By Heidi Glaus
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KSDK) - At 6'2, 252 pounds, Mike Maclin is large and in charge. As he should be as principal at University City High School; but six months ago, he was larger.
"He was a little hefty, he was little husky," explains Mone't Grant, a senior at University City High School.
"I was 395 (pounds) in August," Maclin says.
"I said to myself, you're a leader in other areas of your life. You're a leader in education, you're a leader at church, you're a leader in the community this is an area of life you are going to have to overcome."
So on August 8, Maclin decided to get a grip on that part of his life. It was far from easy.
"God knows there's a reason my name is Mike Maclin, M&M because M&Ms are a weakness of mine," Maclin jokes.
No bread, no sugar, no fried foods, plus the encouragement of Jamie Speiser at Red Fitness Lounge, and today he is 143 pounds lighter.
"I see him three to four times a week so I didn't quite notice it until one day I walked in and he was wearing an old suit and it literally looked like he was a son wearing his father's suit as a kid," Speiser says.
It's not just how his suits fit, it's how much better he feels. He recently took several students to Washington for the inauguration.
"We walked almost three, four miles a day," Maclin explains.
As they stood outside the White House, he started to cry.
"The reason I began to cry was not because I was looking at the White House, not because of where I was at, but six months ago I don't know if I could have physically made the trip," Maclin says.
Michael Maclin's journey isn't over. He has no intention of slowing down because let us not forget he is a leader, a man who is now also leading by example.
"I want kids to understand that when you set your mind to it and believe in something you can achieve it," Maclin says.