When Leigh Smith turned 60, his doctor warned that he was badly overweight at 268 pounds. High blood pressure and high cholesterol were likely to shorten his life.
"Right then, I decided to join a local Weight Watchers group," recalls the communications technician from Pasadena, Calif. "I also started looking for all kinds of little tricks that would help me get more exercise. For example, I'd eat lunch at work quickly, then spend 20 minutes or so walking around the block. Or I'd take crunchy, raw vegetables into work to nibble on, whenever I felt hungry. After a while, I got pretty good at thinking up ways to eat fewer calories and get more exercise."
And as a result, Smith lost 102 pounds in about 18 months.
"I don't think I'll ever gain that weight back, either," he says, "because I changed the way I think about food. Instead of a 'diet,' I came to see my reduced consumption of food as a new and different 'lifestyle.' And that new lifestyle simply doesn't include eating large quantities of fatty food, the way I once did."
"Don't give up all the foods you love. I like ice cream — so I found a low-fat ice cream bar. Only 100 calories, and yet it gives my mouth that chocolate flavor I crave!"