He lost a business and 200 pounds during the pandemic. He gained a new mission in life.

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 4:25 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:04 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Several days a week, Joshua Swiger works out at a park in Makakilo, using his body weight to build muscle and burn fat.

“I try to a hike once or twice a week. I mix it up a lot. I end up doing some sort of activity pretty much every day,” he said.

A couple of years ago, fitness was the furthest thing from Swiger’s mind. In January 2020, he was contestant on the game show “Jeopardy.”

“I became known for being the aloha shirt guy on ‘Jeopardy,’” he said.

Back then, the married father weighed more than 400 pounds.

“I was not just overweight, not just obese, but according to the charts morbidly obese,” he said.

When the pandemic hit, Swiger owned a small tour company. It went under when tourism dried up.

“The summer was going to be really great for me, and the business 100% shut down in a matter of days,” he said.

The storm cloud turned out to have a silver lining, though. While he searched for jobs, and tightened his belt, he took a hard look at himself.

“I didn’t feel like I was that big until I looked in a mirror, then I would say, ‘Oh, my goodness!’” he said.

It flipped a switch in his way of thinking and set him on a journey to lose weight. He began simply by watching his diet and doing easy exercises with his kids.

To his surprise, the pounds fell from his frame.

“I’m pretty sure that in another five or six years I would have seen some very serious health problems,” he said. “I don’t think I would have done this without the pandemic and that’s a really weird thing to say. "

Swiger is half the man he used to be. He just reached his weight goal, tipping the scale at a fit 200 pounds. Even his career has been transformed. He’s now a personal trainer and fitness instructor.

“My mission from now on is to encourage and inspire as many people as I can so that they can do impossible things too,” he said.

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