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I must be doing something right, the newspaper just interviewed me!

Friday, November 09, 2012

I guess when you do something that is noticeable, some people think everyone should hear about it.

I got a call from a reporter from the local newspaper and he asked if I would do an interview about my journey. I agreed to it provided that I could review it for accuracy before it went to press. Here it is, I hope you find it meaningful

Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012

WINNIPEGGER DAVID GRANT CREDITS HUGE WEIGHT LOSS TO SENSIBLE EATING AND REGULAR EXERCISE
By Myron Love



For most people with weight issues, dieting turns out not to be the long term solution. Ooh sure, you will probably take the weight off. But, as often as not, once you reach your goal, you will resume your previous habits and put the weight right back on.


Take David Grant, for example.

Twice, the now 57-year-old Winnipeg businessman had undertaken lengthy diets – in his case, the Protein-Sparing Modified Fast wherein you semi-fast for nine months. Yet, by December, 2010, Grant’s weight had ballooned back and over to 491 pounds and he was in desperate straights. He couldn’t stand or walk. His knees had given out. He had a herniated disc in his back and his spine had become severely damaged . And he was in constant chronic pain.

Today, about 20 months later, he is not out of the woods yet, but he has managed to drop 242 pounds and works out at least 45 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week at The Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks – despite ongoing pain and the need to use a walking aid. And he has accomplished his weight loss, he says, through a combination of sensible eating, regular exercise, dedication and commitment.

“There was no magic,” he says.ᅠ “I didn’t go on any diets. There were no lotions, potions, pills or magic. No doctors, personal trainers or special foods and meal plans. I made a commitment to myself.”

What there was was a website called SparkPeople. But, more of that later. First, we turn the clock back to December, 2010.

Grant’s initial objective was to do something about the pain in his knees. He went to see an orthopedic surgeon who told him his knees would have to be replaced. But at his weight, the surgeon said the surgery would be too risky.ᅠ He had to take a lot of weight off fast.

“The Doctor recommended bariatric surgery (reducing the size of one’s stomach). The problem was that while bariatric surgery programs are available for women with high BMI in Manitoba, men have to go out of province or to private clinic which are not covered by the provincial plan. Additionally, his family was adamantly against him having the surgery.

“I was desperate for a quick resolution to the pain in my knees and my doctor suggested that I go to Edmonton for the surgery,” Grant says. “But after contacting the people running the program in Alberta, I was told that I would have had to travel back and forth to Edmonton six times. In my condition, that was impossible.”

His Doctor suggested seeing the dietitian in the clinic, but that led to frustration and contempt as he felt that the dietitian really didn't understand what it was like to be in the situation he was in.

In frustration, anger and desperation, Grant turned to the internet. He found a website called SparkPeople.com which offered free access to weight loss and exercise advice and a method to safely shed the excess weight systematically.

“I filled out the application,” he said. “Under target goal, I put down 185 pounds. I was told that I could reach my target by a certain date and I had to eat a certain amount of calories a day. How I distributed them was up to me. The most important aspect of SparkPeople for Grant was that he had to keep a food journal.

On the second day, he realized that he had a problem. As he recalled: “By lunch, I saw that I had consumed most of my calories for the day.ᅠ I knew I had to make drastic changes. I began to eat consciously and sensibly.That was the day that changed my life.

Every day, Grant still enters his food journal entries on the SparkPeople website. He has his own page on the site which is open to anybody who wants to look at it.

The other piece of the puzzle was the exercise.ᅠ Grant had joined the Wellness in 1998. He determined that going to the Wellness had to become his full time job. (He is on long term disability.) Since he walks with the help of a walker, he burns off calories using the hand bikes and other equipment that does not require standing.

“Today,” he says,” I mentor others.ᅠ You can’t have any excuses, you need reasons. If I can get out of bed and to the gym every day, if I can get my eating under control, anybody can. I am in control, not the food. I have learned what’s good for me and what isn’t.”

Over the past year, Grant has been under the knife three times – once to have excess skin removed, repair a hernia and abdominal wall repair. A second time to repair a leaking artery, and most recently to have one knee replaced. He has further surgery scheduled for December to repair some damage done to the new knee and to replace his other knee. There may be a further surgery to replace a hip and he still has back problems to deal with.

He is hoping to get back to work eventually.ᅠ “I am paying the price for living the good life, enjoying too much good food, working long hoursᅠ and ignoring my health” he says. “Now I have to fix it. And I am doing it the right way with sensible eating, and a plan that I can follow for the rest of my life. The real secret to my success has been, Dedication and Commitment”.


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