RICHMOND, Va. (CBS Local) — A Virginia man has finally achieved his goal to work in law enforcement, but only after he made some major life changes.

Romar Lyle says he weighed a little over 400 pounds at his heaviest.

“I got a degree in investigative forensics and it was just so hard to find jobs and figure out what I wanted to be,” he told CBS affiliate WTVR.

Lyle was introduced to CrossFit while in graduate school. Combined with a healthier diet, he dropped more than 100 pounds.

“I tried to apply to places, but I had to work on getting my run times down and getting my weight down,” he said. “By the second year, I lost about 130 pounds. Then I came to the academy with hard training and hard work, I’ve lost another 34 pounds.”

Last week, Lyle was one of 20 other cadets who graduated from basic recruitment class. He starts field training soon at the Richmond Police Department’s Third Precinct.

“Don’t quit on yourself. Know that if you really want to do something, just set your heart to it,” he said. “Surround yourself with people who will support you, family and friends, and just remember that as long as you believe in yourself, no one can tell you who you are.”

Hard work and determination have helped Lyle shed a total of 176 pounds but he still has another 24 pounds to lose to meet his goal.