Dropping lbs., Joseph Orlando Jr.

After a lifetime of being overweight Joseph J.

After a lifetime of being overweight Joseph J. Orlando Jr. drew strength from his marriage and a new baby daughter to undergo the Lap-Band surgery. He lost 121 pounds in less than a year, dropping from 323 pounds to 202. (2013) Photo Credit: Handout; Thomas A. Ferrara

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JOSEPH ORLANDO JR.

26, Cutchogue

Occupation: Assistant branch manager for Bridgehampton National Bank, Southampton

Height: 6 feet

BEFORE:July 2012 323 lbs.

AFTER: Sept. 19, 2013, 198 lbs.

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HIS STORY Joseph J. Orlando Jr. had battled his weight since he was 10 years old. He'd tried diet pills, the Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers, the South Beach Diet.

"From 2004 to 2012, I gained 90 pounds," says Orlando, who turned to Lap-Band surgery to lose more than 120 pounds in a year. "I was afraid to do it by myself. My wife had gained a significant amount of weight following a pregnancy and a knee injury, so we decided to do it together."

Orlando says the decision for them to have the surgery at the same time was unusual.

"It is a three-week recovery period. We figured that if the surgery was painful or difficult and only one of us did it, maybe the other would back out,'' Orlando says. His wife, Morgan

Orlando, has lost 60 pounds, he says.

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"The hard part was learning the new way to eat and new

portion sizes. In the beginning, it was learning what it felt like to be full on a smaller portion."

They also learned to give up such high-calories food as bread and soda.

"Bread is filling and has no nutritional value," says Orlando. "I also don't eat steak. With the amount of chewing you have to do to make it digestible, it has no flavor."

DIET

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Post-surgery, breakfast is a protein shake, a yogurt or one scrambled egg. Lunch often is a chicken breast with light mayo, egg salad or three slices of rolled up lunch meat and cheese. Dinner is grilled chicken with vegetables.

EXERCISE After being sedentary for years, Orlando now runs at least 2-3 miles a day three days a week. He also goes to the gym on weekends for strength training, as well as occasionally doing strength training at home with his wife.

ADVICE "The Lap-Band surgery is a tool," Orlando says. "It doesn't do the work for you.''

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