My brother- and sister-in-law flew out from Portland, Oregon for the holidays last week and my brother-in-law, an avid cyclsist (which I’m pretty sure is a requirement for citizenship in Portland) told me about an unbelievable story he read in Bicycling Magazine.
The story is about a 38-year-old man who tipped the scales at 501 pounds! He was so obese that he couldn’t even leave his house to work or watch his daughter play in the park. Doctors told him that his only option was to have bariatric surgery – there was no way he could lose the weight on his own – but that he had only a 50% chance of surviving the surgery because of his weight. His despair became so ovewhelming that he tried to kill himself by cutting his wrists, but he had so much fat on his arms that the blood kept clotting off.
I’ll let you read the story, but through a discovery of bicycling and a commitment to healthy eating – no medications or surgery – he got his weight down to 185 pounds and is doing well now.
There are a million weight loss stories and testimonials this time of year, and they’re usually being used to sell us a diet plan or a gym membership or a weight loss supplement while we’re still pumped up about our New Year’s resolutions. The reason I’m sharing this particular story with you is that there is none of the BS and oversimplification that typically goes into those stories. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight (and keep it off!) will sympathize with this man’s plight. It’s often hard, embarrassing, futile and even painful – this story shows what it’s really like without pulling any punches.
I hope you get as inspired from reading it as I did. And I hope you have a healthy and happy 2010!
John A. Vaughn, MD (Ohio State Student Health Services)