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Published March 02, 2014, 10:30 PM

Holt: Fargo pharmacist drops 150 pounds

FARGO – Mike Glessing recently opened his own pharmacy, M-D Pharmacy. The 29-year-old Fargo man says he wouldn’t have been able to do it without changing his lifestyle and losing a whopping 150 pounds. And he owes it all to his grandfather’s old Schwinn Airdyne.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

FARGO – Mike Glessing recently opened his own pharmacy, M-D Pharmacy.

The 29-year-old Fargo man says he wouldn’t have been able to do it without changing his lifestyle and losing a whopping 150 pounds.

And he owes it all to his grandfather’s old Schwinn Airdyne.

Mike’s New Year’s resolution in 2012 was to lose 50 pounds, and he did it by riding the bike for as long as he could stand it.

“When I started, I could only ride that thing for, like, five minutes,” he says.

By May, he’d met his goal. Now he tries to ride it 100 miles a week while watching TV.

After he dropped the first 50 pounds, he turned his attention to his diet.

He slowly switched to a high-protein, low-carb diet, eating several small meals throughout the day. Breakfast changed from Frosted Mini Wheats to Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Out went the baked goods, including mom’s Scotcheroos.

“I pretty much swore them (baked goods) off, because I knew once I started, I couldn’t stop,” he says.

Now his mother has a baking outlet in the pharmacy, located inside the Hornbacher’s on 13th Avenue and 42nd Street South, bringing her pies, bars and cookies in for customers.

But Mike still won’t touch them.

When he wants something sweet, he sprinkles Crystal Light into his Fage Greek yogurt or blends some with milk, frozen fruit and an avocado.

Yes, an avocado.

“It really smoothes everything out,” he says.

As a self-described “happy-go-lucky kid” growing up in Fargo, Mike was overweight from about the time he was 6, but fortunately, he doesn’t remember being teased or bullied about his weight.

“I could tell that I couldn’t do things that other kids could do, but it never really bothered me in any way,” he says.

It wasn’t until his size started affecting his work that the pharmacist decided to do something about it.

At his heaviest known weight (he avoided scales for years), Mike weighed in at 347 pounds, which made long days difficult.

“In pharmacy work, we stand all the time, so my feet were starting to get really sore,” as were his knees and other joints, he says.

Now Mike, who earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from North Dakota State University in 2009, uses his personal journey to help others achieve their own health goals.

“I love being able to correlate my experience with other people’s challenges and give them helpful advice from someone who’s been there,” he says.

He keeps his driver’s license handy to show customers the difference. It’s so shocking he almost got kicked out of a bar because the bouncer thought he was using a fake.

But, “When I look in the mirror, I still see the same person with the same jovial attitude. Nothing has changed, for me, in that way, other than the boat doesn’t sink as much when I step in it,” he says.

Do you have a weight-loss story to tell? Email me at mholt@forumcomm.com.

Forum reporter Meredith Holt lost over 100 pounds between 2010 and 2012. She will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.

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