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Twins Dillon and Cory Sasvari are identical in almost every way. Their laughs sound indistinguishable, their blood pressures match and even their pulse rates are the same. And, they both spent their entire lives overweight.
While playing football in high school kept their weight around 200 pounds, after graduation they just gained until they both weighed more than 400 pounds. They felt unhappy but didn’t know what to do.
“Looking at myself in the mirror ... I knew I needed to do something about it,” Cory, 25, told TODAY.
Dillon, 25, also felt helpless and weighed 400 pounds at the time.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” he told TODAY. “I didn’t have diabetes, but I was close to it.”
That's when their grandmother, Leona Mesler, intervened.
“She said ‘Listen, you and your brother are the biggest I have ever seen you,’” Cory said. “My family, they were concerned about my health … I was always fatigued. I was depressed.”
Mesler felt especially worried because the then 23-year-olds faced health problems. Both experienced high blood pressure and cholesterol. And Cory had gout that prevented him from moving some days.
Mesler urged them to do something. She mentioned gastric bypass surgery and thought maybe it could help them.
They researched it and visited a doctor at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Magee-Womens Hospital, who told the twins they needed to lose 10 percent of their body weight before surgery. After meeting with a nutritionist, they had a better understanding of how to change their diets.
The first thing they did was cut soda.
“I would drink two or three liters a day,” Dillon said.
Simply cutting soft drinks helped tremendously.
“Pre-op the weight actually fell off really quickly,” said Cory who weighed 405 pounds at the time. “I just stopped eating bad foods.”
That meant the twins cut sugary cereals, chips, pizza and other processed foods. They noshed on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and drank lots of water.
Before the surgeries, Dillon lost 50 pounds and Cory lost 70 pounds.
Dillon had his surgery first in April 2015 and Cory’s took place a week later in May.
“That’s how we usually do it. Everything that I do, he does,” Dillon said.
Throughout their weight-loss journeys, the twins supported each other.
“Luckily I had a brother who went through the same thing. We always like to compete,” said Dillon.
They continue their healthy eating habits and have added exercise into their lives. Both play softball, football and hockey while lifting and running at the gym.
“Surgery is not a cure all. It is just a tool to help,” Dillon said.
Now, Dillon weighs 225 and Cory weighs 238. While they are happy with their weight, they both agreed they wouldn't mind losing more.
“I would definitely like to get around … 200 flat and start building muscle after that,” said Cory. Dillon agreed he’d also like to reach 200.
“I don’t want to be as big as I used to be,” he said. "I like buying smaller clothes. I don’t want to buy bigger clothes or go back to my old clothes." Today, the twins no longer need medications and feel confident.
“Because I lost the weight, I am more out of my shell,” Dillon said. “I am more social now.”
They provided tips to help people interested in losing weight.
1. Dedicate yourself to your goals.
Cory knew he had to lose weight for the doctors to perform surgery. He set a goal to lose 20 pounds. Because he focused on meeting the promise he made himself, he lost much more.
“Create more goals and reach those goals,” he said. “Stay dedicated to what you are doing. Don’t lose hope even though you will reach road blocks.”
2. Keep a pair of ‘fat pants.’
Sometimes Dillon and Cory slip into a pair of fat pants and marvel at how much smaller they are. It helps them remember how exhausting it was being overweight.
“The difference is amazing and makes me want to keep going,” Dillon said.
3. Surround yourself with support.
While the twins had each other’s backs while they lost weight, they had loads of people encouraging them, which made it easier.
“If you have negative people it is going to make you quit and gain the weight back,” Cory said.
For more inspirational stories, check out our My Weight-Loss Journey page.