Mike Ewing had been waiting in line for three hours. The 34-year-old owner of a HVAC company in Westminster, Maryland, was visiting Universal Studios, excited to get on a Harry Potter ride. Just before he could clamber aboard, though, an attendant took him aside, asking him to sit in a chair to check the fit for the safety harness. Ewing didnt fit; he couldnt ride. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, he says. To be so big you cant fit on a Harry Potter ride. That was a real wake up call to me.
Hed been heavy for most of his life, at 511 and 240 pounds. But hed been going out to restaurants a lot, overeating, not paying attention to his diet. The weight, he says, came on pretty fast. He started feeling self-conscious, having to shop at big and tall stores. He was 28 years old and weighed 280 pounds.
Ewing threw himself into fixing his diet. He cut out sugar; he dropped most carbs. He had a trainer who pushed him to lift weights twice a week; one day of upper body work, one day of lower. Not crazy, but a habit Ive kept to this day, he says.
He dropped to 250 pounds pretty quickly. Then he went off his diet. But he stayed around the weight: 250-260 or so. Then he started having health issuesbowel infections and gout so bad he had trouble walking. With two young daughters, he decided he had to shape up.
He went back on his diet and in six month shed another 45 pounds. Hed gone from from 280 to 205, in two separate cuts, over seven years. Hes able to buy regular clothes that fit, and is down to a 36-inch waist, something he never remembers having. Hes more confident. I am able to be a better father and husband now, he says. Thats really all that matters when it comes down to it.
In some ways its been a long journey, but having his wife along has helped keep him motivated. A few months into his weight loss plan, she started her own. I started to look better, and she started to look better, he says. We helped each other out so much in this regard. Once you start seeing results its so much easier to keep going. Within a few months, people noticed; now its often a topic of conversation. I get a lot of shocked faces, yes. Hes still looking to lose more weight, with a target of 189 pounds.
Find something that works with you and stick with it, he says, when it comes to weight loss advice. His weight gain was 100-percent diet, so thats what he focused on. He committed to it, with no cheat days; allowing himself that wiggle room made it too easy to backslide. Exercising is the most important thing you can do for the overall health of your body, he says, but weight loss really begins in controlling what you eat.