2012 James EatRightJames Newton of Fultondale is one of three national winners in the 2012 OPTIFAST “New You” Weight Loss Contest. Newton is a patient in the EatRight by UAB clinic housed in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Newton weighed 387 pounds at his heaviest and claimed the only time you would catch him running was if his life depended on it. After 17 years of obesity, he realized his life did depend on making a very drastic change.

“Through the OPTIFAST program, I have been able to lose 200 pounds and 45 percent of my total body weight,” said Newton. “I now have the tools to keep the weight off.”

Newton now runs 10-mile stretches and is training for a half marathon.

“It’s something I never dreamed of just a little over a year ago,” said Newton.

The contest recognizes OPTIFAST patients who achieve their weight loss goals and the medical professionals who helped them get there. As a winner of the contest, he will receive a reward trip complete with makeovers and shopping sprees to celebrate his personal transformation towards a health lifestyle.