Friday, September 28, 2012

Dedication pays Off: Kiri Stevens’ Story

At Barbizon of Akron, all of our students come from a wide range of ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds. Kiri Stevens, one of our graduates, was no exception. But truly, Kiri’s differences shaped him into a person destined for success! 

Born the middle child of three boys, Kiri jokes that he was born overweight. His parents, Stilianos and Angela, immigrated to the United States and have always been in the restaurant business. By the time he was 12, he was already well over 200 pounds. 

After losing his father to skin cancer, Kiri decided that enough was enough and he had to take control of his life. At 424 pounds, he knew that his weight loss journey was going to be a long and strenuous one, but the payoff would be sweeter than anything he could ever ask for. There is no better gift than life, and he knew he had to cash in. 

“It really is a lifestyle and a mindset. My plan was to write everything down. I kept a food log, enrolled in a gym, and changed my eating habits. The key is eat what you want, just small portions and in moderation. Exercise.  
I started using the elliptical machine at the beginning and saw weight drop almost immediately. It encouraged me to add more time everyday. I started with half an hour per day, and added more time as I became stronger and more confident. When I started to get attention from girls I felt awesome, because for so long I was the ‘sweet friend’ and that was tough!” 

Losing ANY amount of weight takes a LOT of dedication. In the end, Kiri lost over 250 pounds and gained so much more! The confidence gained from his life change allowed him to pursue some other dreams he had never before considered; he wanted to act! 

Kiri became involved in local theater groups and began working with Barbizon of Akron to help develop the skills he needed to be successful. Living in Cincinnati, Kiri would drive three hours to go to a four hour class and then make the three hour trek back home. With perseverance like Kiri’s, obstacles are only something to be laughed at. 

Today, Kiri is living in Los Angeles. The move has kept him quite busy as he is constantly getting work! Many credit his success not only on his dedication but his positive attitude and happy demeanor that just fills the room. You can’t help but smile with Kiri around! 

Kiri’s biggest advice: 
The biggest piece of advice I have is to be realistic and to be good to yourself. I will never say, “I can’t” again, because it’s not true… Today should be the day where you say “no more excuses!”