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How I lost 65 pounds: I stopped eating like a student

Depression after the death of a friend pushed Craig Welsh to the breaking point in February, 2012. Now, at 43, he’s in the best shape of his life.

Craig Welsh

43, Iqaluit, Nunavut

Pounds dropped: 65

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My turning point: The weight had been creeping on for years and moving to Nunavut didn't help. I gained an additional 40 pounds after moving to the great North. It's cold; your body is screaming for carbs and when it's minus 40 C outside, you don't want to go outside, let alone go to the gym.

When Tim Hortons finally opened here, I packed on an easy 20 pounds.

When my friend died in February, 2012, I became very depressed. I was hurting every day, and after a few months I was desperate to feel something different.

I went to the gym – and it worked, I felt much better whenever I finished a workout.

My method: I quickly became addicted to the high I felt at the gym – I started going five days a week for about 60 to 90 minutes at a time.

About half that time was spent on an elliptical, the rest doing different weight exercises. After gradually building up intensity over several months, I realized I could do a 45-minute stretch on an elliptical at its hardest setting: that was a proud moment.

But the exercise alone wasn't going to cut it. I also began making changes in my diet, which was the hardest part.

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So I restricted myself to eating only three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and supper. No eating after 7 p.m. I tried cutting out as much processed food as I could and upped the amount of fruits and vegetables I ate.

I went from eating two or three doughnuts for breakfast to having cereal and yogurt. Dinner used to be macaroni and cheese or nachos; and now it's veggie-packed. I love stir fries.

It wasn't easy; I was hungry a lot the first couple of months. But once my body adapted and I settled into a dietary routine, similar to my workout routine, I was hooked.

No diet in the world is going to work for me if I can't have some chocolate every day, but I am no longer eating like I'm a 20-year-old university student.

I lost the 65 pounds in about 10 months. I'm still trying to lose another 10 pounds – but really, I'm in the best shape of my life, right now, at age 43. Go figure.

My Kryptonite: I have a rule that any time we travel "down south" to Ottawa the diet can be suspended.

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Still, the bakeries in ByWard Market and The Works (burgers and shakes and onion rings, oh my) can do serious damage to my will power if I'm not careful.

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About the Author
Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More


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