How I Lost 230 Pounds: Blair Sheds The Weight With The Help Of Facebook
Name: Blair C. Wilke
Height: 5 feet, 11 inches
Before Weight: 440 pounds (I think!). The scale stopped at 400.
How I Gained It: This answer to this is simple — I ate everything. I grew up in the generation where parents told their kids they had to finish everything because “there were starving children inAfrica,” so I’ve always felt it was my duty to eat everything put in front of me.
Then, as an adult, I ate for different reasons: because I was bored, because I couldn’t sleep, because I was stressed. In my case, it’s no coincidence that “stressed” is “desserts” spelled backward! But it was more than just eating — I always had to finish everything. I helped my kids finish their meals, and buffets were like a battlefield. The only thing I did to solve my weight problem was to buy bigger clothes until I was wearing pants with a 58-inch waist.
Breaking Point: I got to the point where I didn’t go to restaurants that didn’t have tables because I couldn’t sit in a booth. I couldn’t even sit in a folding lawn chair. I couldn’t bend down to tie my shoes, and I could barely get through turnstiles. My knees were shot because of all the extra weight, and I felt like I was going to drop dead at any minute. What’s worse, I felt powerless to stop it from happening.
Then to top it all off, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I would read about people dying in their late 50s from diabetes and heart attacks, yet in spite of all that, I still hadn’t reached my breaking point. It took me three years of living with diabetes until I did anything about it. One day, on a regular a visit to my doctor, he told me I was a heart attack waiting to happen. That was it for me.
How I Lost It: My wife Joan had been losing weight for years and had succeeded in losing 250 pounds, so her support got me going, but even then I knew she couldn’t do all the hard work for me. She encouraged me; she inspired me; and she stood with me through everything — but only I could change my life. I wanted to see my grandkids graduate from high school, so I made the decision that God wasn’t done with me.
My focus was to get healthy again and stay healthy. I started by writing down everything I ate — I got a food journal to record it all and set a limit of 2,000 calories day. I quit going to all-you-can-eat restaurants and started taking my lunch to work. Because of my shifts, my mealtimes were different than most people’s so I compensated by eating smaller meals several times a day to keep my appetite satisfied.
Then, a year ago, my wife and I joined a gym. I typically spend an hour on the recumbent bike or stepper machine, then I move into weights and strength training. I always switch my routine around to keep my body from getting in a rut. Last September, my wife and I signed up for a “Biggest Loser” 5k walk and run inMyrtle Beach. I hadn’t run for any length in 15 years but I felt up to it, and I thought that if I could do it, maybe it would inspire someone to do what I did. I don’t plan on going back to where I was. Every time I drop a size I get rid of all the bigger clothes.
I also started posting my progress on Facebook every day, and the encouraging words of my Facebook friends have been invaluable to my success. Another thing that’s helped inspire me? Music — I listen to the music from Rocky and classic songs like “Eye of the Tiger” to keep me motivated.
After much hard work, I reached my goal weight of 210 pounds — I hadn’t weighed that since my senior year of high school in 1969! I’ve gone from a 58-inch pant size to a 38, and from 4XL shirts to large. I feel like I’ve added at least 10 more years to my life. If I hadn’t done this, I don’t know if I would be here today.
After Weight: 210 pounds
Blair still wants to lose another 20 pounds and is currently training for a mud run for his 60th birthday.
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