Occupation: Graduate student, Queens College
Weight before: 310 (March 2010)
Weight after: 205 (February 2012)
While Evan Grabelsky's ballooning weight was no secret, how he got that way was. Grabelsky, of Merrick, says he was a binge eater addicted to food. "There wasn't anything I wouldn't eat," he says. "I'd have a full dinner and then go out and eat at every fast-food joint in the neighborhood -- chicken nuggets, sandwiches, fries, hot dogs -- all in my car in the dark."
His cholesterol was off the charts. He was prediabetic and so out of shape that standing in the shower sometimes left him out of breath.
Grabelsky's doctor told him that he was on the road to major medical complications, even death. Fear and shame finally drove him to a Weight Watchers meeting in Wantagh. "I went in and the woman at the desk was so nice," he says. "She suggested I sit in on a meeting that was just about to start." The topic? Food addiction. "It was like he was talking to me," Grabelsky says.
He hasn't missed a meeting since.
He now eats salads, whole grains and his daily allowance of vegetables and fruits. He drinks water almost exclusively. He also creates healthier versions of former favorites. "I take the Chinese food I used to love and just put it over vegetables or use it in a stir-fry," says Grabelsky. He said he doesn't believe any food should be off-limits, just eaten in moderation, like his once-monthly slice of pizza.
"I walk on the treadmill every day at the highest incline and at about 3 miles per hour," says Grabelsky, who spends nearly 90 minutes a day on the machine. In addition, he lifts weights three times a week. "When you lose a lot of weight, you have a lot of excess skin," he says. "Weightlifting helps tone things up."
Address the emotional while you're dealing with the physical. "I started a journal, and not only journaled what I was eating, but what I was feeling," Grabelsky says. "Eventually, I was actually dealing with my feelings because they were right there in front of me."