Once he found the right health coach, it only took Michael Granam eight months to lose the weight.
When Michael Granam was 14, his mother died, and he could only find comfort in food — and lots of it. At age 23, he was around 300 pounds.
Doctors diagnosed him with atrial fibrillation; he said his chest would tighten to the point where he prayed that he wouldn’t die in his sleep.
“Going into high school, at the time, it didn’t register to me that I was getting bigger and bigger, but as I got out and went into college in my 20s, I just kept getting bigger and bigger,” he said. “And, finally, in my 30s, I started realizing I’ve got an issue here.”
He tried losing weight a handful of times, only to gain back the 30 to 50 pounds. Frustration and despair set in.
As a Palm Coast mechanic by trade, he said that while he drove around working on vehicles, he would think about death.
“I don’t want to die,” he recalls thinking a year ago. “I’m 45; why am I thinking about dying? I’m 45.”
In early 2017, he began having night terrors. He weighed 340 pounds.
“To me, it’s a nightmare plus a physical part to it,” he said. “My weight was getting to the point where literally everything was closing off.”
Granam said he would wake up in the middle of the night from a dead sleep and start hallucinating: Once, there were imaginary large bugs covering his room. Another time, he woke with a start thinking there was something wrong with his sons of the other side of the home, and he tore the bedroom door down trying to get out. A final distinct night terror was the last straw for Granam: He woke up at 2 a.m. to the sound of his wife screaming. After turning on the light, he realized he was standing on the bed — over his wife — which had provoked her scream. It was then he knew for sure that something was wrong with his health.
“It feels incredible. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance in life.”
- MICHAEL GRANAM, Palm Coast resident
He said he felt hopeless, tired, disgusted and embarrassed. At age 45, Granam had enough; he was ready to make a serious life change. After all, he and his wife planned to retire when he was 55, and he wanted to make it there.
“I realized if I didn’t take care of my health now, that I would be dead, or so dead tired, that it wouldn’t be enjoyable,” he said.
In September 2017, he sought help from Pastor Abolaji Muyiwa Akinbo at God’s Family Bible Church. After much prayer and refocusing, he said the night terrors stopped. A few days later, he met a friend in person, who he had only known on social media, at a business community event. That person, Zack Shapiro, would become his fitness and nutrition mentor and accountability coach.
“I saw how they were celebrating people, and they were encouraging people,” he said about Shapiro’s Facebook weight loss group with Herbalife Nutrition. “The previous times that I tried to lose weight, it was all me. It was me trying to do it myself.”
He and Shapiro committed to Granam’s health goals. For 127 days straight, they walked the Flagler Beach bridge.
Through a nutrition plan focused on a protein, minerals and vitamins, drinking about a gallon of water a day and being intentionally active every day, Granam has lost 108 pounds in eight months, as of July 31.
Granam became a nutrition coach in November 2017.
“I love to help people, but I never imagined I would be helping people lose weight,” he said. “When something impacts you or changes your life, you want to pay it forward.”
Six weeks into the program, he had lost 30 pounds. Six months in, he was down 100 pounds. Eight months in, he had lost 108 pounds. His ultimate goal is to weigh 220 pounds, and he’s only a few pounds away. He is now working to build his body’s muscle percentage.
“It feels incredible,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been given a second chance in life.”