Ybarra attributes his success for weight loss to eating healthier meals and exercising six days a week for up to an hour and a half. Ybarra also participates in outdoor sports such as cycling.

Randall Goode has been eating more now than in past years.

But he is eating healthier.

Competing in H-E-B's Slim Down Showdown, Goode, 53, lost 36 pounds from his beginning weight of 250 pounds. The 12-week competition started Jan. 14 and ended Saturday.

And even though he did not win, he said the competition gave him valuable lessons.

"My main motivation was that I was taking six different pills every day and wanted to get off that as much as possible," said the Bay City resident.

Since losing weight, Goode only takes a pill for thyroid issues and no longer takes pills for diabetes and blood pressure.

"Prior to the program, I couldn't run half a mile. During the program, I ran a 5K," he said. "It's such a blessing because I miss running."

Goode was selected to participate in the competition along with 24 other contestants. They attended a fit camp in San Antonio.

After that, Goode was on his own while he tracked what he ate and how he exercised in his blog- all this while working his regular job as an operator at a chemical plant.

"I watched a TV show where they go to a campus and somebody is buying the food for them," said Goode. "You have to eat the correct mix of foods."

Reuben Ybarra, 47, of Victoria, competed in the H-E-B competition in 2012, and is friends with Goode. When Ybarra competed, he weighed 350 pounds. He now weighs 250 pounds and hopes to slim down to 200.

"This is a lifetime journey," said Ybarra. "I just showed (Randall) it worked for me. It's not a diet; it's a different way of eating."

Gary Branfman, a plastic surgeon in Victoria, said patients who come to his office for weight-loss surgery don't understand the responsibility that accompanies surgery.

"It means changing their lifestyle. Patients who come to the office obese and want a quick fix are just bad candidates because they are not willing to do their share," Branfman said. "When you have a massive weight loss, (a person) has demonstrated their commitment to a healthier lifestyle."

Goode didn't get an award for losing weight, but that's fine for him.

"After fit camp, I had to come to the real world and face all the temptations and roadblocks that were out there," said Goode. "I know my life is way more valuable than a bag of Easter candy. (Knowing that) is the reward that I got."

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