February 5, 2004
As I often do in the columns I write here, I am going to share with you a personal struggle I am having as well as what I am going to do about it.
At the beginning of the year, I weighed 410 pounds and knew I needed to do something. But what could I do?
Name the diet, I've done it. Low fat? Lost weight, but couldn't keep it up!
And I tried Slim Fast a couple of years ago and detailed my success with this diet in an article called Lost 80 Pounds In 100 Days...And Still Losing!
Predictably, though, all that weight I lost came right back and then some!
I had heard a lot about the Atkins diet and eating low-carb foods, but frankly it scared me to death to try it. I could not fathom eating just meat, cheese and eggs all the time and losing weight. I didn't understand the concept.
However, as I began to look at this way of losing weight closer, I found that it is something that would not only help me take the weight off, but it is also something I could do to keep the weight off.
So, on January 1, 2004, I made it my New Year's resolution to start eating very few carbohydrates to see what would happen.
Around mid-January, WORD radio talk show host Ralph Bristol began talking about conducting a contest on his show featuring people that needed to lose a lot of weight because they are dangerously obese. When I heard this, I thought to myself, "yeah, that's me!"
In fact, I called up Ralph to talk about the Atkins diet when he was talking about it one day. I had noticed that I dropped a shirt size after about 3 weeks eating low-carb and wanted to share my early success with it. He asked me if I would be interested in his contest and I replied, "you bet I would because I'M HUGE!"
Well, Ralph created the contest and sent out a call for contestants, aptly titled Ralph's Incredible Shrinking Ton (I thought "Bristol's Battle of the Bulge" would have been good, too, but Ralph had another idea in mind).
Ralph wanted five contestants that would cumulatively weigh 2,000 pounds, or a ton. Since I knew I weighed close to 400 despite being on the Atkins diet for a few weeks, I figured I would qualify.
As it turns out, though, I just barely qualified for the contest based on my Body Mass Index, which was in the 98th percentile for my height and age.
Nevertheless, I was chosen to be one of the five and was asked to weigh in at the studio of Entercom Communications in Greenville on Friday, January 30, 2004.
When I arrived at the radio station, I noticed the other contestants, like me, needed to lose a lot of weight. Each of us got weighed and had our picture taken (click on Ralph's Photo Gallery and scroll down to "Ralph's Incredible Shrinking Ton" in the Album to see each of the contestants) one at a time before going in the studio to be interviewed by Ralph on his radio show.
When I stepped on the scale, I knew I would be less than 410, but how much less? Well, I had lost a good amount of weight so far...
WOW! I had actually lost almost 30 pounds in about a month. I was glad to see the Atkins way was working for me!
We all went into the studio and spoke with Ralph (one of the contestants weighed 615 pounds!!! Now that's a big boy!). I told Ralph that I wanted to continue with the Atkins plan to lose weight and force myself to exercise to lose down to 200 pounds as quickly as possible.
And that is my ultimate goal...200 pounds!
I'm tall and big boned, but I believe 200 would be a good weight for me. Actually, the government standard for a 6'3" male is between 160-190 pounds, but I would be anemic at that weight! I haven't weighed 160 pounds since elementary school!
The contest will run until the Friday before Thanksgiving. Ralph believes that will give each of us enough time to lose weight and keep it off.
The prizes for losing the most percentage of weight are very appealing, too. A free Atkins meal a week from Steakout, a top of the line kitchen sink from TSC and a smile makeover from Rocky Creek Dental are what the winner will get so far. Ralph promises more prizes are soon to come.
But, even if I'm not the winner of these prizes, I hope to be a big loser...of weight, that is (bad pun, I know!). But I fully expect to get down to 200 by the Friday before Thanksgiving. That's my goal and I'm sticking to it because I am determined to get there.
If I make it to my stated goal, then I will have dropped 48% of my weight over the contest time period (and a 52% drop since beginning in earnest on January 1st). I don't think this is an unreasonable goal to attempt to achieve and I believe I can do it.
Since the contest began, I have been taking a daily multi-vitamin, drinking 4-6 one and a half liter bottles of water per day (that makes going to the bathroom an all-day affair...TMI!), exercising on the treadmill at the YMCA for at least 30-45 minutes per day and eating less than 20 carbohydrates per day. I'm confident this is a solid plan for success!
I wish the other contestants well in this mutual weight loss journey. Regardless of who win the prizes, we will all win if we lose!
Listen to the Ralph Bristol Show each week to hear period updates on the progress of the contestants.
Come November, there'll be three great things happen for the good: Usama bin Laden will be captured, President George W. Bush will be triumphantly re-elected to a second term over liberal icon and Communist sympathizer John F. Kerry and I will finally be able to fit into pants that begin with a "3"!
Is it November yet?!