SALT LAKE CITY — One family's dramatic weight loss transformation started with a few books and ended with a whole new life.
The Olson family today looks very different than it did three years ago. The three family members had been overweight most of their lives, but have now lost a combined 375 pounds.
"It's really fascinating to see, because people do not recognize us at all," said Kyle Olson, who lost 85 pounds.
The family's transformation began in 2010 when Ed Olson, Kyle's father, saw a promotion on TV for the book "The End of Overeating."
"So he ordered the book and read it," said his wife, Lori Olson, who has lost 150 pounds. "It was basically (about) how to become healthy, how to eat right, exercise."
After reading the book, he decided he couldn't just go on a diet — he had to change his lifestyle. That change proved to be contagious, and his wife and son decided to join him. But even with each other's support, it wasn't easy.
"The first six to eight weeks when you give up sugar and fat is really horrific, because those cravings will drive you crazy," Ed Olson said.
They haven't just changed physically. Their all around outlook on life, the energy level, especially my mother, just increased dramatically.
As the Olsons adjusted to their healthy menu, the weight dropped off. Ed Olson has lost 140 pounds, and it's stayed off for more than a year.
However, the numbers on the scale aren't the only thing that has changed; Kyle said he's noticed a bigger difference in his parents' attitude.
"They haven't just changed physically," said Kyle Olson. "Their all-around outlook on life, the energy level, especially my mother, just increased dramatically."
The Olsons are still eating healthy and are proud they haven't returned to their old habits.
"You have to change the way you think about food, and it's got to go on forever to keep it off," said Ed Olson.
The Olsons are using their experience to give advice and help others who want to lose weight and live healthy.