My Story of Weight Loss

My story starts with Rheumatic Fever. In the 50’s, Rheumatic fever was somewhat of a mystery, and the assumption was if it went on too long you were going to die. Which, was, unfortunately, true.

The treatment was large doses of penicillin, bed rest, and extended convalescence. I was seven years old and told that I couldn’t exercise or strain myself until I was twelve. At the time, I lived in New York City, and there was only so much exercise you could do as a mini-kid in those days anyway. Stickball, park wading pools, and riding my trike indoors was about it.

After my hospitalization, I spend 4 months in a convalescence home in the New York City suburbs. There were two wards of us kids and I was among the youngest. We played outside, but were told not to strain ourselves. My best friend there was a 12-year old named Tommy, and later I learned he had died from the disease. I was scared straight. I never ran again in NYC. 

After my convalescence, my parents decided it was time to move to where the fresh air was. In this case, it was New Jersey. We settled in a new suburban split-level, and as I made friends I discovered there were real activities to partake in. Little League baseball. Football. Running free in open fields. Eventually, I did all of these, but felt guilty doing so so never really exerted myself. I had become a chubby little kid. And on top of that, every month I had to get a shot of “bicillin”, a super dose of penicillin that lasted a month and cause me to sit funny in my classroom seat. 


Then I went to college, with it’s all you can eat cafeterias, and student centers with fries and burgers. Oh, and yes, beer… plenty of it. By the time I graduated, I had gained perhaps forty pounds. That would have made me 200 lbs. or so. Soon after college I got married, and I started a business. Both of those are stressors, along with being a parent, drinking, and deadlines.  I did quit drinking when I was 35, but I replaced it with pizza and cheesecake!

Brien after a successful diet, briefly sporting a turtleneck

During a twenty-year period, I tried two extreme diets, and they do work. The first was a combination of the Kelp-Lecithin-Vitamin B6 diet, and the Dr. Maxwell Stillman high protein water diet, which eventually was adapted by Atkins for his high protein diet. I got down to 160 lbs. But that weight loss only lasted 2 years, and I yo-yo’d back to 250 or so. The second was Optifast, which was structured around 3 powder shakes a day, and that’s all. I got down to 175 on that 26 week diet. But again, that only lasted about two years.

Over the succeeding years, there was a gradual drip drip drip of new poundage. It doesn’t happen overnight, it happens over a longer time, through a combination of distraction, addiction, and general negligence in favor of the pressures of the moment. I worked in a deadline-laden video production industry, and I fueled my late nights with sugar treats, wine and late night snacks.

I lived at 250-275 lbs. until I was 66, which also included a case of sleep apnea.

Then I had a heart “incident” that ended up awarding me a pacemaker/ defibrillator. That was a serious scare, and I was given medication for my heart (which,  in fact suffered some damage from the rheumatic fever) a restricted diet, and an exercise plan (in the form of cardiac rehabilitation.

I went from 275 to 200 pounds, and felt much, much better.

I’m not done. I’d like to get down to about 180 pounds. But already, I’ve dropped 8 inches from my waist, gone from a size 54 to 44, and don’t have noticeable heart palpitations like I used to. 

The information I present here is as important for me as it may be for you. It’s what I’ve learned from my own life as well as the writings of others I’ve learned to respect during my research. I’ll also present products and plans that may help you (please note that these may be products that I have chosen to be affiliated with, which may provide me with a small commission so I can maintain and pay for this site).

So welcome to “Lose Fat Stat”, which I heartily hope is a promise that will help all of us!