Chris's Journey

The first time in more recent times that I lost a lot of weight was when I lived in England for a year, shortly after my divorce in 2006. I had moved to Reading, in Berkshire, about 40 miles (64 km) west of London. I was living about 1 mile (1.6 km) from my nearest supermarket, and about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the town center. I was working from home, but I still had to go out every day to fetch groceries (I was on a high fiber, low fat diet with a lot of grated carrots, beans and dried apricots). It worked - I lost 86 lbs (39 kg) in 10 months.

When I moved back to the United States in May 2007, I was able to keep off what I had lost for a while, since I was in an active (retail) job where I was on my feet all day long. At one point I even ran on a treadmill in the evenings.

In 2010 my living situation changed a couple of times. I moved to northern California for seven months, which was great from a health point of view. In January 2010 I weighed in at 320 lbs (145 kg). To get to my two part-time jobs I had to cycle an 11-mile triangle through the city I was living in. It was great exercise. When I returned to Helena, MT, in August of 2010 I was actually down to 310 lbs (140.6 kg).

For a while, I had a job that involved walking 3.3 miles (5.3 km) each way, five times a week. I moved into an apartment downtown, got a different job where I was also walking 1.5 miles (2.4 km) each way each day. For then next five months I was able to maintain myself at about 310 lbs (140.6 kg) or thereabouts. Then my domestic circumstances took a turn for the better. However, I was now living 11 miles north of town, and driving a car to work every day. Suddenly I went from walking 15 miles a week to almost zero. I ballooned up to over 400 lbs, hitting as much as 428 lbs at one point. My 'special' Weight Watchers branded scales went higher than the usual 300 lb limit of most bathroom scales, up to 405.3 lbs. One more ounce and the display would show 'ERR". I usually make the joke that the voice chip inside would shout out, "Only one person at a time, please!" 

I had a successful time adopting a vegetable juice diet for three months in the summer of 2014. I replaced two meals a day with slow-squeezed fresh vegetable juice (not too much fruit - too much fructose!) and had a salad for the third meal.

In June 2015 (having reached 405 lbs) I began living on my own again. I deliberately chose the apartment for its proximity to my workplace (0.7 miles away, 1.1 km). I wasn't physically capable of walking much further. So, now I'm walking at least 7.5 miles a week again. It seems to be working. In conjunction with more careful eating, I managed to lose over 40 lbs in the first four months, from 405 lbs down to below about 360 lbs.