Skip to comments.Couple Loses Hundreds Of Pounds On Atkins Diet
Posted on 11/04/2003 9:00:21 AM PST by wheelgunguru
Embarrassment, Health Issues Prompted Dieting
Many people have struggled to drop a few pounds, but what happens when you need to lose several hundred pounds?
Several years ago, Steve and Melissa Horstman of Boone County, Ky., decided that they didn't want to live with their weight problems anymore, and they used the emotional pain over being overweight to reach their goals.
Melissa and Steve met on the Internet several years ago and soon learned of their common bond: obesity.
"When you weigh 150 pounds over, you don't go out and socialize," Melissa said.
The couple met, dated and married, but humiliation struck again on their honeymoon when the airline pilot told Steve he would have to buy two seats next time because he was too big for one.
"It wasn't until after we got married that I saw on a daily basis how his weight was on his health," Melissa said. "I was afraid I'd just found him and we were just married, I was going to lose him."
Steve's weight topped out at 571 pounds. He recalls "just standing there in the winter and you're breaking a sweat just standing there because your back hurts and your knees hurt."
Despite the physical pain, Steve said the emotional toll on his health was greater.
"(It hurts) when you walk into a store and a 3-year-old looks up at their parent and says, 'Look at that fat man, Mommy,'" he said.
"It broke my heart every day," Melissa said. "I could see the people behind him. The looks, the whispers, the pointing."
Fad diets failed. Surgery was too expensive. So Melissa began looking into low-carb solutions like the Atkins diet.
Once the couple decided to try to the diet, major life changes were in order. First on the list: Eliminating the junk food that is tough to avoid for most people and irresistible to a 571-pound man.
"I could go to a certain drive-through and get eight sandwiches and four large fries, 10 to 12 cans of soft drinks a day, not the sugar-free kind," Steve said.
Steve weighed himself daily on a large scale in a local drugstore. The scale provided a printout, and Steve saved every one of them.
"At June 19, 1999, I was at 472 pounds," he said as he flipped through the printouts. "I'd lost about 100 pounds at that point."
Melissa dropped her weight, too, but for Steve, the diet was nothing short of a miracle. He was swimming in his size 6x shirts, and his 72-inch waist pants started falling off his waist.
Steve kept the belt he wore at his highest weight and punched new holes in it as he dropped the pounds.
These days, the couple is happy to simply blend in when they go to the mall.
From the time the couple changed their lifestyle, Steve has lost more than 320 pounds, and Melissa is down more than 100 pounds. They're proud of each other, and their confidence is at an all-time high.
"I always kid with her, 'How did that guy get that hot girl?'" Steve said.
"To go from people pointing and making faces and whispering to being hateful, to being mistaken for Howie Long ... He's extremely hot!" Melissa said of her husband.
Steve said he can't imagine going back to the overweight version of himself, and he's working to lose even more. His current weight is about 250 pounds, and he told Cooney it feels like "walking on air" when compared to his old weight.
"It's a terrifying thought," he said. "Just looking in the mirror and seeing the old me is motivation enough."
Redemption for Melissa comes in many forms, including a recent high school reunion.
"Nobody recognized me," she said with a smile.
How tall are you?
Yes, Yes, Such as?, and so do I.
HOW in the world did this guy get to weigh 500 billion pounds???
Riiiiiiiiight. I get your point. Low carbs via meat and fresh vegetables for the rest of your life is more dangerous than being 571 pounds on french fries! hA!
Be advised that those of us who have benefitted from this "lifestyle change" don't need you to ominously "wish us luck."
How right you are. Up to this year, my biggest achievement was making it through Marine boot camp. Now I must say that takes second place to losing the 100 pounds I've lost this year. I've been up at 5AM every morning since April and walking at least 7 miles a day - every day. Now as I approach my target weight, the real battle begins - keeping it off!
To help motivate me to keep it off, I throw away (or give away) my clothing every time I drop a waist size. I have already trashed thousands of dollars worth of clothes this year. There is no way I will ever let myself go up in size again.
This is a great story but for this couple, their struggle is only just beginning. Hopefully they can keep themselves motivated for life. It certainly is tough. I was looking at my son's Halloween candy this past weekend with extreme longing. It has been over six months since I tasted chocolate in my mouth. But like the recovering alcoholics say: One day at a time...
Congrats, and I wish you lots of luck, but unfortunately, the old pants come in handy sometimes. What motivates me to lose the few extra pounds is having to pull a pair of pants out of retirement. I am glad I didn't have to buy em again. I went from 228 to 173 a couple of years ago. As recently as 6 months ago, I went all the way back up to 188, just by rediscovering lots of old bad habits. Now I am holding steady at 177-179, trying like hell to break through to 170. Most recently by low carbing. I believe starchy foods have been the monkey on my back since I was a little boy. Atkins is probably a good strategy for me. I don't mind it at all (except pizza...I want pizza.) But so far, all I have done is consumed a shitload of extra calories and stayed at the same weight.
You are misinformed, and for the benefit of others considering this diet, please look further than this person's opinion, there is PLENTY of evidence that this diet works (see photos above, duh) AND is safe, and is good for you. Of course moderation in everything, but avoiding fats is STUPID (imnsho of COURSE), and avoiding processed, starchy carbohydrates is SMART.
Protein, quality fats, veggies, salad, fruit, water . . .sounds good and healthy to me! :-)
See also, Sugar Busters, and the Zone for more good diets and information. And Garden of Life, for even more, newer information on nutrition and The Maker's Diet!