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David’s most recent update (January 2012):
“To say this program has been a lifesaver for me to date would be incredibly inadequate. To break through the 300 pound barrier when my top weight the month before I began the IU Health program (at 396) was 412 lbs., is a huge accomplishment for me (pun intended). This is the lowest my weight has been since 1997...14 years is a long, long time to be obese; and I am really looking forward to continuing this journey in 2012.”
I went to my family doctor for back pain on April 28th, 2011, where they weighed me on their fancy-dancy scale at 412 pounds...four hundred...and twelve...pounds; and I was speechless. I mean I knew that:
- Most days I had to struggle to put on my own socks
- I had long since given up the idea of getting a good night's sleep because less than halfway through the night my back would begin to ache from the excess weight pushing down on it (and I have a custom bed, so that wasn't it)
- My wife hadn't whistled at me since 1992—and I had finally reached a stage where I could say (read "try to convince myself") that I didn't miss it
- Every day I felt like ten pounds of sausage stuffed into a five pound casing—my skin was tight and pallid, I had swollen hands to the point I hadn't worn my wedding ring since I had to spend over an hour getting it off my finger in 1993
- I was two years into having to wear diabetic pressure stockings just so I could walk and stand all day to earn a living
- I didn't have diabetes or high blood pressure (YET), but at that April doctor's visit she told me by the next time she saw me she'd have to put me on medication for both
All in all, just another wonderful shame-filled day in the life of an obese American man.
But it wasn't just another day or shame-filled. Because on April 28th, 2011, I decided to take my friend's advice and "change some things in my life." I re-investigated the things I had done before:
- Weight Watchers (in 6th grade I lost 60 lbs.)
- Nutri-System (in ROTC I lost 30 pounds so I could make weight limit for Airborne School)
- Overeater's Anonymous (Fantastic Program that "works if you work it")
- The Non-Surgical Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program at IU Health Bariatric & Medical Weight Loss
I started at IU Health at the end of June, 2011 after having let go of sixteen pounds on my own by eliminating desserts and not eating after 8 pm. In the first five weeks on their program, I let go of thirty-two additional pounds, a notch in my belt, and the last of my shame. As of this writing, I have let go of just over fifty pounds in all, so I have qualified as an Optios—a Legionary who is a "Centurion-in-training" who has shown dedication and professionalism in the war against male obesity.
I know this particular program is not for everyone, but the good news is that every single man can do SOMETHING about his health and his weight IF he is willing and humble enough to ask for guidance and support from the people with the expertise.
Twelve weeks into the program Dr. Temmerman took photos and measurements; and in the first twelve weeks I:
- let go of 48 pounds
- reduced my measurements (waist, chest, hips, arms, thighs, etc.) by a total of 21.5 inches
- have never felt better in my life. Almost no hunger (and that only when I skip a meal because I didn't plan ahead), I have more energy and focus than I can remember having for at least ten years
- have cinched my belt in an incredible six notches—all in twelve weeks.
I know I have a long way to go to reach my goal weight and more importantly, to make the permanent lifestyle changes that will lead me to maintaining a healthy weight and fitness level, but it is a fight I volunteered for, and one I gladly wage. So, what are you doing to move your life forward?
BigDavid, age 50—to follow David’s progress, visit his blog >>