James P. Calamis: From 'heavy kid' to healthy adult

James P. Calamis, a 55-year-old attorney from Commack, James P. Calamis, a 55-year-old attorney from Commack, was plagued with high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides before losing 115 pounds with the help of Michael Thurmond's "6 Week Body Makeover." Photo Credit: Newsday.com composite

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Who: James P. Calamis
Town: Commack
Occupation: Attorney

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Height: 5'6"
Weight before: 298 (Dec. 2007)
Weight after: 183 (June 2009)

His story: James P. Calamis topped the scales at 298 pounds, but that wasn't all that was weighing him down. He also was plagued with high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, acid reflux and severe nosebleeds -- all issues that he attributed to his excessive weight.

Growing up in Queens, Calamis played racquetball and stickball, but he was still overweight. "I was always active, but I was always a heavy kid," he said.

His family shared the weight problem. "It was not a very healthy eating environment at all - a lot of pasta, a lot of fried foods."

At his heaviest, doctors were pushing the idea of a gastric bypass, but to Calamis that was just a "temporary, artificial solution."

He instead tried "every diet out there," but any results seemed fleeting. Then, two years ago, a late-night infomercial for Michael Thurmond's "6 Week Body Makeover" compelled him to make a call that would change his life - and the numbers on the scale.

What he eats: With Thurmond's plan, Calamis eats five to six small meals a day, and has eliminated processed foods, oils, complex carbs and dairy from his diet. At the end of every six weeks, he tosses out the rule book for a full day, eating anything and everything he wants - pizza, Italian heros, even bagels with cream cheese and lox.

Workouts: Calamis continues to play racquetball three times a week. And he rides a bike 3.5 miles to work most days.

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Final thoughts: "You need to pick the right plan that works, because not every plan works for everybody."

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