After topping out at 463 pounds with a 62-inch waist, Tim Ward, who lives in nearby Wildomar, figured he had to lose weight or else.
“I had learned to live with my weight, but I could feel that it was slowly killing me inside. Everything that was medically measurable was out of balance,” he said. “I had high blood pressure and high blood sugar [content]. My knees, back and joints were failing.”
Ward said his turning point came when he weighed 462 pounds and an airline clerk told him he would need to purchase two seats to avoid crowding an adjacent passenger.
“It was a very embarrassing moment for me,” Ward recalled in a telephone interview.
About that time, a vice president of the company he works for gave a speech about setting and achieving personal and professional goals. That pair of coincidences tipped the scale for Ward.
“I decided to give it a shot,” he said.
At first he yo-yoed on the Atkins diet – losing 123 pounds and then gaining 25 back. Then he realized he would need to change his attitude toward food before he could make any further progress.
Nearly four years later, Ward has shed about 225 pounds and gained a new slant on self-control, eating and life.
Ward works as a floor covering salesman and he travels about 55,000 miles a year covering a vast territory that stretches from Las Vegas to the east, San Diego to the south and Goleta to the north. He has lived in Wildomar since 1990.
“I knew that I had to seek out not only how to eat right but how to put food in the proper place in my mind and my life,” he wrote in a synopsis of his experience. “That’s how I came to Weight Watchers.”
Ward, 50, said he recently earned enough “Points” to become a lifetime member of the weight-loss program. That means he no longer needs to pay dues or fees to participate.
The program taught him about portion control, eating right and exercising.
“Portions were something I had no concept of,” he recalled. “And I was always thinking about food. While I was eating <a meal>, I would be thinking about what I was going to eat later in the day,”
Ward said he now thinks of food in a whole new way.
“I’ve taken food off a pedestal and put it back on a plate,” he said. “I’ve totally focused on the way I looked at food and how I used food.”
Ward said he now knows when to stop eating. “Full is when I’m no longer hungry,” he said.
He credits his wife, Trish, for being one of his biggest supporters.
“She’s been amazing through the process, even though she loved me unconditionally no matter what my weight was,” he said.
Their 24-year-old son was also a big help, he said.
Ward said his turnaround was so complete that that he entered a 5K walk in Lake Elsinore on May 25 and finished in less than 50 minutes.
“I had a moment where the realization of what I have accomplished brought me to tears. I ran as much as I walked,” he recalled. “This just goes to show that anyone can do this if they just don’t quit.”
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