January 28, 2009; News 12 at 6 o'clock
Every day, we here at News 12 tell your stories, but now, we have our own story to share. We know it's getting harder and harder for you to keep your New Year's resolution of losing weight and getting in shape. In fact, now is the time a lot of people give up, but two people in our building will probably inspire you to hang on.
Every morning, you wake up with News 12's Stacey Hilton and Meteorologist Tim Strong, but you are also starting your morning with someone you can't see: Chazaray Robinson.
We know him as "Chaz," our morning director.
Chaz is the man in charge of the video, the graphics, and a whole lot of buttons, but recently, he took charge of something else: his health. "I started out at 375," remembers Chaz. "I've lost 85 pounds."
This past September, Chaz made a decision to change his life, and looking at old pictures, you can see what a big change it is. Still, his goals were not to look better. "My main goal was health because I want to have kids in another five years, have a family, and I want to be around for them."
This is where Philip Williamson comes in. He works with Chaz as the audio operator for News 12 This Morning. He's our sound man, but he helped Chaz see what gastric bypass can do.
"When I first started working here, I had just had the surgery," says Philip, and Philip literally started disappearing right before our very eyes.
"My entire life, I was always made fun of. I was always the fat kid." At his heaviest, Philip weighed more than 400 pounds, and he admits "chairs would literally break under me. I was 425 pounds, like I would never really know if I was going to be okay sitting on something."
However, Philip certainly knew how he felt about it. "I was depressed a lot. I was able to hide it, though. I would make fun of myself also, in front of other people because then, if they laughed, it was like they were laughing with me, not at me."
The laughter stopped, though, when he and his fiance, now his wife, went to a conference in Atlanta. "At the time, I was 23, and according to the doctors, my life expectancy was 35." It was a loud enough wake-up call to have the surgery, hit the gym, and eat right.
That was 200 pounds ago. He's still going.
He's also inspiring Chaz, who works out five days a week. Plus, he's just started an intense boot camp at the YMCA.
He's got a way to go, but he's come a long way. "I think the best thing was when I went to visit my girlfriend for New Year's and you know, big people, when they get on an airplane, they need a seat extender? I sat down, and I was like, do I need one? I fastened my seat belt without an extender, and I think that was the best thing ever."