A great loss

GOODRICH – If Darrell King had his way he would change the name of the popular diet program Weight Watchers to Health Watchers.
With the help of the lifestyle changing program, King went from a hefty 417 pounds to a healthy 172 in less than a year.
“With this program, it’s portion sizes,” said King. “It’s a lifestyle change. All the little things add up.”
Gradually packing on the pounds over a 15-year period, King knew he needed to lose weight. Several independent attempts, however, failed to keep the weight off.
“You know you’re heavy but don’t know how bad until you see pictures of yourself,” said King. “Then you can’t believe how bad it was.”
With the encouragement of a co-worker, King joined Weight Watchers program in March 2002.
“I didn’t have a starting goal because I didn’t know how long I’d stick with it,” he said, “but when I started to see the results, that was additional motivation to stick with the changes.”
Within the first week, King lost 12 pounds, driving him to continue with his lifestyle modifications.
“I used to put things in my mouth out of habit, so the first two weeks were difficult because I had to adjust my habits,” King said
“Now I eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, which before were almost nonexistent. Through this program, I’ve learned to taste vegetables rather than cover them in butter and salad dressings,” he said.
The father of four said healthy eating became a habit for the whole family. Dairy products have been replaced with soy and although he is a meat cutter at Bueche’s, King said red meat is almost nonexistent in their present diet.
“My whole family has slimmed down because of the lifestyle change.”
According to King, water also plays an important role in weight loss.
“Because it makes you feel full,” he said. “I drink about a gallon a day now. But the cycling really accelerated the loss.”
After a successful loss of 50 pounds King decided exercise was necessary and began bicycling to and from work every day.
“I considered jogging, but it was too hard on my knees and hips so I took up bike riding,” said King. “The first day I thought I’d never make it, but over the summer one thing led to another and I worked my way up to 25 miles a day.
“I began to looked forward to it and became addicted. Now when I can’t ride I’m just miserable,” he said.
At 172 pounds, King said he has not reached the Weight Watchers ideal weight goal, but is happy with passing a recent physical, which he passed with flying colors.
“The doctors informed me of having the best checkup results I’ve ever had,” King said. “She said my cardio is that of an athlete.”
The weight loss has slowed down, but King said he is not discouraged and plans to continue eating healthy and exercising. In fact, King is considering competitive cycling as a new habit.
“The greatest impact is knowing I’m going to live longer and I feel a lot better too,” King smiled.