Tag: Pounds

The Travel Shutdown Made This Businessman 61 Pounds Lighter

Unlike numerous Americans whose lives have been lost or harmed, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lifestyle and led to an improvement in the health of Illinois-based business traveler Jeff Summers.

The 55-year-old Summers is not the only one who has seen unexpected beneficial results after the deadly pandemic struck, says Robert Kushner, a doctor, weight management expert and professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The pandemic eliminated or substantially reduced business trips, making many frequent business travelers healthier, he says.

Summers, one of Kushner’s patients, lives outside Chicago in Wheaton and directs sales and marketing for a software company. He traveled on business about every week before the pandemic, including quarterly trips to Europe. 

“Travel often involved customer or co-worker entertainment with little regard for the volume of food and alcohol I was consuming,” Summers says. “My schedule was highly unstructured, my sleep varied wildly, my eating habits were unpredictable and my exercise routine was nonexistent.”

Summers says his weekends were largely spent recovering from the work week, predominantly by consuming comfort food and unwinding with alcohol.

“Clearly, the stoppage of business travel had a domino effect on all those aspects of my lifestyle,” he says. “I suddenly had time to allocate to healthier habits. I was no longer being assaulted with demands outside normal business hours that constantly made me feel my personal lifestyle was out of control.”

With a sudden increase in time and control and the help of the Northwestern Center for Lifestyle Medicine, Summers says he was able to prioritize sleep, diet, exercise and recreation. A substantial weight loss resulted.

“I lost 61 pounds,” he says. “I now exercise six days per week and average seven hours of sleep per night. I have reignited several creative passions on the weekends that now serve as my primary method of unwinding.”

Summers says his cholesterol levels have improved to levels typically seen by people using statin drugs. “And my liver enzymes, which had been perhaps the biggest concern, dropped to the low end of the normal range.”

His challenge and maybe “greatest fear,” he says, is figuring out how to maintain such a regimen “when the business world returns to the new normal — whatever and whenever that is.” 

The travel shutdown, Kushner says, has resulted in less eating by business travelers outside the home, fewer business lunches and dinners and less airport eating. 

“Foods eaten outside the home are generally higher in fat, calories and sodium, and lower in fiber, than foods cooked at home,” he says. “People also tend to eat the oversized portions they are served — like most of their friends or business associates are doing.”

Continue reading

A Vacation Photo Inspired This Man to Start Cycling and Lose 80 Pounds

From Bicycling

Age: 52
Occupation: Marketing
Hometown: Lincoln, California
Start Weight: 275 pounds
End Weight: 195 pounds
Time Cycling: 7 years
Reason for cycling: I started cycling to help me lose weight, and in the end discovered a new hobby that has helped me keep my sanity. I can get on a bike and get lost for hours at a time.

I am a 52- year-old United States Marine who got lazy about his weight while climbing up the corporate ladder, and in 2012 I topped out at 275 pounds. I went on vacation to Hawaii and took some pictures of myself at the beach with no shirt on, and oh my god, I was huge. When I reviewed the pictures at home, I was utterly disappointed in myself and depressed. I decided not to keep the pictures—or the weight.

That same weekend, a friend called and invited me on a bike ride. I said “No, I have to come up with a plan to lose weight.” He just replied, “Cycling is great exercise.”

I went—and it was the worst experience of my life. It was 105 degrees, I didn’t have enough water, and I had a crappy Wal-Mart mountain bike that barely worked. We biked a grand total of 20 miles in Sacramento, California, and when we were done was I exhausted. I remember collapsing in the grass next to my car.

But I was instantly hooked. That same night I went out and bought a $700 Fuji hybrid bike, and I started riding every night. First two miles, then four, then eight, then more. I started weighing myself, and the more I cycled the more the weight came off.

I work from home so I have a lot of flexibility with my riding—I can ride in the morning, afternoon, and nights during the week and whenever during the weekend. During the weekends as the weight came off, I rode long rides with my friend who originally introduced me to cycling, and we explored local paved trails in the Sacramento area.

After my Fuji bike I bought a Giant, then a Specialized. I saw an ad on Craigslist for a Cannondale I liked, did some research and the price was too good to be true. I honestly thought it was stolen, but it was a college kid at UC Davis that was on the cycling team and needed the money. I got involved in a Cannondale Facebook group, and I’ve been a Cannondale fan ever since then.

I currently have two bikes, a Cannondale Evo Super Six and a 2002 Cannondale CAAD 5 Stars & Stripes. The story goes that shortly after 9/11 a group of NYC fire fighters planned a charity bike ride from NYC to LA using the same route as one of the planes, and Cannondale made them some special bikes for the event. These became popular and public wanted them so Cannondale made some for the public.

I bought mine on eBay used and abused,

Continue reading