit and the weight fell off, 118 pounds in all from September 2013 to May 2015.
“I started fueling my body with something that my body had been craving,” said Walker, who added it was his kids mainly that pushed him to get up and get moving.
“I was acting like I was 81-years-old and my brother-in-law could play with my kids more than I could,” Walker said of his life before the weight loss. “It was gnawing at me.”
As Walker, who now works as a Beachbody coach, found success, he started submitting pictures of his transformation to Beachbody’s website for the chance to win prizes like money and t-shirts.
Next thing he knew, he received a call last month inviting him to attend the company’s conference in Tennessee as one of four male finalists chosen from thousands of entries.
On Saturday night, with his wife by his side, Walker found out he was the $100,000 grand prize winner.
“It was just utter shock,” Walker said. “I had no idea.”
The former full-time pastor says his new lifestyle has led him to a “beautiful” place in his life where it’s “all kind of coming together” between his spiritual background and physical transformation.
“As I’ve gone through this journey I’ve been able to inspire other people that there’s hope,” Walker said. “You can get off the couch. This doesn’t have to be your existence. It’s so much more than muscles.”
Walker says he is most grateful for the fact that the $100,000 he won is allowing his wife to “walk a lot lighter these days.”
“She’s been working full-time and carrying this load because I’ve been sick,” he said of Erica. “This is going to mean paying hospital bills and paying off credit card debt.”
“My yard is a train wreck so it’s going to help us do over that and help me do some stuff for my wife,” Walker added. “And my kids want to go to Disney World."
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