According to a 2007 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of men ages 40-59 are obese. According to Dr. Robert F. Kushner, Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, obesity increases the risk of multiple medical problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea and some types of cancer. All things we don’t want to happen to our husbands.
Two local guys who may have caught your eye are Ruud Roggenkamp and Joe Weix. Ruud lost 80 pounds in about a year. Joe, pictured after a 40-mile ride, lost 55 pounds in 14 months. Both have kept it off. I spoke with them about their motivation, how they got it done and the benefits of their weight loss.
For Roggenkamp, a father of three, it was time. “I am surrounded by my healthy-weight family. I did not feel good about myself—rounding to the wrong 100-pound number.”
In January 2010, he began living by these rules:
- Workout everyday. (Mostly elliptical at first, but switched to running after losing weight.)
- Eat half of what he used to eat. Wait 15 minutes before eating anything else, and almost always not hungry.
- No snacks after 8 p.m.
- No wine during the week, (unless he really wants a glass or is at a party).
- Go to bed early (less time to snack).
- Workout early in the day to get metabolism going and feel good all day.
- Accept goof ups, but don’t fall off a cliff
Roggenkamp lost 35 pounds in the first three months. “People started noticing and mentioning it to me, which was a tremendous boost,” he says.
His advice: “I wish I had done this 15 years ago. It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done, but the pay-off has been beyond my wildest dreams.”
For Weix, the father of four young daughters, health was a big motivating factor. “I have had Type 1 diabetes for 29 years. I was on two hypertension drugs to control blood pressure and Lipitor for cholesterol,” he says recounting where he started. “Because of the weight loss, I am off hypertension drugs and have cut my Lipitor dosage by 75%.”
How Weix lost the weight:
- Concentrated on diet for first three months
- Used Weight Watchers online tool
- Tracked everything he ate
- Watched portion size
- Eliminated high fat foods
- Added more fruits and vegetables (which Weight Watchers encourages)
- Incorporated exercise after he changed his diet
Joe took up cycling with a vengeance. I met him after a long ride, which he strategically finished at the soccer field to catch one of his daughter’s games. The satisfaction after a great workout and confidence in his accomplishment are evident in the picture.
His advice: Set your goals. Be patient. Take it slow. There is no secret diet. Eat less.
Photo by Christy Coughlin.