Diet, exercise routine has made ‘Tiny’ smaller

Published 10:17 am Monday, June 2, 2014

John 'Tiny' Likely and Scott Brown with the pants Tiny wore when he began his weight loss journey.

John ‘Tiny’ Likely and Scott Brown with the pants Tiny wore when he began his weight loss journey.

Last week, while at work at Zaxby’s, John “Tiny” Likely grabbed four 30-pound boxes of French fries.

It wasn’t that, as a cook, he had a huge order to fill. But as a motivator, he had a point to make.

“I’ve lost more weight than these boxes weigh,” he explained. “This is how much more weight I used to carry, every step I took.”

That was last fall, when he first went to work at Zaxby’s. Just standing was a big effort, he said.

He doesn’t know how much he weighed then, but he knows it was more than 500 pounds.

His pants? Size 60. Shirts? 8XL.

With encouragement from his boss, Scott Brown, who also bought him a gym membership, Likely modified his diet and started exercising.

Now, he’s down to 356 pounds, wears a size 46 pants, and proudly boasts a size 2XL shirt size.

“It feels so good to be able to go in Walmart and actually buy clothes,” he said.

In the past, he shopped online at kingsize direct, or drove to a specialty store in Greenville.

“To be honest with you, I had the biggest pants I could buy, and they were tight,” he said.

Likely works out a minimum of six days of week, and puts in about two hours in each time.

“Right now, when I go to the gym, no matter what, I always start with cardio,” he said. “Right now, I do three miles on the treadmill, which takes me exactly 60 minutes. I leave the treadmill, I do free weights. Before I leave the gym, to cool down, I do two more miles.”

When he started, he said, it took 32 to 33 minutes to do one mile.

“Right now, at 30 minutes, I’ve done a mile and a half. I’ve increased my time a lot,” he said.

Since he started, he’s achieved more than half of his original goal of losing 300 pounds. He has been a guest speaker at Rotary, interviewed by corporate representatives of Zaxby’s, and this week, was the speaker at a Chamber breakfast sponsored by Zaxby’s.

“It was an honor just to be there,” Likely said. “It’s an honor for Zaxby’s – my bosses and co-workers, and the community to support me.”

Likely has more than 1,500 people following his weight loss journey on Facebook (TeamTiny Andalusia). The encouragement he gets in publich helps him keep going, he said.

“I have to motivate myself every day to get up, and eat right,” he said.

He posts his low-carb, low fat meals daily. On a typical day, after leaving the gym he has scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, an orange, and lots of water. He has grilled chicken and salads with limited dressing during his meal break at Zaxby’s, and at home, he’ll enjoy either grilled chicken or fish and fresh vegetables.

“I totally, cut carbs as much as I can,” he said. “I went from eating whatever I wanted to eating very healthily.

“Whatever I wanted” was fried chicken, unlimited Coca-Cola, and lots of Little Debbie’s snack cakes.

Now I eat all of that good stuff I never ate before,” he said. “It’s not yucky, actually it is delicious, it’s good for you, and I feel a lot better.”

Likely said so far, he’s lost more pounds than many people weigh.

“I’m looking forward to having another person off of me,” he said.