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Originally published Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 6:09 AM

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Goodbye, ‘soda belly’: one man’s journey to weight loss

One man finds his own way to weight-loss success. Dropping the “Three C’s” — chocolate, chips and cola — was a key ingredient.

Dayton Daily News

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DAYTON, Ohio — David Frederick is 5 feet 10 inches tall and fairly active. Although his journey may not sound like the typical way to go about losing weight, it demonstrates that sometimes we just need to find our own path to success.

In his words:

“According to (the) Get Healthy program, my ‘ideal weight’ is between 136 and 179. I have been around 210 for many years, and my doctor has never had a problem since most is in my legs. I am a walker and go pretty much everywhere, which includes work (five minutes), grocery shopping or hiking to shop at a department store/mall (up to three hours round trip). Through sweating and such, I would lose up to 5 pounds, but as soon as I got back, I would drink soda and eat, gaining it all back over the weekend. It was time to change things up.

“Instead of giving in to the junk food, I would eat a Fiber One bar and drank water. Sure enough, I started losing weight, and by mid-April of this year, I went below 200. I started keeping weekly tabs on my weight, tipping the scale every Friday before work in my birthday suit and writing it down.

“I also ditched the The Three C’s — chocolate, chips and colas — or at least I cut way back. Unbelievably, I used to go through four to five medium bags of candy, three to four 11-ounce bags of chips and four two-liter bottles of soda per week. It was nothing to go through a bag of chips watching one television show, let alone an entire two-liter of soda while watching football on Sundays, sometimes even starting a second.

“I sat down and added up how much that was costing me not only in calories but financially, and the number was ridiculous. I plan on maxing my IRA each year and turn 50 this December. So, the amount is up and I decided to toss my ‘junk food’ money into that. Needless to say, the money I ‘didn’t miss’ while chowing down on junk food is now where I ‘don’t miss it’ and will get back in a decade or so.

“I also switched up to salads over the summer, and use only light or fat-free dressing.

“At my physical last October I was at 210. This April I was in the 190s, and as of today I am in the low 170s. My ‘soda belly’ is gone, and I can finally see my abs.

“Several co-workers like what they see, while a few others are ‘concerned’ that I have lost so much weight. I remind them that I lost it over several months, not days or weeks.

“A few are also upset that they can’t do this. I tell them that all they have to do is be patient and make subtle consistent changes and it all adds up.

“As mentioned, I went through at least a dozen two-liter bottles of soda a month. I know this because I would fill up my mug before supper and refill it several times. Now I realize that if I am out and about keeping myself busy, the distraction automatically limits the amount of soda, which was another helpful tool. If you are focused elsewhere, you’re not thinking about the junk food, and you won’t miss it.

“When I mentioned my soda intake, a few people were upset at how much I drank. Some of my co-workers would drink two (or more) 20-ounce bottles of soda a day. I told them that three of theirs is just under a 2-liter bottle (67.6 ounces). Once they saw the numbers, they realized that they were drinking just as much, if not more, than me. This really put things into perspective.

“As for my vices, I always stocked up on my favorites when they were on sale. It was nothing to have well over a dozen bags of chocolates in my war chest, as well as other assorted munchies. Once I kept track I realized I would go through a normal-size bag of candy every other day at my desk, as well as whatever I had here at the house.

“I don’t buy any chips now, since they would only tempt me and I know I would go through them very easily. Now that the weight is off, I want it to stay that way. Plus, an 11-ounce bag of chips has up to four ounces of fat. I plan to stay realistic, my goal being to stay below 185 when I go for my doctor visits. Being in the low 170s now is even better.

“Bottom line: I am not starving myself, I am not fanatical. I am simply doing my best to continue to choose healthier options. Looking forward to my next checkup.”

Marjie Gilliam is a personal trainer and fitness consultant. Email:

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