Peter Andes

54, Massapequa

Occupation Librarian

Height 5-foot-10

Weight before February 2011 212

Weight after December 2011 154

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Like so many, Andes found his weight creeping up, but it took a medical scare to push him along the road to weight loss. "In 1999, I got very sick and lost 70 pounds in three months," Andes remembers. "I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which means I can't eat wheat, barley or rye."

He needed to change his diet, but really only tried to find gluten-free substitutes. "The problem with many non-gluten products is that they have more calories than the gluten products," Andes says. A big snacker, Andes read the ingredients on his favorite snacks and found out he still could eat M&M's and potato chips.

"In 2004, I found I had kidney cancer and had to have surgery," says Andes, who eventually developed a hernia at the incision and had to have another surgery to put in mesh to repair the hernia. "It was the weight that was stressing the incision area," Andes says. "At that point, I just had enough of everything."

In February, he heard about the iPhone MyFitnessPal app. "You tell it your weight, height, age and how much you want to lose . . . It tells you how many calories you have to eat to lose the weight you want to lose. You log in everything you eat. At first, I had to stop eating after lunch."


He starts his day with a gluten-free cereal or a muffin, coffee and orange juice. "I have a sandwich for lunch if I'm home," Andes says. "Or, if I'm at work, there's a restaurant down the street that makes gluten-free soups, so that's what I have each day."

Dinner at home with his wife and daughter is usually chicken, steak or hamburger, and always a vegetable. "What was killing me before was the snacks between meals," Andes says.


Andes walks whenever and wherever he can, including three-quarters of a mile to the train station and back each day. He also walks during lunch and to meetings.

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"You have to find things that suit your personality," Andes says. "I'm a librarian and like to categorize things."