By: Hannah Chapman
Jerry Rowe – a self-proclaimed “hefty child” – tipped the scales at 564 pounds in October 2010, categorizing him as morbidly obese and putting him at risk of premature death.
During his two years of employment at a local pizza establishment his waistline started to wander. He would eat an entire pizza and an order of wings by himself, not to mention the breadsticks and soda that always accompanied the two. Rowe also admitted to frequenting fast food joints where he would order several burgers, fries, and soda. He had become accustomed to a lifestyle of excessive eating.
“I had made up my mind that I was going to eat myself to death,” Rowe said.
As Rowe’s pounds piled on, so did serious health issues. A Midlothian physician, Dr. Paul V. Jackson Jr., startled him with the news that his days were numbered.
Rowe, a 40-year-old Richmond resident, who was suffering from chronic back pain and arthritis in his knees, was in the process of committing a slow suicide.
“I would get up in the mornings and struggle to get out of bed,” Rowe said.
Walking to the bathroom, an undemanding task for most, proved to be a huge challenge for him. He would often stop to catch his breath during the 10 feet trek.
Rowe says he was struggling financially and subsequently fell victim to major depression. Being hooked on the euphoria of eating, he medicated his feelings with food. He found comfort in feeling full and gorged at every meal. For breakfast Rowe would have six to eight eggs with six slices of toast. Lunch would be three or four sandwiches, and no matter what was on the menu for dinner, it was usually delivered in large portions. On average, he was consuming 10,000 calories a day.
His wake up call came when he was diagnosed with diabetes.
“I literally said, ‘That’s enough.’ I was not going to go through that,” Rowe said.
Not long after, in February of 2011, he staggered into the Chester YMCA. “I honestly thought I was going to die,” Rowe said. He was concerned about damaging the equipment or hurting himself so he took refuge on the indoor track. “I swear it took about 10 minutes to walk two laps, I couldn’t do any more.”
Ten months later, Rowe was still attending the YMCA and discovered the YMCA 10k Training Team. Initially, he signed up for the program as more of an experiment to gauge his level of fitness ability. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine actually participating in the 6.2-mile event. With the encouragement and motivation of the coaches, he bit the bullet and officially secured his spot for the 2012 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k taking place on March 31. “I love to go out with the Chester training team on Saturdays,” said Rowe. During the week he does his best to clock in every mile that he can.
As an adult Rowe had fallen into a trap of frequent fast food meals, binge eating, and depression. He stubbornly ignored the urging of his doctor’s to get healthy and lose weight. It wasn’t until he made a paradigm shift from thinking being fat was his ultimate fate to believing that he’s capable of achieving anything he sets his mind to that he now has begun to truly embrace life.
It’s the little things, commonly taken for granted, that would make him happy - like being able to walk into a department store and buy clothes off-the-rack, for instance. Rowe knows firsthand what it feels like to be humiliated, embarrassed, and treated differently because of his weight. “Anyone who has ever been in my situation knows the hurt that the words of others can inflict,” he said. “I wish I could help people understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of those hurtful words.”
Rowe has left 153 pounds in the dust since the beginning of his quest in October 2010. By striving to exercise and changing his diet to include less fast food and more lean protein, Rowe plans to continue shaving off the pounds until his reaches his goal of 225 pounds.
He now takes a proactive stance and advises people to stop overthinking when it comes to decisions or obstacles in life and just take action.
“I want to show others that feeling alone in a crowded room only means that you need to talk a little louder to get their attention.”
This was just written about me and my journey. I had band surgery in August 2011 but, before that I had already lost 105 pounds. I did mention the band in the interview but the writer focused on the emotional part of my journey. I hope it may help or inspire someone.
I got this out of Bariatric Choice Magazine .... I thought some here would be interested
THE LOW CARB LOW DOWN
The most important thing you need to know is this - carbs are not the enemy. Carbohydrates are fuel for the body. They provide the body with glucose, it's preferred source of energy. If you eliminate your body's fuel, you decrease the speed of your metabolism and the amount of lean muscle mass simultaneously.
That doesn't mean that you can go crazy and splurge on bagels and huge servings of pizza and pasta. Moderation is key. The solution to successful long term weight loss is a low calorie, high protein diet with consistent moderate and high intensity workouts, simple as that. But as a lot of you know, that type of regimen is easier said than done. Here are some tips that will keep you on the right path and hopefully keep you from believing all of the hype associated with the carb-free phenomenon.
Low Carb Does Not Equal Low Calorie
Many times, low-carb options are higher in fat and calories than their original counterparts. This is true for most low-carb comfort foods that try to trick you with their healthy mantra. Examples include low-carb ice cream, pasta, and breads. If you watch your caloric intake and monitor bad (empty) carbs and fats, you will probably see more substantial and long-lasting weight loss than merely cutting carbs alone. And remember- junk food is junk food, no matter how low-carb it is.
Rev Up Your Metabolism
As long as your metabolism is in great shape, eating carbs in moderation will only make you more energetic and therefore more active. Eating healthy carbs such as fruits, veggies, and whole wheat bread and incorporating in continual exercise, will cause your body to become a caloric furnace.