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Weight Watchers helps Port Jefferson Station man lose 114 pounds

Tom Hardy, 51, of Port Jefferson Station, is

Tom Hardy, 51, of Port Jefferson Station, is pictured in November 2016, when he weighed 327 pounds, and in a more recent photo, showing off his more than 100-pound weight loss. Credit: Robert Foggia; Newsday/Steve Pfost

Tom Hardy, 51, Port Jefferson Station, member service representative for a credit union

Before 327, November 2016

After 213, September 2018  

Tom Hardy says a life-threatening bout of bronchial pneumonia and two weeks in the hospital in 2015 was the start of his weight problem.

“That set me on a downward spiral emotionally and physically,” says Hardy, who eventually went on disability for six months. “It was during that time that I really packed on the weight, eating nothing but junk food and fast food because of depression,” he says.

At a doctor’s appointment required for Hardy to return to work, he was told he weighed 327 pounds. Visibly upset hearing that, Hardy made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and joined Weight Watchers.

“I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I had tried that before,” says Hardy. He attends a men-only meeting every Sunday at 8 a.m. Weight Watchers is a points-based program but comes with a list of about 200 zero-point foods.

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“The Freestyle program started in November," Hardy says, "and that’s when the weight really started coming off.” He says he doesn’t miss having to squeeze into restaurant booths, rocking to get out of his car, struggling with seat belts or straining to breathe after walking just 10 steps. Instead, he enjoys sporting a 36-inch waist, down from 52 inches, and wearing a size large shirt, down from 4X.

Breakfast for Hardy during the week is coffee and fruit or a yogurt. On weekends, he treats himself to an egg white omelet with turkey, Swiss cheese and vegetables. Lunch is usually a Smart Ones prepared meal. Dinner can be chicken or fish and mixed vegetables or a green salad with a can of tuna. He snacks on fruit, Healthy Pop Jolly Time popcorn and Enlightened ice cream.

Hardy admits he doesn’t exercise as much as he should but walks after sunset every day. He plans to buy a bike and join a gym to lose the last 8 pounds to reach his goal of 205.

“Like many things, you have to want to do it. . . . It’s a lifestyle change. You’re reprogramming your mind about food, not changing what you’re eating, just eating proper portions. You can still go out for Italian food, just keep it in moderation.”

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