Tom Parker is 63 year old Wisconsin man who “work[s] hard at trying to stay retired.”
He began his weight loss journey weighing 271 pounds and diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
Tom now weighs 189 pounds, a loss of 81 pounds.
He kicked off his weight loss with David’s 10 pounds in 10 days challenge.
What spurred Tom into action was the impending need to resort to medicine.
“Well, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes,” Tom says.
“My health care provider wanted me to go on medication and I really hesitated, didn’t want to do that.
I procrastinated for well over a year while it got worse and then ultimately decided that I just had to change my lifestyle.
I found the 10 pounds in 10 days challenge and started that and I never looked back.”
To lose weight, Tom says, “Well, learning how to change my lifestyle so that I made healthier decisions on what I ate and I also learned how to do portion control.
Those two things were huge and also having the support system and having somebody helping me maintain my accountability really helped a lot.”
Tom used an app to help him track calories and keep his portions under control.
He also used plates designed with portion control areas, but Tom says it starts with a change in mindset, “I think it started with the mindset of thinking of eating more for nutrition versus pleasure.”
Well, the 10 pound 10 day Facebook group that you started really helped me,” Tom elaborates on his support system.
“Tracking the details provided in that program really helped for at least probably nine to 10 months.
I tracked everything I ate and closely tracked my weight a couple times a week.
Having that information really helped as well as having the information to move in positive trends helped my motivation.”
Tom’s success is the result of a change in how he thought about food and eating.
He says, “I had to come to the realization that I had to look at food as fuel and nutrition for my body versus comfort and pleasure.”
“My family gather around events that involve food and we eat way more than we need to be healthy.
Once I realized that I could control what I was putting into my body for just being healthier than more pleasurable was a huge shift for me and how I thought about food.”
Temptations are never far away.
To manage them, Tom gives himself something to do.
“It’s a never ending type of thing,” Tom says about temptation to overeat or eat unhealthy food.
“It is not terribly difficult, but it never really goes away for me.
What I do is I chew sugar free gum which gives me something to do and I forget about being hungry.
Also I have switched to drinking tea which I enjoy, so that has helped as well.”
“I resisted exercising for a good six to nine months of my weight loss adventure,” says Tom explaining that he never exercised regularly.
“At that point [in my life] I had spent the better part of 63 years avoiding exercise.
I didn’t really avoid hard work it just didn’t seem to make sense to exercise.
Since then I started to ride a bicycle and I realized that I really enjoy that.”
“I try to ride two to three times a week, 15 to 20 miles each time.
When I started, I had a difficult time completing a mile, now a 15 to 20 mile bike ride is a comfortable ride for me.”
When talking about what he would have done differently on his weight loss journey Tom adds, “I would start the exercise earlier than I did.”
“I eat five small meals per day,” Tom begins describing the how and what he eats.
“My preferred breakfast has now been steel-cut oatmeal.
I typically have some walnuts and raisins in with that, that’s usually around 7:00 in the morning.
Then I have a 10:00 snack which could be a prepackaged tuna fish along with an apple or some type of fruit.
Lunch is generally a salad at around 12:30, just about anything in the salad, but not a whole lot of dressing.”
“Three o’clock in the afternoon is a snack which could be a protein type bar or a granola bar and 5:30 then is my supper, which is generally some type of lean meat or chicken along with vegetables.
Strangely, I like Brussel sprouts so I eat a lot of Brussel sprouts.
Then sometime before 8:00 p.m.
I’ll have another snack which could be perhaps yogurt or fruit and things like that.
Then I get up and start it all over again.”
“I live with my wife and I’m slowly having a bearing on her lifestyle,” Tom says about his healthy eating and the rest of his family.
“[I’m] trying to kind of bringing her into a healthier eating style.
I do have a fairly large extended family and we get together as often as we can and there is a lot of eating.
My daughter and daughter-in-law are both wonderful cooks.”
His family does make it easier for him, Tom says, “Lots of desserts are available at those family events and generally they have all been very supportive of my weight loss adventure.
After seeing how successful I’ve been they basically don’t offer a whole lot of that to me and what I do choose to eat, my mother-in-law’s rhubarb dessert which is a wonderful dessert and I just have a smaller portion.”