Transformation

How This SEPTA Bus Driver Lost the 60 Pounds He Gained in a Decade on the Job

Over ten years to put the weight on, around nine months to take it off.


Photographs courtesy Kenneth Payne.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one Philadelphian’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email ccunningham@phillymag.com

Who: Kenneth Payne, 35, a SEPTA bus operator from West Philly

Height: 6 feet

Starting weight: At my largest, 252 pounds

Current weight: 190 pounds

Why I wanted to change: “As a bus driver, I spend long hours sitting down. It’s been that way for over a decade now. When I was young, I was thin because I played basketball every day after school. As I got older, got married, got a full-time job and started a family, it became harder to find time to fit in exercise. The next thing I knew I had gained about 60 pounds over the course of my marriage (12 years), and I started working for SEPTA just a few months after walking down the aisle. I started feeling like I wasn’t attractive anymore and even though my wife says she was not any less attracted to me, I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. Finally, I started praying about it in January 2017. I asked God for the courage to finally make a change and for consistency while doing so. In September 2017,  shortly after I started my new bus schedule I joined The Training Station gym.”

How long it took: “I started around June 2017 on my own but really kicked it into high gear when I joined The Training Station gym.”

What changed: “I am more energized, stronger, faster, my sex life is better than ever, I am more confident, and more enthusiastic about making changes in other areas of my life. And I look good in shirts now with a smaller belly.”

“Never give up; even when you experience setbacks, keep pushing.”

How I changed my diet: “I liked to eat, and I could really throw down. I wouldn’t just eat one cheesesteak and call it a day; I would eat two cheesesteaks at a time, and French fries to top it off….[Now,] I watch my portions like never before. I eat three reasonable meals a day now, and I pay attention to calorie counts and serving sizes. I still eat the foods I always loved, but I don’t go crazy any more. I do eat fewer carbs and less candy.”

How I changed my exercise plan: “I went from doing cardio five days a week to weight training and cardio, about 2,500 calories per week burned.”

The hardest part: “Having weeks where I didn’t lose any weight. It was hard not to get discouraged those weeks.”

What I’m most proud of: “When my kids draw me, they won’t draw a round tomato man anymore. I’m also known as ‘Slim Kenny’ at the gym, and that is good to hear.”

What I want everyone to know: “With faith in Christ, all things are possible. Never give up; even when you experience setbacks, keep pushing.”

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