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How I lost 127 pounds: a high-energy husky (and plenty of portion control)

Neil Jones

28, Canmore, Alta.

Pounds dropped: 127

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My turning point: On my 23rd birthday, in February 2007, I had a doctor's appointment. He asked me to step on his scale. I'd always been willfully ignorant of what my weight actually was, but seeing that I was just over 300 pounds stunned me. He also had me tested for diabetes, which came up negative – and I felt like I'd been given a chance to change my way of living before that point of no return.

My method: I resolved to start exercising, and my friend had a high-energy husky, Lasha, that he never had time to walk. I took her for modest walks that spring, and as the snow melted, little Lasha and I went farther and higher until we were scrambling up mountaintops in the summer. Eventually, it wasn't a matter of "forcing" myself to get outside – it had become a lifestyle instead of feeling like a weight-loss obligation.

Exercise aside, the hardest discipline to learn was portion control. Fad diets come and go but counting calories works. I was surprised to find out how many calories one can take in with "healthy" things like fruit juice. Products Labelled "reduced-fat" or "whole grain" may be better for you, but only in small quantities. Time and effort are required to learn moderation.

My kryptonite: The one thing I never outgrew is chocolate milk. Any time. Anywhere. Gimme gimme.

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