Tom C: 250 lbs Lost
Tom C. had not yet encountered any obesity-related health issues, but for quite some time his quality of life was suffering because of his weight. Life was passing him by. Although still a young man, he saw himself sitting on the sidelines watching his friends enjoy activities he could not participate in because of his weight. A fun trip to an amusement park turned painful when, because of his size, he could not be secured in the roller coasters and was asked to get off. The embarrassment and humiliation was Tom’s epiphany and turning point. Although not yet affected with health issues, his quality of life at a young age was already compromised.
Another driving force in his determination to lose weight was the memory of his father physically and mentally being destroyed by diabetes due to his disregard for the seriousness of the disease. The consequences of his neglect – amputations, mini-strokes, kidney failure, and death at age 52 – will forever be etched in Tom’s memory. With diabetes prevalent on both sides of his family, Tom knew his chances of developing the disease became greater with each pound he gained. Having seen his father’s decline knowing it was preventable impressed upon Tom the importance of taking care of himself.
Tom lost 250 pounds in 15 months. He followed the full OPTIFAST plan for about 3 months and then slowly transitioned to a combined OPTIFAST and food plan. Tom’s careful weighing and measuring of food kept him at a calorie level of 850 for the remaining 12 months. Determination, commitment, and focus kept him going.
While at CONCI Tom took advantage of the support and education provided by the dietitians. He was serious about preparing for the necessary life style changes. He learned a simple way of cooking that is doable and manageable as he now focuses on maintenance. Aware of the importance of exercise, Tom hired a trainer after losing 50 pounds and continues with that trainer today. It is no surprise that he won a weight loss contest at the gym he attends!
Tom is optimistic about his future and his ability to keep the weight off. Slowly implementing behavior changes while losing weight, Tom is confident and accepting of what he must do for long term success.
Today, life is good for Tom. He has celebrated his achievement by returning to Cedar Point to enjoy the fun his weight denied him years ago. He also has experienced zip-lining for the first time – an activity that was not even an option prior to losing weight. “The fun I am experiencing now is a reminder of how I unknowingly sacrificed quality of life for food. I will never let myself be in that situation again. Do what you have to do and learn what you have to learn in order to reclaim your life.”