Michael Giannulis was 28-years-old and weighed 493 pounds. He never had a girlfriend and never kissed a girl. Both he and his brother, Mark, became fearful for his life, as Michael was considered morbidly obese.
That's when he tried his luck as a participant on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. With the prodding from his brother and trainer Chris Powell, Giannulis embarked on a year-long journey with a goal to lose half of his body weight.
Giannulis is celebrating his success today, at 238 pounds, half of his original weight.
In all the 29 years I have lived, Giannulis told ABC News, this has been the best year of my life.
Filled with tough workouts with Powell, his year took off to an amazing start after he lost an amazing 129 pounds within 90 days. By six months, Giannulis was entered to compete in a triathlon and landed himself his first girlfriend.
I've got a brand new girlfriend and things are going awesome, Giannulis said.
His girlfriend, Meghan, has also become part of his support team since the six-month mark.
I know how hard Michael has worked at this triathlon. You don't find many people like him, Meghan told ABC News. I love him so much. I'm just so proud of everything he's done.
According to Powell, his weight loss is just as much attributed to hard work as it is his support team.
You have to realize that no man is an island, Powell said. You can't do it alone. As we go through this process, real life happens, and we need to talk about it. We need to share in order to heal. It's really important to reach out to those different people or there are incredible online sites as well.
To fully commit to achieving and maintaining his goals, Giannulis even moved from his home in Tarpon Spring, Fla. to Phoenix, Ariz. to be closer to Powell to continue training.
He caught himself, Powell said. He realized that he what he was doing, especially after he lost his purpose, he fell back into some of his old patterns and some of those triggers he was experiencing. Those social triggers. They were feeding the addiction again. So he picked up from Florida and moved and he's actually living down the street from me now.
View the slideshow to see before and after photos of Mike Giannulis and watch the video below to see his journey.