FERNLEY, NV - Sonny Harrison is 17, likes nothing better than playing video games or sitting at his computer.
He's more than a little embarrassed by being put in front of a television camera or his mother's suggestion that she's proud of him.
Hard to drag a complete sentence out of him. A difficult interview.
In other words he's something of a typical teenager.
And that's actually the amazing part of his story.
One year ago, Sonny was anything but typical. He weighed in at nearly 300 pounds. He felt.....
"Slow," he says, "and you get stressed really easily apparently."
He was more than slow. He was dangerously overweight.
One day things came to a head.
"He was short of breath and he felt his chest get tight," says his mother..
"And mom's like oh you're really tense."
"I checked his blood pressure and didn't like what I saw, so I took him to the E.R.," remembers Susie Harrison.
"They said I was fine," protests Sonny," but she said 'you're going on a diet. That's it. I didn't argue. She owns this place. I don't."
You're probably sensing a pattern. Mom concerned. Sonny dismissive.
This may not sound like a promising start, but soon she had Sonny, who had been something of a shut-in, walking around the neighborhood
"The first time we did a quarter mile walk he was out of breath and couldn't cross the street. I told him 'you're going to have to do that every day until it becomes easy."
And she put him on a strict high protein, low carb diet which his doctor monitored.
The pounds came off fast.
Today he weighs 158, almost half his weight a year ago. He's gone through a whole succession of pants sizes.
And he walks without getting out of breath, even runs.
"The neighbors are floored," says his mother. "They say is that your son? Is that the same kid?"
So, to all that want to know his secret,
"If you try hard enough you can do it."
That's it from the loquacious Sonny, who admits his mom's nagging helped.
Actually you don't have a personal trainer or nutritionist, it helps to have a mom like Susie Harrison.
"His doctor told him he's accomplished something committed aduilts cannot do in just a year. I'm just so proud of him, what he's been able to accomplish even if I had to push him a little."