The Saturday Skinny: Weight loss for one can mean loss for others

By: Don Chaddock, Gold Country News Service
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When I really knuckled down and got serious about losing weight in October 2011 (after having only lost 20 pounds the previous 10 months), something shifted in the household. I had to do something. I was unhappy and unhealthy, weighing in at 283 at that time (down from my height of 303 pounds the previous year). I focused on what I could change about myself, rather than what I couldn't. What I learned is I can control what (and how much) I put in my mouth. As of my last official weigh in, I was 196 pounds, dropping 107 pounds from my heaviest. While I look and feel better, something else happened as well. Many of those around me also started eating healthier, including my wife Rachel. Not to tell her side of the story, but she has also lost a considerable amount of weight. She doesn't like seeing the old photos of us around the house, when we were both much heavier, so we're working on getting those replaced with new photos. That isn't easy considering our hectic schedules while trying to raise two small children (as well as factoring in the older kids from my previous marriage). We've both been forced to replace our wardrobes. There was a time when I dreaded clothes shopping because there weren't many options for a triple-extra large size. When those clothes started getting too tight, I knew I was in trouble. Now, shopping for clothing is much easier, with many choices available to me as I hover between a large and medium, depending on the brand. I've also gone from a size 42-inch waist (about to move to a 44-inch, as my 42s were getting too tight), to a 32-inch waist. For a sports coat, I went from 52E (which I couldn't button) to 44R. This process didn't happen overnight and it took me a long time to make one "simple" change -- my entire lifestyle. No longer could I sit on the couch, stuffing my face with ice cream, cookies, pizza and home-made bread. I changed everything from food to beverages to activities. Now, when I feel the urge to raid the refrigerator, I turn that nervous energy to healthier activities. I might take a hand-weight and do some curls and overhead lifts while my 3-year-old son counts along with me. My 20-month-old little girl can get in on the action as I lie on my back, hoisting her into the air. It's a game we play, but I can feel it in my arms when we're done. Maybe I'll pull weeds in the garden, but squat as I do so, enabling me to get in some great exercise at the same time. --- RECIPE: Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring. How does pizza sound? Using a thin slice of french bread (or a sandwich thin), you can keep your carbs and calories relatively low. Opting for a veggie pizza without sauce, also makes for a lower-calorie meal. Garden Veggie Pizza Thinly sliced french bread (or a sandwich thin) a little olive oil crushed garlic a little Parmesan cheese sliced mozzarella Top with fresh basil and tomatoes (with us, they're from the garden) If you'd like to be decadent, throw some turkey pepperoni on there. Bake in oven at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and starting to brown (about 20 minutes). Follow us at or e-mail me at