Marv Kirschenbaum says that weight issues ran in his family. “We always joked that we were all big-boned,” says Kirschenbaum. But, he added, “Heart conditions also ran in our family.”
He says he was always heavy and was indulged as an only child, which may have added to the problem.
In the early 1980s, Kirschenbaum went on a popular liquid protein diet and lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time. But, as was the experience of many others, the weight returned. He developed chest pains on a cruise in 2009 but stayed silent about them until a doctor appointment weeks later. He was admitted to the hospital that night and had two stents put in the next day. Feeling decidedly better, Kirschenbaum quickly recovered and pursued a diet of no red meat, no dairy and no eggs.
The weight started coming off. He was in contact with Jenna Wolfe, former NBC Today fitness correspondent and author of “Thinner in 30: Small Changes That Add Up to Big Weight Loss in Just 30 Days,” and followed her guidelines.
He bought a Fitbit step counter to track his activity. An acupuncturist he was seeing for back trouble tweaked his treatments to include pressure points for food urges. These changes along with the incentive of his daughter’s upcoming wedding made Kirschenbaum think: “Everything’s converging. I’m loving this Fitbit, and I feel like I have everything under control.”
He drinks water first thing in the morning (he counts 20 swallows). Not a breakfast eater, Kirschenbaum says he “nurses a cup of tea and will have some pretzels for breakfast.” Lunch is usually turkey on thin bread or a wrap and some fruit. For dinner he and his wife eat fish and a green salad. He has water or iced tea with lunch and dinner and snacks on fruit and pretzels.
He does 30-60 minutes on an elliptical three or four days a week and takes the stairs to his ninth floor office every workday. He also walks about an hour each day to get his steps in (he averages 20,000 steps daily).
“You have to be mentally ready to do it. All the yelling, screaming, and prodding from others doesn’t work. You, yourself, have to be ready.”
Occupation Business analyst at Consolidated Edison
Before 257 pounds, August 2009
Current 182 pounds, July 2016