If you see Zach Johnson walking around Penn State this semester, you might not recognize him. In just one year, the Bethlehem native lost 175 pounds.

“Coming back to school, I thought about what changes I could make,” Johnson said.

Weighing 364 pounds, he embarked on his health journey, which he says hasn’t been easy.

“I failed my first time, I really want to make that clear,” Johnson said.

He fasted intermittently, and he and his best friend Toby worked out together at the Penn State Lehigh Valley gym. It was there that he met Lorie Khalil.

“I explained to him who I was and that I was trying to lose weight,” Johnson said.

“I saw him regularly at the fitness center,” said Khalil, sports program coordinator.

“It felt like you were already training, I was training, let’s do it together.”

Day after day, Zach says he stuck to the plan. Things that were once difficult quickly became effortless.

“My body started to change, those walks and runs got easier and easier,” Johnson said.

He says he couldn’t have done it without the support of those around him.

“My mom was extremely supportive; she was my rock. She was one of the biggest with Lorie and Toby,” Johnson said.

“He texts me to thank me, whoever it is but I’m like you, we did it and we opened the door,” Khalil said.

Zach adds that while he’s proud of the weight loss goal he’s achieved, he’s more proud of how far he’s come.