When my daughter was born, it was very exciting. I became a father of two, a boy and a girl. But when the pictures came back from the night at the hospital, all I could do was notice how big I had become.
At 29 years old and 290 pounds, I could not do much because of my size and my physical condition. I had a tough time being comfortable on airplanes. I kept having to buy bigger clothes. So, after my daughter was born, I started to reduce my size and improve my health and I have not stopped since.
My Advice on How to Get Started: Tell yourself the truth. Get a good scale and tape measure. Be realistic in your goals. You did not get to where you are in 30 days. Figure a pound a week. Weigh in once a week on the same day. Measure yourself every four months. Set intermittent goals for your size and condition. Get into a support group or team with someone.
Diet Plan: I started with a rule of thumb of 10 times my final goal weight for caloric intake. This worked for the first two years. The last year, I was in an Overeaters Anonymous program to teach me about portions and retrain my eye and my stomach. I take vitamin supplements and drink plenty of water.
Exercise: I first started walking with co-workers at lunch for about 35 minutes. I was the last one in the group, but I went out every day. In about a year and a half, we started to incorporate ajog with the walk. One of the group wanted to run in a 5K, so we all started training for that. I ran it in September 1996 at 220 pounds. We also decided to walk the L.A. Marathon, which we did in March 1997, when I weighed 215 pounds. After I hit the three-year mark and had lost 100 pounds, I started to work out at the YMCA to cross-train and firm up. I now run five or six miles during lunch.
The Rewards: After two years, none of the clothes I owned fit me. The yard sale was big--50 pairs of pants and shirts, seven business suits. I had to get everything new. I had not been this size or weight since I was in high school. I lost 12 inches around my waist and 10 around my chest.
All it takes is a pound a week and a decision to start.
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Name: Kevin Illig
Height: 5 feet, 11 inches
Old Weight: 290
New Weight: 190
Time to Get There: Three years