Joseph Carnes, 25, is writing a new chapter in his life. So far, it is 90 pages—one for every pound he’s lost on a journey to better health. When he began, he weighed 380 pounds and is now down to 290.

“I sought professional help about three months into my weight loss journey,” Joseph says. “At the time I was losing a lot of weight, but I was not eating enough at all. I felt miserable.” He started working with Delta Medical Weight Management Center in Southaven in November 2020.

“There are so many weight loss tips out there, but I was unsure what was healthy or what worked.” Under the direction of Dr. Ulric Duncan, the staff has helped Joseph change his dieting and exercise habits with a focus on both short-term and long-term goals. He had tried every type of diet, but they helped him hone in on one that actually works for him—high protein, low carb, and very low fat. “I tend to prefer low-calorie food that I can eat a lot of like chicken, rice, and vegetables,” he says.

Joseph lives by the idea that you have to help yourself so you can help others. He’s a youth minister at a Methodist church in Southaven. Weight has been a lifelong issue for him, but his journey can be a great example to those he influences. He’s currently the lightest he’s been since middle school.

Obesity affects nearly 42% of the American population, and Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the nation. Only 5%– 10% of those who try to overcome obesity are successful, and Joseph is determined to be part of that group.

He says: “I just know how much obesity was affecting my life. I had trouble getting around, and I constantly wanted to sit. I have always been athletic. I played rugby at Ole Miss, but I found it difficult to even play basketball for a moment with my youth (at church). I had heartburn every night, and I felt lazy and unmotivated.”

With plenty of perseverance, Joseph is continuing on his journey and adding more chapters to his story. We give his book five stars.

For more information visit or call 662.253.5997.

By Nannette Laster
Photo by Tindall Stephens