Obesity week: South Euclid man loses 150 pounds

10:54 AM, Mar 2, 2010   |    comments
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"I would just say I was fat and happy. And I was very self confident in myself. I didn't lack confidence. I was successful in my career.  I have a great wife.  And I have a great life," says Keller.

That is until Ben Keller threw his back out. The doctor knew exactly why as soon as she saw him. That appointment was a wake up call for Ben.


"The first thing she said, I know why you are here you are fat. That was kind of blunt," says Keller.


He had the surgery to repair his back. But he didn't want to go through the pain and rehab again, so decided to lose the weight.


"Until I had a reason to motivate myself to truly make that lifestyle change and make the bigger change I was never going to."


Under a doctor's care, Keller drastically restricted his calorie intake.  He got a trainer and started working out.


The 38-year-old fell in love with cycling, and says the support from family, friends and co-workers has really helped.


In a year's time, Keller lost 150 pounds. His waist, once 56-inches is now 42-inches.


Now, Ben says the challenge is to stay at this weight.


"I think the real success for me is can I keep it off. If I am at this weight a year from now then I have succeeded."  


But for some it is hard to start to take off the pounds. For others, the challenge is keeping the weight off.


Doctors say, don't look at it as a diet, but instead a lifestyle change.               


"The important thing to recognize for people is even small changes can be important" says Dr. Leslie Heinberg.


Dr. Heinberg is the Behavioral Services Director at Cleveland Clinic and counsels those wanting to lose weight. She says to make sure the changes you make are things you maintain for the rest of your life.


Dr. Heinberg adds, "they are going to have to find something they can really maintain. Otherwise they are going to set themselves up to have another bad failure experience."


Also, those who are overweight or obese need to figure out why they eat.  Is it to cope or reward themselves?


Then take the weight lost one step at a time. Literally get moving!


"And so it may be starting them slow and starting them on a walking program, and getting them to try and wear a pedometer and get in as many steps as possible," says Dr. Heinberg.


Also break down your weight loss plan in manageable chunks. 

Don't try and change your eating and exercise habits all at once.

Set small goals. And if you have a bad day, don't give up.


"Don't even say I will start again tomorrow. Get right back on- track at the next meal, rather than beating yourself up. Focus forward."


Dr. Heinberg says you might hit a plateau with your weight loss, and that's ok.


"Keeping track and collecting that data is enough to give you that information on how you can increase your activity or change your diet pattern a bit," says Dr. Heinberg.


Most of all stay positive. You didn't gain the weight overnight, so you can't take if off right away, either.




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