When his wife was expecting their first child, Linton Myers carried some of the burden – literally. One son and a set of twins later, Myers was up 70 pounds.
“Some of it was sympathy weight, or I’d eat the things she wouldn’t want to eat,” said Myers, 30, an IT analyst from Plainview.
The numbers on the scale continued to climb as he entered fatherhood. Myers lost about 25 pounds between his wife’s pregnancies, but the weight crept back when their twins were born about a year ago.
Eventually, Myers was carrying 210 pounds on his five foot six inch frame. In September, he decided something needed to be done.
In six months, he has lost 52 pounds.
How did Myers do it? Well, it all comes down to a whole lot of determination and a major diet overhaul.
Myers chose to take the low-carb route. While his wife, Jamie, initially introduced him to the Atkins diet, Myers has not closely followed it and chooses instead to simply focus on limiting carbohydrates.
“He’s really stuck with it,” Jamie said. “It’s just agreeing with his body.”
His typical menu includes sausage and eggs for breakfast, and salad topped with chicken at lunch. For dinner he has some sort of meat, such as fish or pork chops, along with vegetables and salad. The meal plan adjustment has been a “lifestyle change,” Myers said.
Initially Myers ate bigger servings, but over time he has reduced his portion sizes.
“How many people do you know who can eat the same thing every day, over and over?” he said. “You get tired of it, so you eat less.”
Myers also taught himself how to better recognize when he felt full, which has shrunk is intake to about 1,500 to 1,600 calories daily. He has to carefully plan out what he is going to eat each day, particularly because he faces a nearly five-hour daily commute.
While Jamie has also tried various diets with some success, she’s had a harder time continuing with anything long term.
“You have to be strict with it,” she said. “He’s just been really, really good about being strict about his eating. I think that’s my downfall. I still have snacks at night.”
But that’s not to say Myers isn’t tempted. He’s the first to admit that he is a big fan of pasta and pizza. The secret to his success, though, is an occasional lapse. About every other week, Myers allows a “splurge day,” when he can eat anything he wants.
To help him get through the holiday season, for example, he took his splurge days on Thanksgiving and Christmas. When Myers stepped on the scale the day after Thanksgiving, though, he was up two pounds.
“You just have to know that and accept that,” he said. “You just have to know the next day you’ll be back to the diet.”
Myers’s biggest piece of advice for people trying to lose weight is to do it for themselves and only themselves.
“It’s wonderful that I’m losing weight and getting healthier for my kids and wife,” he said. “But I want to do it for myself. It’s going to be swimming season soon and I want to look the way I want to at the pool.”
In that sense, Myers said that while he does have a goal weight of 150 pounds, he mainly uses the number as a way to measure his progress.
“For me, I ultimately don’t care what I weigh, it’s what I look and feel like.”
Something Myers does not do is exercise. It’s mainly because of his commute and wanting to maximize the time spent with his family. He does, however, recognize that his weight loss might have been easier with exercise.
Once he loses a few more pounds, the next hurdle is keeping it off. Myers said he’ll draw on the same willpower he’s used over the past six months to drop more than 50 pounds.
“I’m not necessarily special,” he said. “If I decide I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it the whole way. It’s not worth it to me to not.”