The stars of the hit reality show Pawn Stars focusing on a family owned Las Vegas pawn shop are not known for their svelte figures. But when Corey Harrison’s doctor put him on medication for diabetes, the young man considered it a wake up call and opted to have weight loss surgery to drop the pounds.
31-year old Corey Harrison says that at his peak weight, he was around 402 pounds. But in 2010 his doctor was putting him on preventative diabetes medication, he says he realized that he needed to do something.
“I literally drove straight from the doctor to the lap band center and had the surgery almost immediately,” Corey tells PEOPLE of his 2010 weight loss procedure. “Back then, the surgery was too expensive for my bank account, so I had to pay with four credit cards, but it was something I had to do – I was not going to get diabetes!”
After the procedure, Corey says he lost 50 pounds just in the first six weeks. And then another 100 pounds during the first year after lap band. After the pounds began to drop off, Corey says, “I could never go back to weighing as much as I did,” he says. “It made me realize what I ate, how I ate and what I did to myself. It was a WOW moment.”
192 pound lighter, Corey is continuing to having his lap band checked regularly and lives a much different lifestyle than he did prior to the procedure. In addition to the surgery, Corey also works out regularly and eats a protein heavy diet.
“I’m actually excited to go to the gym now. I box 12 rounds a day five days a week,” he says. “When I was a teenager I loved snowboarding, but in my 20s I was too big to strap my feet in the boards. Being able to finally touch my toes made me realize I could snowboard again, so I went out and got new gear immediately.”
Corey’s healthier outlook has spread in the shop. His best friend and costar, Austin “Chumlee” Russell has also been inspired to drop some excess baggage.
“It was time for me to get healthy,” says Chumlee. “I started at 320 lbs. and now I’m down to 225. When I first began, I eliminated all processed foods except mustard. Now, ‘everything in moderation’ is my motto.”
Fans can check out the duo’s weight loss on the spinoff show Pawnography on the history channel.
“When I meet fans, they are always congratulating me on the weight loss,” says Harrison. “They actually say, ‘You look just like that guy from Pawn Stars, but you are a lot skinnier and better looking than him.’ ” I say, ‘trust me, if I were going to pretend to be someone, it wouldn’t be that guy from Pawn Stars.’ ”
Kudos to the stars for taking their health seriously. Maybe their new outlook will spread to other castmembers including Rick and “the Old Man.”none