HIS STORY "There were a couple of times in my life when my weight was down quite a bit, but mostly I was overweight all my life and just accepted it as the albatross around my neck," Bob Timpson says. "Over the last 10 or 15 years, it was 200-plus, easy."
He says he was always conscious of his weight but hadn't really resolved to do anything about it.
"I always did some exercise, but it wasn't enough to offset what I was eating," says Timpson, a onetime smoker who ballooned when he stopped. "I substituted cigarettes for food. When I stopped the cigarettes, my weight really went up."
His culprits were lack of portion control and snacking.
"I never ate a lot of fried foods or red meat," Timpson says. He says he tended to have too many helpings and was a constant snacker.
The thing that finally forced him to look closely at his weight was a stroke in May 2009.
"I was in rehab for three or four weeks and saw through other patients what could have happened," says Timpson. "I came out of the stroke relatively unscathed. I feel really blessed."
Vanity and a planned cruise were the final kick starts. When he tried on his cruise clothes, they were too snug. "I didn't want to go on a trip that way," says Timpson, who lost 25 pounds in time for the November sailing.
DIET "I'm not looking for the chips or cheese anymore," says Timpson. "Before, I'd start every day with two doughnuts and cake."
Now, he starts the day with oatmeal with fruit and a cup of tea. After years of skipping lunch, he picks something light such as cheese and crackers or other light protein. If he has a snack, it is usually a small bowl of dry Cheerios. Dinner is a protein with lots of vegetables.
"I don't really deprive myself of anything, but I just make better choices."
EXERCISE He walks about 6 miles a day broken into two sessions. He also does a daily 45-minute calisthenics routine. "It was something I designed myself, and it works for me," Timpson says.
ADVICE "Whatever the reason, find a reason that works for you. Anybody can do it, once you set your mind to it, just focus and stick with it."
Occupation Retired teacher
276 Weight before September 2012
176 Weight after March 5, 2013