Assistant principal loses 110 pounds, his wife loses 40, in Fitbit transformation

Health & Fitness

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AMMON — When Barry Parkes reached 300 pounds, he promised himself he would finally do something.

He had been overweight and out of shape for 20 years. He didn’t exercise and his eating habits were poor.

“I would not eat breakfast, not eat lunch, and then I would go home and eat two pizzas, and I’d be 6000 calories,” he recalls. “When I stepped on a scale in the workout room last July, it said 325. I was like what? How did I get here? I thought — I’m done. I’ve got to do something. This is way higher than I ever thought I would be.”

Parkes, an assistant principal at Rigby High School, heard friends at work talk about the Fitbit app and he thought he would give it a try. He started by creating a “food budget.”

“I’m a math guy. I’ve budgeted my whole life,” Parkes says. “From that day until today, I’ve kept track of every single thing that I’ve eaten.”

Parkes says he learned portion control by tracking his calories. He never owned a fitness tracker or smartwatch, so he entered all of his exercise and calories manually. He admits he finally decided to give in to his wife’s invitations to go on walks. She too has lost 40 pounds using the app.

“I’ve had people say, ‘You must really be exercising hard,’ and I say, ‘I walk.’ That’s all I’ve done. We’ve gone on walks together for the last year an a half,” Parkes says. “I haven’t changed what I eat. I cut down on my portions but as far as what I eat, I haven’t changed one thing. If I want a milkshake, I have a milkshake.”

Barry’s wife, Shauna, says she’s always loved her husband, but his weight loss has brought huge benefits to their marriage. Now they do fitness activities together that they couldn’t do before.

“I feel like a newlywed. It’s great. I’ve always loved Barry – he’s a great guy – but it’s nice to be able to do things together and not worry about being tired or sore,” Shana Parkes says.

The Parkes say they’re sticking with their commitment to track calories and after making their drastic transformations, they call themselves a ‘power couple.’

“I’m by no means an expert – which is an indication that anybody can do this,” Parkes says. “It’s not that hard if you just really want to do it. I think that commitment is the key.”

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