SPONSOR STORY - Stanford Johnson is a native East Tennessean and two-time honorably discharged veteran. Just last year, his weight wasn’t where he wanted it to be, he was homeless, and in need of a change. He had also spent the better part of three decades in varying degrees of active alcohol addiction. Today, he is no longer homeless, is nearly 60 pounds lighter, has more than two years of sobriety, and he is inspiring many with his amazing story.

After completing the Steps House Homeless Veterans Program in March of 2017, Johnson was required to find an apartment. His only search criterion was that the apartment had to be within walking distance of a gym due to his goal of transforming his health. He found a place and signed the lease on Friday, March 31, 2017, and joined Planet Fitness on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

He admitted he was hesitant when he walked into Planet Fitness for the first time, but knew that staying in the same place was far more miserable than the pain of change. “I believed that if I ate sensibly and exercised with as much intensity as I could muster just this one day, and do it again day after day, I would accomplish my goals.” Spoiler alert: he accomplishes his goals.

“The staff members at the Planet Fitness on North Broadway were outstanding from day one when I joined,” Johnson said. “I often had questions, but the staff was always eager and able to help me."

Even though Johnson faced some health setbacks after doctors found a mass on his abdomen, and two hernias, he still managed to maintain his sobriety, continue his regular exercise regimen, quit smoking, and has lost nearly 60 pounds since joining Planet Fitness.

“I regularly use the amenities and recommend Planet Fitness to all my friends and relatives. It is a goal of mine to help others who desire to make positive lifestyle changes, and I believe I am a living example of the commitment and discipline it takes to sustain a positive lifestyle change. All you need to succeed is a little traction, and then once you have a little traction, momentum. And you only have to do it today. Tomorrow has enough worries of its own.”