After losing 104 pounds, man becomes weight loss coach to help others: ‘We all have to start somewhere’

Wellness Wins is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.

Jeremiah Peterson is 5-feet 11-inches tall and currently weighs 198 pounds. In 2017, after realizing his weight was holding him back from being his best self, he decided to take control of his health and fitness. This is the story, in Peterson’s own words, of his weight-loss journey.

The Turning Point

I have dealt with being heavy my entire life. I would put weight on and take it off. It has always felt like a battle.

My turning point came when I went on a backpacking trip with my family. I couldn’t keep up with my kids. There was one point in the trip where I was on this incredible mountain side, trying to catch my breath, I looked up and saw my family going on ahead without me and it broke my heart. I knew I needed to make a permanent change so that I could be with my family for as long as possible.

Jeremiah before his weight-loss journey. Photo: Jeremiah Peterson
Peterson, pictured before his weight-loss journey, struggled to keep up with his kids. (Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Peterson)

The Changes

I started by doing what I love, hiking the mountain behind my house. I took my dog every morning and every night after work, it was roughly a 40-minute hike each time. I also did strength training five to six days a week on my lunch break.

As far as nutrition, I thought keto (hight fat, moderate protein, low carbs) was going to give my body the best results and so that is what I followed and still do today. I did keep track of my calories each day and how much protein, fat and carbohydrates I got from those calories.

Once I committed to the new lifestyle, I felt the best I have ever felt. There was no giving up for me — I knew I had to make a change. I had to become the person I knew I was capable of being.

Jeremiah before and after losing weight. Photo: Jeremiah Peterson
Peterson before and after losing weight and getting in shape. (Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Peterson)

The After

Honestly, I am still very much on that journey. There is no finish line. You have to keep working hard everyday. It is not like the weight comes off and stays off. You have to keep working at it. But you know there is such an awesome feeling when you don’t have to struggle to lean over and put your shoes on. There is such a great feeling just going through day-to-day life without all that extra baggage. It was excess baggage both physically and emotionally for me.

I think the biggest surprise is realizing that you have to continue to put the work in every day. It is no different than brushing your teeth, making your bed, paying bills and taking care of a family. It is an everyday thing.

The Maintenance

My routine hasn’t changed much. I do some sort of exercise every day. I still love hiking with my dog, so I hike everyday with Cash. I love strength training so I lift five to six days a week.

For me, family comes first. My kids are always around and I know they say and do so many of the things that me and my wife do. So it is so motivating for me for them to see me working hard every day. I want them to know healthy habits and take what I have shown them and make their own lives the very best they can be.

My number one inspiration is and always will be my family. But I started fitness coaching online this last year and the thousands of people I have met around the globe are truly amazing. It is so inspiring to read their messages, see their own transformations and be able to relate to them with the struggles that I went through and how I overcame them. My clients are so important to me. I consider so many of them like family. Weight loss is an extremely sensitive and vulnerable thing to go through. There are more awkward and humbling moments than we realize in the entire process. And it is a process. Nothing happens overnight.

Jeremiah after his weight-loss journey. Photo: Jeremiah Peterson
Peterson, pictured after his weight-loss journey, does some form of exercise every day, including hiking and weight lifting. (Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Peterson)

The Struggles

I am a regular guy. I work more than 50 hours a week at my antique store, my kids are all in sports, I have an online weight loss coaching business called The Keto Fitness Coach, which I pour my heart and soul into, and I still work hard to stay strong, healthy and in shape. It isn’t easy to manage my time and take care of all my responsibilities. I am definitely ready for bed at the end of my long days! But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love my life and what I get to do day in and day out.


My advice is to work with a coach. So many people are capable of doing this, but they don’t know where to start and they need accountability. We all have to start somewhere, little by little, day by day it all adds up. Accountability is powerful. All too often we won’t show up for ourselves but when we know we have someone holding us accountable, it is a game changer.

You are the writer, the director and the star of the story unfolding before you. Own that. You have the power to change, to wake up and feel good, to love where you are at and where you are going.

Follow Jeremiah on Instagram @jeremiahpetersonmontana. And check out Jeremiah’s fitness coaching website at to find out more.

Need more inspiration? Read about our other wellness winners!

Wellness Wins is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative, 135-pound weight loss of her own.

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