ATLANTA – A Georgia man lost 100 lbs. to become a police officer. He is sharing his inspirational story of dedication and weight loss after he vowed to become a cop to take care of his son.

Officer James Cornelius of the Atlanta Police Department originally weighed 337 and he “couldn’t really run down the street” when he first began training to become an officer, he told CBS 46.

“I needed a job to take care of my son and I wanted to become an APD officer,” he said.

100 lbs

James Cornelius lost 100 lbs. in his quest to become a police officer. (Atlanta Police Department)

Cornelius was hired by the police department in August 2017. Nevertheless, he immediately knew he had to make a change when he failed his first physical training test for the police academy.

“I needed a job to take care of my son and I wanted to become an APD officer.”

– James Cornelius

When he began to make changes in his daily lifestyle, he said it was challenging to get into the rhythm of getting into fitness.

“At first it was more of a walk, walk, walk and then it turned into a steady run,” he told the news agency of his first serious venture into exercising.

Yet by December, Cornelius said he made incredible progress and shaved off about 10 minutes from his running time.

“My very first PT test I ran like 22 minutes on my mile and a half and my final one I ran 12 flat, so I shaved almost 10 minutes in a year,” he told the outlet.

His hard work paid off. In June, Cornelius was sworn in as a police officer and passed his physical training exams. He’s set to graduate from the police academy once he finishes his field training in September, according to CBS 46.

Cornelius’ advice to anyone seeking motivation is simple: “Find your why, stick with it and grind it out.”

The Atlanta Police Department shared before and after photographs of Cornelius on Twitter.

“APD PROUD: Officer James Cornelius is our #MondayMotivation! He lost 100 pounds while working to become a police officer in the APD Training Academy,” they wrote in the tweet. “Officer Cornelius was recently sworn in and works in Zone 4 (Southwest Atlanta). #BeforeandAfter #WeightLoss#GrindNowShineLater.”