Bethlehem native credits gym, circle of support after losing 175 pounds in just 1 year – 69News WFMZ-TV

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Updated: September 8, 2022 @ 2:02 am


If you see Zach Johnson walking around Penn State this semester, you might not recognize him. In just one year, the Bethlehem native dropped 175 pounds.
“Getting back to school I thought about what changes can I make,” said Johnson.
Weighing in at 364 pounds, he embarked on his health journey, one he says wasn’t easy.
“I failed my first time, I really want to make that clear,” said Johnson.
He intermittently fasted, and he and his best friend Toby would work out at the Penn State Lehigh Valley gym together. That’s where he met Lorie Khalil.
“I explained to her who I was and that I was trying to lose weight,” said Johnson.
“I would see him in the fitness center consistently,” said Khalil, Coordinator of Athletic Programs.
“It was just like hey you’re already working out, I’m working out, let’s do it together.”
Day in and day out, Zach says he stuck to the plan. Things that were once difficult soon became effortless.
“My body started changing, these walks and runs got easier and easier and easier,” said Johnson.
He says he couldn’t have done it without the support of his inner circle.
“My mother has been extremely supportive; she’s been my rock. She was one of the biggest ones along with Lorie and Toby,” said Johnson.
“He sends me texts thanking me, whoever but I’m like you did it, we just did it and opened the door,” said Khalil.
Zach adds that although he is proud of the weight loss goal he accomplished, he’s prouder of the journey that got him there.
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