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I was very thin as a young man, 155 lbs at 6’ 2” when I graduated from High school. I got up to 175 in college. In my first marriage I became “chubby” at around 215 or so, then started power walking several times per week, five miles per day. After I returned to college I began to walk, swim and eat more sensibly and was at 185 when I married my second wife. Within two years, as she gained weight with our daughter’s arrival, I too gained a great deal of weight. I was at 235 within 2 years, 255 within 4 years, 272 within 5 years. I no longer walked much, and ate whatever I wanted. My wife was very heavy also. Our daughter was raised with very overweight parents who were unable to be active with her. She feared losing us and tried to get us to lose weight, so we dieted. I lost 25 on a fad diet, then gained 30. I dieted again and lost 22, gained 35..or so. By the time I was 50 I weighed 286 lbs , was unable to hardly get up each day. Fibromyalgia had been a constant horror each day for many years. Pain, tiredness, shortness of breath, and eventually trouble finding clothes as my cheap clothing split, were my life. I was unable to walk up stairs, get up off the ground without a major struggle, and my blood pressure was rising. I was hopeless. I was a man of faith, but did not practice it in regards to health. I had worked a recovery program many years earlier for addictions, but never included food in the program.

At 51 years of age I was involved in a church program that for the first time dared to suggest that I should deal with my weight. Despite doctors telling me I was ”circumferentially challenged” (fat) for years, I never really confronted it. My family was all large, the men were all my size, so it seemed way I would be forever.

The church leadership suggested I look at the issue and my wife offered to do Weight Watchers with me (she had tried it herself a couple times in the past, alone, and found it not workable with me at home eating whatever I wished). Facing the constant exhaustion, pain, clothing issues and the encouragement (and possible threat of some hard conversations with my pastor), the probable loss of my position in the church, and the offered help (and severe need to lose weight herself) of my wife, I joined Weight Watchers. This was done with a commitment by my wife and I that we would not stop it no matter what, and would not evaluate its’ success or failure for two years. We would do what we were told. We would surrender to the program and the need for support from others.

I started at 286 lbs on their scales, though I may have been heavier prior to this as I had tried to cut down a bit before I started :^). I followed the plan, which included diligent attention to what I ate, how much I ate ,the need for accountability weekly at least, and a regular exercise program. We never missed a meeting/weigh in. We went to meetings even when we were in other states or towns on vacations or trips. We bought completely different foods and established routines that sustained us fairly happily with the kinds of things we could eat. I began, slowly, to exercise again. I walked, used some small dumbbells at home when I would be sitting in front of the TV, bought a medicine ball to increase the interest in doing that. I took weights to work and used them throughout the day when I could. The scales rewarded my commitment and I was able to see some good results fairly quickly. I did not trust this as I had been down this road before. This time I just buckled down for the long haul and did the plan. My wife and I encouraged each other, and the meetings did as well.

We began on March 14th, 2009, with my weight at 286 lbs. Today, 11/11/09 I am at 220 lbs.. I have had to buy several sets of clothes as this went along, sticking to cheap Walmart clothes and Sams Club clothes. We put all of our old clothes into bags and gave them all away, to reduce the temptation to allow ourselves to return. I have walked at least 2-3 times per week, at least a half and hour, now fairly fast paced. I have begun a 4 time per week workout routing at home , and continue to use the hand weights each day throughout the day. My Fibromyalgia is significantly reduced, probably 25% of what it was. My health is dramatically better. We eat low fat, high fiber foods that we love. We get ice cream too ! Our clothes show the progress, and we are getting a lot of encouragement from the program and from others. The temptations are huge some days, and we have fallen off the plan a few days in the months we have been on it. Mostly, we have adjusted to a new way of thinking about eating, a new way of planning, observing, shopping and tracking our nutrition. I know myself, and know that I am only here by God’s grace and surrender to the program’s daily plan. We are not going to do as others we have met, and think that we have the tools so we can do it by ourselves now. I have about 10 to 15 lbs more to go to the goal weight, though many people are telling me to stop here. I believe I am doing this for health now, so those few pounds matter in the large scheme. My wife’s progress has been slower, but very substantial, as women do have a longer journey to lose weight , it seems. Getting exercise is more of a challenge for her with her work schedule, but she is committed. I am celebrating the gift of a new chance for us.
















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