Man Drops 460 Pounds, Runs Half-Marathon

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By CNN, WISH-TV Reporter Deanna Dewberry

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana  -- One man's weight-loss journey has led him from over 700 pounds to a mini-marathon!

He lost 460 pounds without surgery, but it wasn't an easy start.

Ryan Daffer was depressed.

At 735 pounds, he could no longer manage even simple tasks. He was forced to quit his job and move back in with his mom and dad. And he was only 29 years old.

"From about 22 to 29 is when I really started to notice myself getting bigger," Daffer said.

Daffer remembers the morning when he hit rock bottom.

"I got up and didn't feel good--which was pretty much every day. I went and sat down, and I couldn't get up," he said.

Daffer's parents tried to help, but they couldn't get him up.

"So they called my stepbrother and his wife, and a friend of his, and they come over. And between the five of them, they got me up. That's when I looked and my mom and said, 'It's time,'" he said.

Daffer agreed to go to a hospital, where the news from his doctor was grim.

"He's like, 'I'll be honest, if you live past 72 hours I'll be really surprised,' " Daffer said.

He went from the hospital to rehab where he ate 1,200 calories a day.

"I lost 200 pounds in 90 days," Daffer said.

No surgery, no extraordinary measures ... just diet and exercise.

Daffer described the first day he stepped into the YMCA: "At that point, I weighed about 510, 520 pounds, and even then I'm still a big guy going into a fitness facility.  But I knew I had to put myself into an environment where I at least would have the opportunity to succeed."

Then, last year, he began training for his first mini-marathon. It was monumental, magical, miraculous. He marked the race with a kiss of the bricks.

And this year, he did it again. Saturday morning, in fact.

It's a race symbolic of his journey--a journey made with the help of family, friends and faith.

"I'm just thankful. I'll be honest. God gave me a second chance," Daffer said.

Ryan Daffer offers advice to anyone struggling with weight.

He says you should surround yourself with people who support you.