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What motivated you to lose weight?
(Note to readers: Butch Costello joins in our forums from the US). In June of 1999, I knew by pictures of myself that I was in tremendously poor health and had to make some changes. When I went to the Veterans' Hospital here in Phoenix, Arizona, I weighed exactly 350 pounds (159 kilograms). I was diagnosed as a type II diabetic with an A1C of 18+. My body fat percentage was 49.5per cent. My cholesterol was 550. My blood pressure was 200/100! I had an umbilical hernia, full-blown obstructive sleep apnea, and neuropathy in eight of my toes. There were many other problems as well. My doctors (which I call my 'Dream Team') sent me in a direction that would change my life.
What was your weight-loss method?
First I was sent to a registered dietitian and we addressed my dietary needs in order to lose weight and keep it off - the plan was lose small amounts so as not to shock the body. I set a three year goal to lose 68 kilos (150 pounds). My short term goals were 23 kilos (50 pounds) a year or approximately one pound a week. This was to be a lifestyle change and not a diet. Anything in moderation. We figured what I needed to cut back on calorie and fat gram wise and started with a food diary. I had to change my Super Sized way of thinking. Next I was referred to a kinesiotherapist to re-learn how to properly and safely exercise. I started on the treadmill at one mile per hour. That’s all I could do and it was only for a couple of minutes. With exercise I was also taught the importance of water and the role it plays in processing my intake as well as rehydrating my system. From there it was onto psychology. Understanding why I was eating was just as important as what I was eating. I had to establish better coping mechanisms with all aspects of my life and my 'head tune-ups' as I called them were instrumental in helping me understand the big picture. Better health. I had knee surgery, hernia surgery and surgery for my sleep apnea as well. I was on all different types of medicines to include those for my diabetes. The weight started to slowly come off. I could do a few more exercises. My treadmill speed was gradually increased to 1.5 mph...then 2 mph, 2.5 mph and so on. Progress was being made. I was losing weight at an average of 700 grams (1.5 pounds) per week as by design. I started to become almost more auto-motivated. 5 kilos, 10 kilos...25 kilos gone! Not a walk in the park mind you. But strategic. I had all but eliminated alcohol from my life as it was calories I could not fit into my food diary and still have success. To this day I have still not gone to a drive-through fast food dive. It will happen someday but at this point I have no desire to go. 34 kilos in the first year and 12 months of continual positive weight loss. I was fine tuning the plan as I went. The more I learned the more I applied my knowledge. 35 kilos, 40 kilos...and then in a emotionally charged weigh-in... I had lost a total of 100 total pounds (45.45 kilos). Unbelievable. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I was asked by the V.A to speak to doctors..patients....diabetic classes...weight management classes and other groups as a motivational speaker and share my story so as to help inspire others and gladly did so on a volunteer basis. 50 kilos, 55 kilos, 59 kilos, 64 kilos and 22 months of consecutive positive weight loss.
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