Charles D’Angelo with his client, Mike Brangle

The meat lovers’ pizza from a Sicilian joint in Louisville was one of Mike Brangle’s weaknesses. On the road all the time as a consultant in the financial services industry, he had a routine, ordering his favorite meals from the same restaurants in each city. With a busy work life, Brangle’s food intake increased while his exercise habits decreased. By October 2011, he weighed 348 pounds. “When you’re at that weight, you’re very self-conscious of how you look and what other people think of you,” he says. “But since I had lost weight in the past, I always thought, Oh, tomorrow, I’ll start losing it. But tomorrow never came.”

One day, Brangle came across a co-worker’s before-and-after photos on Facebook that displayed the results of working with weight loss coach Charles D’Angelo. At that moment, it clicked. “It was absolute proof, seeing a co-worker’s success. He was in the same industry as me—with the same lifestyle—and if he could do it, there was no reason I couldn’t.”

Just days later, Brangle had his first consultation with D’Angelo. In just eight months, he has lost 150 pounds, recently weighing in at 198, thanks to D’Angelo’s program, which combines exercise, a healthy food plan and the proper mindset to bring all the pieces together. “It’s a three-legged stool where every leg is important. It’s having that balance between diet and exercise, then having the right attitude to keep that balance,” Brangle explains.

While Brangle had found temporary success before with other programs like the South Beach Diet, something was missing. He explains that D’Angelo’s program provided him what other programs are lacking—that mindset. “Charles has instilled the accountability and discipline that I needed.”

Tapping into his own weight loss experience— losing 160 pounds after reaching his peak weight of 360 pounds as a 17-year-old—D’Angelo’s coaching is personalized and focused for each client. Every two weeks, the two meet to assess Brangle’s progress, discuss the plan and tweak it, if needed. “It is very customized and deliberate for my own goals,” he notes. “I had bad habits and we tore them down and built up new, good ones.”

While D’Angelo’s book, Think and Grow Thin, is endorsed by the likes of Bill Clinton—and Sen. Claire McCaskill lost 50 pounds through his program—it is clients like Brangle who are everyday inspirations for others. “One of the biggest rewards I’ve experienced is the impact I’ve had on others, to help them realize they can do it, too,” he says.

Although Brangle has reached his target weight of less than 200 pounds, he only has completed the first part of his journey. D’Angelo will continue to advise him as he enters the maintenance phase and works to keep that three-legged stool balanced. “To keep those results, you have to continue to practice the strategies I teach,” D’Angelo explains. “This is not a destination with a finish line—it requires a lifetime of commitment and vigilance to being healthy.”

While he admits it will be hard, Brangle looks forward to upholding the healthy habits he has established over the past eight months. “It’s a lifestyle change, and when you see yourself doing something that you know is right, that success perpetuates itself, and you look forward to continuing,” he says.

Brangle no longer needs a seatbelt extender when he flies; he finds the seats at Cardinals and Blues games much roomier; and he looks forward to participating in the MS 150 bike ride in September. “My family has said, Mike’s back. I was on hiatus somewhere, but now I have so much more confidence and self-esteem. It flows into so many aspects of your life, and seeing those results is pretty amazing.”