When the Righteous Brothers penned the lyrics to their iconic song, James and Ben Sewell were not yet born.  But, for them, the sentiment is perfect.  Sure, the brothers are close; only 15 months a part in age.  But the bond that additionally connects them is their collective weight loss journey of over 250 pounds.

But the road wasn’t always smooth.

A few years ago, the brothers started at the Y back, when their mom purchased a family membership after her weight-loss surgery.  Ben, the younger brother, age 21, went to support his mom, walking beside her on the treadmill.  James started coming with a baseball buddy who was rehabilitating from shoulder surgery.     Both brothers were overweight, unmotivated, and more than a little anxious about exercising in a gym.  

 “And, I really don’t really know why, but one day we just decided that we had to do something about our size,” said James.

 That “something” was a full-on commitment to get healthy and fit.  The brothers started eating fresher and making better choices.  They read up on fitness plans and worked with instructors at the Y to get the most from their time, even creating a 7-day plan for working all muscle groups.   And although they sometimes used other facilities, they always came back to the Y.

“I’ve been to other gyms and they aren’t the same, “said James.  “There’s so many good people here, eager to encourage and help you with anything while you’re here.  They are always friendly and ready to help.”

Just like the Sewell brothers.

 “Recently we had a younger guy join us,” said Ben.  “We helped him with his diet and his workout routine and I think he’s down about 40 lbs.”  James added that this young man was going through some rough patches in life, but with his involvement with them at the Y, he’s been feeling more in control – even crediting the brothers for helping him stay on track and remain positive.

 “I’m not just proud of what I accomplished or what Ben accomplished, I’m also proud that we’re now able to help other people get started and stay motivated,” said James.

The brothers are also experiencing a new kind of confidence.   “I was that rare kind of nerd in school.  I would play Pokémon all day – but turn out to be voted Prom King.  Yet I was really scared to talk to people,” said Ben. “Now, I can talk to anybody.”

“Coming here helped me break out of my shell,” said James.  “I’m getting used to talking to people and making friends every time we come in.” 

And they come in often.

“It’s not odd to see us here 2 x a day,” said James, explaining that he would come in before work to lift with a friend, but return after Ben got home from school, just to keep him track.

And, the Sewell brothers are definitely on track.

“We know that nothing comes easy.  But we also know that if you apply yourself and put in the time, anything is possible,” said James.  “Ben and I are proof.”


Contact Information

Akron Area YMCA
50 S. Main Street, Ste. LL 100
Akron, Ohio 44308
(330) 376-1335