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SUFFOLK -- He walks at his own leisurely pace, but if you would've known Tim Felton a year and a half ago, you might appreciate the mountain he has climbed.

He takes out his license to show the size he left behind.

365 pounds and yet the burden of physical insecurity felt heavier.

'I was losing my self-confidence. It was sad,' Felton described.

He shows another picture taken during a cruise vacation splurge with his wife at his side.
She's the same woman who use to worry about him every night.

'My wife had told me before, 'Hey, hey you're not breathing.''

Felton went to the Virginia Neurology and Sleep Center in Suffolk to see neurologist, Dr. IA 'Dimi' Barot.

He wanted to do something about his snoring and blinding migraine headaches. He tested his sleep and found that Felton stopped breathing 66 times an hour. The doctor immediately put him on a continuous positive air pressure machine or CPAP.

'Because there isn't an exchange of air, oxygen levels do drop. So when you splint the airway open, you restore normal oxygen levels without having to directly give oxygen,' described Dr. Barot.

Felton began getting 98% more oxygen a night compared to 60% percent. His headaches disappeared and to his shock, so did the weight.

'I didn't to notice until the weight started to drop off, because I had started working out before coming here and trying to lose weight, and it was very slow.' And then,' he says excitedly, 'It was starting to accelerate a little bit, and I started having more energy. That's the key I believe.'

Dr. Barot explains it like this, 'In many people, good sleep jump starts, for lack of a better word, their metabolism when they are effectively treated for sleep apnea. The three fat hormones, Cortisol, Leptin, and Ghrelin are dependent upon normal and healthy sleep.

Once those hormones are regulated, you don't have the same carb cravings because blood glucose levels are better controlled.

Felton now works out six times a week - walking, lifting weights, and doing yard work.

'I try to be low key about it, but inside yes, I'm very, very happy with myself.

When asked what his wife thinks, he responded, 'She says I'm a new a man!' as he laughed and blushed.



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