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Tom Arnold on 100-pound weight loss: I changed my diet the day my son was born

Tom Arnold credits a low-carb diet and cardio workouts for his 90-pound weight loss.
Tom Arnold credits a low-carb diet and cardio workouts for his 90-pound weight loss.Barnard, Brown/Getty Images

Tom Arnold credits his amazing 100-pound weight loss to a low-carb diet and rigorous cardio exercise.

While many people lose weight to look good, Tom, 55, was motivated solely by his love for his first child: son Jax, who was born in April 2013.

“It’s the first relationship I’ve ever had that I go, ‘Yeah, this is permanent,’” Arnold told the Today Show. “My son is permanent, so I’ve got to do everything I can for him forever.”

If I want to be around this kid, every day is important when you’re my age. From that moment on, I stopped eating like a jerk. I stopped being selfish about what I ate and I really paid attention to it, and the weight came off.”

Arnold, who has been overweight much of his life, decided on the day his son was born that he would completely overhaul his diet, start exercising, and make health his top priority so he can be around to see Jax grow into a man.

The 6-foot-2 Tom, who once tipped the scales at 287 pounds, has lost 100 pounds since April 2013 by eliminating bread and sugar and reducing his caloric intake. He also did cardio, circuit-training and abdominal workouts.

“This isn’t a diet,” said Arnold. “I had to change my lifestyle because I want to be a father forever.”

Whereas Tom once wolfed down six-egg cheese omelets, six sausage links, and a massive bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, he's now content eating Greek yogurt with chia seeds and agave nectar first thing in the morning.

Arnold credits his wife, Ashley Groussman, for helping him stay motivated on his weight-loss journey. “Ashley has helped me a lot,” he said.

Tom said his depression had caused him to overeat in the past. The accompanying weight gain only made him feel worse about himself, and he hated how his size limited his lifestyle and wardrobe choices.

“I had to wear the same shirts over and over [because of my size],” he said. “I had to make sure they were clean if I was performing because only two shirts fit me. I just felt really bad about myself.”

Now, Arnold is proud of himself not only for his weight loss, but for becoming a healthy person he can be proud of.

“It’s shocking,” he said. "I had no idea I was that big. I don’t know that I’ll ever feel like a thin person, but I definitely feel like a healthy person."