Two Quarter Pounders With Cheese, Please

NBC 10 Producer Ed Dress writes about his struggle with weight loss

“I’m embarrassed...I can’t believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I’m still talking about my weight. I look at my thinner self and think, ‘How did I let this happen again?” ---Oprah, "How Did I Let This  Happen Again?"

Anyone who has ever been concerned about his or her weight knows it’s not only a struggle to lose it, but to keep it off as well! In response to Oprah’s article in the January issue of “O” magazine, has asked a series of individuals to write about their experiences with weight loss.

First up: NBC 10 Investigative Producer, Ed Dress.

Two Quarter Pounders with cheese, a large order of fries and a black and white shake! That was my normal order at the drive through window at my local McDonald's.  Nearly three and a half years ago, I weighed in at a hefty 325 pounds! But, that didn't stop me from eating fast food, not exercising and generally living an unhappy, unhealthy lifestyle.

My name is Ed Dress and I'm a Reformed Fatty!  I now weigh anywhere between 207 and 214 pounds (depending on the day).  Like Oprah, I still struggle with my weight. I still want to eat all kinds of fattening foods that taste great.  And, I still wish I could lose around 25 to 30 more pounds. 

There's no magic formula, no easy fixes, and no quick miracle breakthrough that will change someone from fat to even average weight overnight. God knows if there were I would have tried it long ago! 

You see, like so many, I've been fat all my life.  I've led a normal life, achieved a lot!  I got married, had two children, got a great job at NBC10 as Investigative producer, and won numerous awards! Yet as any fat person would know, I was never truly happy.

I was almost always ashamed of my looks, I never felt that I fit in and always used humor as a way to have people like me. 

In fact, looking back, I realize that being fat was probably the single most thing that defined me. 

The entire time that I was fat, I tried diet after diet. The one thing that every diet I was on had in common was that as soon as I fell off the wagon, tripped up and ate the wrong thing, that was it for me. I'd pull into the next Burger King or McDonald's telling myself that I wasn't good enough, that I couldn't do it. To put it bluntly, that I was a FAILURE!

So how did I finally conquer my weight problem? I really didn't. Although I've lost over 115 pounds and went from a size 54 waist to a size 38 waist, I still over-eat. The difference is between my ears. 

Mentally, I have realized that I AM going to fall off the wagon. I AM going to have bad days when I eat things that I shouldn't. In the old fatter days, that would get me to quit my diet. Not now, now I try to make up for it the next day! I haven't eaten at a fast food restaurant since 2005! I really don't miss it. 

I can do things from a physical perspective that I couldn't do before. I don't get tired and I actually like to go clothes shopping, which I never did before (especially when I had to go to special stores to find something to fit me). I used to just be happy that I could find something to fit me, no matter if I liked it or of it made me look good.

I feel bad that Oprah feels that she has let herself go, I also know how difficult it it is to keep after it; trying to lose the weight a second time would seem like an insurmountable task.

I also know that chances are Oprah can do it!  Based on my experience, the mental aspect of weight loss is the hardest one to overcome. If Oprah could rise to the top of the entertainment world, become wildly popular and powerful yet even she still finds it difficult to deal with the demons of weight issues, it does show how powerful a weight problem can be. 

My heart goes out to her and anyone else who is fighting the battle of the bulge.

I expect that I will be worrying about my weight the rest of my life.

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