ANTHONY BELFIORE, 51, Smithtown
OCCUPATION: Owns BEL Maintenance, a building maintenance service
WEIGHT BEFORE: 240 lbs (Spring 2009)
WIGHT AFTER: 160 lbs (June 13, 2012)
HIS STORY After nearly going blind, Anthony Belfiore discovered he had a benign brain tumor and had it successfully removed. Then, Belfiore says, it was as if he saw himself for the first time. And he didn't like the overweight guy staring back at him from the mirror.
"I had been gradually gaining weight over the past 10 years," says the father of two adult children. "After the surgery, I was just so happy to be alive and not blind, that I wanted to change my whole life for the better."
A junk food junkie, he often turned to ice cream for comfort.
"I also liked red meat and ate big portions of everything," says Belfiore, who lost about 80 pounds in nine months. He has maintained his healthier weight since. "I'm a fitness fanatic and into positive thinking now," says Belfiore, who also credits his daughter, Jennifer, who shared advice she learned while attending Weight Watchers. "I also adapted things I learned to create my own healthy diet."
No longer tired and achy all the time, Belfiore says he feels like his weight loss is translating to success in other parts of his life.
"I feel like I can succeed at anything now."
DIET Fruits, vegetables and grains make up the bulk of Belfiore's diet. The other key is portion control. "I eat about half the portion of meat that I used to eat, and have doubled the amount of vegetables and fruits," Belfiore says. "I used to eat a lot of red meat. Now, I eat mostly chicken and turkey."
He has two meals a day and two healthful snacks. "My snacks are fruit, nuts, peanut butter on a rice cake or dry Cheerios," says Belfiore, who added that he completely cut out sugars and processed flours.
"I wouldn't recommend my schedule for everyone, but I really like exercising now," Belfiore says.
ADVICE "Don't think of it as a diet," Belfiore says. "Think of it as changing to a healthier lifestyle."