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Father’s 2-year-old daughter inspires him to lose weight

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(CNN) – While watching his 2-year-old daughter playing, Kerry Hoffman began thinking about her future.

He says that’s the moment he realized he needed to be there to walk her down the aisle someday.

After looking at his reflection, he decided he needed to control his weight.

Hoffman says he made a promise to himself that he would lose weight, even though he didn’t know how much just yet.

At that moment, he weighed 343 pounds.

“I lost my father to liver disease when he was 55. I think I was subconsciously using food as a coping mechanism because I loved to cook, and I loved to eat and I still do. Hindsight is 20-20,” said Hoffman.

After thinking about Cadence’s future, Hoffman joined a gym near his home and scheduled an appointment with his doctor.

After his appointment with the doctor, Hoffman learned he had diabetes.

“I told the doctor, and this is a direct quote, ‘I’m going to lose over 100 pounds, and I’m going to cure myself of diabetes,” said Hoffman.

The first day of his new exercise regime started with a wake up call.

“I didn’t know what speed to try, what incline. I just tried the treadmill because it seemed simplest. I was terribly out of shape, didn’t know what a good calorie burn was, how long to go, I didn’t know anything. I was a newbie,” he said.

However, he refused to stop, saying his commitment was really to his family.

“He was so determined, and any small positive change in his body kept him moving forward,” Emily Hoffman said.

The hardest part for Hoffman wasn’t the exercise but the change in his diet.

“Once you’re addicted to food, you’re always addicted to food,” he said. “If somebody put a fresh plate of brownies in front of me, it would be just as hard to say no as it was at the beginning. (But) you can never outwork a poor diet.”

Hoffman kept track of his caloric intake with a smart phone app and tried to find healthy versions of his favorite foods.

Over the course of the year, Hoffman made swift progress.

Today, Hoffman weighs 190 pounds.

In order to maintain his healthy lifestyle, he continues to wear a calorie tracker every day. He also keeps two pictures beside his bed, one from before his weight loss and one after, reminding himself every morning and every night, “Never again.”

Earlier this year, he participated in his first triathlon and snagged first place.

And he isn’t stopping yet.

Click here for more of his inspiring story from CNN.