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How I lost 105 pounds: I didn't wait until Jan. 1

Jef Combdon before and after his 105-pound weight loss.

Jef Combdon

42, St. John's, Nfld.

Pounds Dropped: 105

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My turning point: For years, I always told myself, "After the holidays, I'll get on track," and sure enough, I would fly through the holidays eating and drinking with little regard, thinking that I would make up for it in the new year, which I never did. In November, 2010, I saw a photo of myself coming back from vacation and I decided to start immediately on the change – not wait until a new calendar year.

My method: The first thing I did was seek help. I joined a men's weight-loss group, making a commitment to myself I was there to change and committed fully to the program and its benefits. I also took up running, which was a huge fat burning machine, and with racing – not that I'm fast – it allowed me to have regular fitness goals and targets to train towards.

Making my way through the first set of holidays was difficult. At every gathering, people would always say, "It's the holidays – have some dessert!" Or, "A little gravy isn't going to hurt!" My family members, my best friend or co-workers all had good intentions. But they weren't good for what I was doing – and that was changing the way I ate for good. Two years later, they can see how I've changed the way I eat – it's the new normal.

My kryptonite: I don't indulge in the idea of a "guilty pleasure" the way my former self would. I really can't just have one treat (similar to how a recovering alcoholic would never just have a "small" drink.) Instead, I've found new indulgences – roasted beets, a newly discovered fruit, or homemade hummus can be a real "treat."

But if there was one thing I'd say is a temptation I avoid, it's cheese. I used to get lost in cheese shops and would make an entire meal out of cheese – paired with some wine and baguette, of course. I'm fine now, doing without it. To quote Harvey Brooker [creator of the Brooker Fit Man program], "It's just cow fat and salt," two things I don't want to put into my now healthy body.

This interview has been edited and condensed by Amberly McAteer

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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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