WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - Michael Warren had a lot of lose. The 20-year-old Wintersville resident who once tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds lost 125 pounds in 18 months to pursue a career in law enforcement.
He was sworn in as a deputy sheriff in Ohio County on Monday, two days after he married his high-school sweetheart of six and a half years.
"I got a wedding ring and a badge, and I closed on a house in one weekend," Warren said.
Before embarking on his journey to better fitness, Warren said, he couldn't do one push up and didn't have the endurance to run very far. Now he can do 30 push-ups and runs nearly every day, managing to clock 1.5 miles in under 16 minutes.
He said his new wife Theresa, was the "angel on my shoulder" who helped him curb his urge to splurge.
"I'm sure she whacked my hands a few times," he said Tuesday.
With his wife's help, Warren said he limited his daily intake to no more than 30 grams of fat a day and worked up to running a mile or two every day, lifting weights and doing bench presses.
Warren, a self-professed band geek, was studying music education at Cleveland State University when he decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. He transferred to the Weirton campus of West Virginia Northern Community College to study criminal justice before taking an internship with the Steubenville Police Department.
Jim Tully, a criminal justice professor, said Warren excelled in the classroom.
"He set the standard in every course," Tully said. "In class, he demonstrates leadership."
Warren's wife said she is proud of her husband.
"He didn't think he had the confidence, but he showed what can be done if you really want to do something," she said.
Warren said he is in a job surrounded by people who are committed to fitness. There's no way he would ever slip back to the days when he ate just "to pass time," he said.