On Friday, June 6, 1977, a mere 29 years, 3 months and 3 days ago, I graduated from Rocky River High School. On that day, I weighed 172 pounds.

I know this because I was at Lakewood Hospital earlier that morning, having tests for a minor surgical procedure I was to have about 10 days later.

Today, I weigh 171.4 pounds, better than 1/2 a pound less than the day I graduated from high school.

Most folks can’t say that.

In fact, last Christmas I couldn’t even say that myself: I was about 75 pounds overweight, my blood pressure was through the roof, I had severe sleep apnea, I also snored ferociously, I had almost uncontrollable gastric reflux, and my blood chemistry was all out of whack.

In short, I was a mess: I was on the short road to six feet of dirt.

Then, on my birthday, one week before Christmas, I received an email from a cousin: his younger brother, all of 51 years of age, had just come out of a quadruple heart bypass operation. His blockages were 100%, 99%, 95%, and 72%. The doctor said he had at least two heart attacks in the previous week that he didn’t know about. He was also 30 pounds overweight.

He could have died.

And there I was, some 75 pounds overweight, thinking to myself, “[expletive deleted]! Just who the hell am I kidding?”

So I got to work. I developed a plan. I joined WeightWatchers on January 7 of this year. I worked the program. I learned about myself and about how to eat properly. I learned to plan ahead, cook lightly, eat even lighter — and still be properly nourished.

And over the next 9 months I lost 74.4 pounds — almost a third of myself. My blood pressure is now normal; hypertension is off my diagnosis list. My sleep apnea is a thing of the past. I still snore a little, but that is now more due to allergies and a worn-out mattress than anything else. My reflux is now well under control — almost non-existant. And my blood chemistry — well, I’m still waiting for the results from a recent blood test — but I can assume that it has improved as well.

And now I’m 1/2 a pound lighter than I weighed in high school, which was my goal.

Who said I don’t finish things? I could have walked out in the middle of it all, saying that it was too hard for me, but I didn’t: I hung in there and got the job done. I found it difficult, but certainly not impossible.

So if you find that you need to do something like this as well, know this: If I can do it, surely you can, too.

(71.8 — 74.4 — -2.6)


  • by Alicia 11 Sep 2006 at 1:11 am

    I found your site while installing Sage and looking through the stylesheets. Yours are great. So I read your post and got chills.

    I, too, graduated in ‘77. I am about 60 lbs. overweight. I started Weight Watchers around the beginning of the summer, lost about 20 lbs and then got distracted. I don’t think it was an accident I ran into your site. I am going to use your post as a reminder to get my ass back to WW.

    Congratulations to you. You have inspired me.

  • by Lori 11 Sep 2006 at 8:34 pm

    Congratulations, Will!!! I know it wasn’t easy for you. What a fantastic accomplishment.

  • by Daniella 14 Sep 2006 at 6:48 pm

    You definitely are an inspiration. You must feel so much better and I know you look great! Congrats and keep talking about it, it helps!

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