Alan Fink

53, Lynbrook

Occupation Freelance management consultant specializing in information technology

Height 5-foot-11

Weight before 324 (Summer 2007)

Weight after 172 (Oct. 15, 2012)

HIS STORY "I gained the freshman 15, the sophomore 20, then the junior 30," Fink remembers of his college days, when he began gaining weight. "It was just a general lack of activity, but still eating like I was active. I even gained weight along with my wife when she got pregnant."

After years of yo-yo dieting, where he'd lose -- and regain -- 50 to 60 pounds at a time, he finally turned to bariatric surgery.

"I first talked to my doctor about it in 2001-'02, but he thought it was too risky for me," says Fink, who was consistently topping 300 pounds by 2006.

"I was 47 and running out of time," says Fink, whose father died at age 52. "I had high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and joint pain. I was afraid I wasn't going to live."

He finally had lap-band surgery at NYU Medical Center in October 2007. Afterward, he lost 20 pounds a month consistently. By summer 2008, he was down to 180 pounds.

What would he say to those who think surgery is taking a shortcut? "Do you have a car, or do you drive a horse and buggy?" Fink says. "I think of the surgery as just another tool in the battle against obesity. "

DIET "My problem wasn't what I ate," Fink says. "It was portion control. I generally ate double or triple what I should have."

He says his diet now is about 50 percent protein, 25 percent vegetables and 25 percent starchy vegetables. He starts the day with vegetable juice and oatmeal. Dinner is lean protein, vegetables and dessert.

"It is the first few bites that are really satisfying,'' says Fink.

EXERCISE He jogs eight to 10 miles a day and goes to the gym three days a week. He works out at home when he doesn't go to the gym.

ADVICE "Don't let anyone dissuade you from what you need to do," Fink says of the decision to have surgery.

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