WeightWatchers - My Diet Success !

First of all, I don't have anyone to blame for my obesity but myself. Yes, my Dad is in alcoholic to this day, my parents got divorced when I was young, we moved around a lot, but that has really nothing to do with it. I didn't eat out of boredom, or sadness, or to feel loved. I ate because it tasted good, and that was the guiding principle to my eating habits until the age of 36, when I joined WW (2/14/2003).

Regular Coke tastes better than Diet Coke, so regular it is. A salad for dinner, or cheeseburger and french fries ? Gotta love them fries ! I enjoyed all the “bad” food, pasta, pizza, burgers, fries, ice cream, soda. There was no nutritional information on any labels back then, and I probably wouldn’t have cared or known what to do with it. Next to comic books, most of my allowance was spent on soda, potato chips and chocolate.

I’ve been a chubby kid, and got teased a lot in school, especially after I transferred to a different school at age 13. Luckily, I was also fairly tall and strong, so at least I wasn’t always the last kid to be picked in P.E. My mom always tried to get me to eat healthy foods, but it mostly raw veggies and stuff like that, nothing that I would eat. She'd also go run or swim several times a week, and is still incredibly fit to this day, but failed to persuade me to join her. I tried a few times, but couldn't keep up and got discouraged really quick. I started playing basketball, but had a bad motorcycle accident and was under doctor's orders not to do ANY kind of exercising for two years. So much for that.

I didn’t have any luck with the ladies, and by my early 20s had resigned to the idea that I’ll single for the rest of my life, and was quite happy with it. Happy in a sense that I had lots of good friends, and quite a busy social life as a "single - not looking".
A different story was my health. I hadn't been in a doctor's office in at least 10 years. They'd just tell me to lose weight, I knew that already. When I signed up for a life insurance through my company, I HAD to get a physical. My blood pressure was through the roof (I think 190/130, is that possible ?), and I had to go on medication, which totally knocked me out. I feel asleep at work several times, and decided to stop taking ANY medication.

My mom kept supplying me with information about the latest (fad) diets, but they usually too difficult for me to follow: cook every single meal yourself, follow precise plans what to eat when, or, my favorite, the "boiled egg diet", where you eat nothing but boiled eggs for a week. Looking back, my mom and I still have a good laugh about that one. ;)

So, how did a typical dinner look like ?

How about 1 ½ large pizzas (2 for 1 -  half a pizza left over for breakfast), 2 liters of coke, and a pint of Ben&Jerry’s ? - 130 points !

Or 10 pieces of fried chicken, 2 large fries, coleslaw, coke and a pint of ice cream for desert ? - 147 points !

Go for Gold ! A pound of pasta (uncooked weight), meat sauce with 1 pound of beef, and parmesan cheese, with a 2 liter bottle of coke. - 230 points !

Looking back, it's amazing that I didn't kill myself with all this food. These days, I'm getting sick even having 10% of this in a single meal.

I had developed sleep apnea, snored like mad, and felt beat and tired no matter how long I slept. After seeing a TV show on that matter, I went to a sleep lab and was fitted with a CPAP machine that continuously blows air down your nose while you’re sleeping to keep you from (worst case) suffocating in your sleep. Quality of life improved greatly, however, I had to lug this machine around with me on my travels (I only mention this because 6 months into my diet, I tried sleeping without the CPAP machine, and my sleep apnea was gone ! No more machine for me !!).

Traveling I did a lot, on business, and eating out 10 times a week, going out drinking after work and no exercise pushed me to almost 400 pounds. That’s a bit much, even at 6’7”. My waist was 52” (I was really good at sucking in my gut), and I wore 4 XL shirts. My neck measured 27”, but it was hard to tell I had a neck.

Then I met my wife. I was three times her weight, yet she still loved me. How is that possible ? She has been my biggest support and inspiration, and wanted to help me lose weight to improve my health (“for a long life together”), but neither of us really knew how to get started. Walking, biking, eating less stopped my weight gaining, but didn’t result in losing weight. I did this more for my wife than myself, since I didn’t believe I could lose that much weight, anyway.

On 2/13/03, I met a friend and former coworker whom I hadn’t seen in 6 months, and had managed to lose 60 pounds since I last saw him. I found out he was on WeightWatchers, the online version. I couldn’t see myself going to meetings, and was still traveling a lot, too, so online sounded just fine. The very next day, I signed up. I figured I’d save more than the membership fees by buying less food, so why not give it a try ?

The first month, I lost 25 pounds. The second month, another 25. This was too easy ! Five months into the program, I had lost almost 100 pounds !
I kind of slacked off a little after that, due to increased travels, but recommitted myself as the one year WW anniversary approached. Being so close, I wanted to achieve a 150 lbs loss by my first anniversary, and managed to do it with two days to spare. My wife tagged along without journaling, and managed to go from 142 to 108 lbs in the same time.

I’m now at my lowest weight in my adult life, and possible way back into my teens. I’m feeling great about myself, enjoy shopping for clothes, and am confident that I will be around to see my kids grow up and have kids on their own. I no longer suffer from sleep apnea, and have slept without the CPAP machine for the last 6 months.
I’ve always been "big", and obese for 20 years. If I can turn the corner, so can you !

Life is good !

Latest Update: 4/7/04

Starting weight: 391,5 lbs
Current weight: 235,5 lbs

Not sure how much more I want to lose, but at 6’7” I don’t look all bad now, if I might say so myself. ;)

Please sign my guest book !

A light lunch in 1998

Early 2000

WeightWatchers and related links


Dottie’s Weight Loss Zone

Diet Facts

Our Wedding - Dec. 2000

Feb. 2003 - begin WW at 391 lbs

May 2003 - 60 pounds lost

Sept. 2003 - down 120 lbs

March 2004 - lost 150 lbs

Cheryl in 2002

My lovely wife in September 2003 - lost 25 lbs