Fast Food Junkie Becomes Fitness Fan

It started like any other day on the job for then-police officer Dane Brandwein. He had a break, so went home to grab some food. It didn’t take long before he started to feel uneasy. Still later, he returned home, changed clothes and went to church with his wife.

“Honestly, I thought I’d gotten a bad piece of chicken,” Brandwein recalled. “I never even went into the sanctuary. I was suddenly getting pains all over my body, and when the pain started radiating from my heart, we headed to the emergency room.”

Once there, blood work showed a blood fat level that was so high, Brandwein says the doctor didn’t believe it – and ordered the test to be repeated. The result the second time was the same.

That’s when Brandwein learned his eating habits, which included a daily trip to the fast food restaurant across from the police station, had led to a multitude of health issues. “Chicken nuggets and French fries. I ate them all the time.” Along with very high cholesterol, he had diabetes. “I thought I was perfectly healthy. I really did.” At six feet tall and 283 pounds, Brandwein needed to completely change his lifestyle. He and his wife cut out added sugar, and he stopped going to the hamburger joint.

“The real key for me, though, is exercise,” explained Brandwein. ”As I neared retirement, I joined Mercy Fitness Center in Nixa, and it became my place. I work out until the sweat just drips off me, and I feel new and clean when I’m done.”

Now weighing in at 216 pounds, Brandwein is much trimmer, and needs a lot less insulin. He has several goals: to beat diabetes and to fit into pants with a 36-inch waist. He’s just one size away from making that happen. He says he’s living proof you can turn your current lifestyle around, and start feeling better every minute of every day. “I was actually killing myself. Now I just feel wonderful - physically and mentally. I didn’t realize what feeling good really feels like.”


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