October 1, 2020, exactly 8 years to the date that I started my weight loss journey, Thin2win4life and I’m standing backstage at The Late Show with David Letterman. As I’m waited patiently behind the blue curtains I could hear David talking.
He didn’t have to eat salads every day to lose weight. He began his weight-loss journey on October 1, 2012 and 1000 days later he had lost 252 pounds, dropped 18 pant sizes, finished 1st in the men’s division age 35 years or older in a triathlon, and learned a ton about healthy lifestyle changes.
Ladies and Gentlemen please welcome my guest Slim Jim OKeefe from Boston MA.
The backstage staff member grabbed the blue curtain pointed at David Letterman and said, Break a leg, Slim Jim!
I walked onstage to a standing ovation. As I shook David’s hand I remember saying to him,”You’re a lot taller in person than you look on TV.” He responded by saying I guess you’re a lot thinner than you were 8 years ago! We both chuckled as I sat in the big green guest seat.
Then we went to commercial break.
David’s first statement when we came back from break was: So Slim Jim, tell me how a broken foot and a phone call changed your life.
And so the interview began!
I said to him, “On April 22, 2012, I was having my annual physical. When I stepped on the scale my weight registered at 535 pounds. My Primary Care Physician picked up the telephone and made an appointment in the Weight Loss Clinic for me to see if I qualified for gastric bypass surgery. When she hung the phone up I remember her saying, ‘Jim, if you want to see your 60th birthday, you’ll go to this appointment and I hope you qualify for the surgery.’ I then told David that my current age is 66. The audience cheered, wildly.
I told him I went through the program and qualified for the surgery and had a surgery date of October 20, 2012. The day after my mother’s birthday!
On September 11th while attending a Yankee – Red Sox game at Fenway Park I broke my left foot when standing up during the 7th inning stretch.
It was the next day that I called my friend, Ray Ray who lost 64 pounds in 10 weeks. I asked him what did he do to lose the weight and if he would help me. I told him I really wanted to avoid the surgery that was rescheduled for January 5, 2013 because of my broken foot.
His response was, ‘Yes, I’ll help you but, Jim, it’s important to look at the bigger picture, not just a number on a scale.’
David then asked, What did Ray Ray recommend you do first?
My response was great question David and he along with the audience laughed! I said, “He recommended me to start drinking a meal replacement protein drink called SiseLEAN for breakfast and that will help me lose weight. Ray also recommend me to journal my food, move more and increase my water intake.”
David was adjusting his red tie when he asked me, why SiseLEAN?
SiseLEAN uses a scientific and comprehensive approach in helping people maintain a healthy lifestyle while helping improve their overall well-being and quality of life, it’s not just a protein drink. The two types of protein in it helps keep you satisfied for 4-6 hours and builds muscle at the same time.
I continued with my story looking at the red circle on the camera that was directly in front of me. “For most of my adult life, I never ate what I would consider breakfast — I just drank a Diet Coke and ate a couple of muffins, usually chocolate chip.” Again the audience laughed. “Having the meal replacement SiseLEAN definitely kept me fuller longer.”
What about working out at the gym, Slim Jim? David asked while chuckling.
“I am not a gym person,” I told him, “and I knew that trying to eat healthy ALONG WITH exercising at the gym would be too much for me at 585 pounds. Instead, Ray Ray recommended me to move more by walking once my cast was removed. And so I did!
David, I live on a hill. I remember asking my wife, Anne Marie, which way do I go? Up the hill or down the hill? I started by walking up the hill made it just past my next door neighbors house before wanting to lay down and roll down the hill hoping I didn’t pass my driveway.” The crowd roared with laughter. David sipped on his coffee or was it something stronger!
I continued, “The first time walking up the hill felt like an eternity, even though it was only about 50 feet but, the more I did it the easier it became. It took me 2 weeks to make it to the top of the hill! I now enjoy this (mostly) peaceful hour of walking to myself. The baby steps really count!”
David asked, if I ever felt like giving up!
I looked him straight into his hazel eyes and said, “I didn’t give up on myself when times got rough. I remember four days into my journey, I found myself crying hysterically after getting a text from Ray Ray that read: “Jim, You got this. Just keep doing what your doing and you’ll be fine.”…. I was up one pound and after talking to my wife and saying that he has no clue what he was doing. She told me to call him. After talking to Ray I agreed I’d give it one more week if no results than I would quit. Seven days later I was down 12 pounds.”
12 pounds David exclaimed! Is SiseLEAN that effective?
“Yes,” I said. “Siselean in the morning allowed me to stop eating seamlessly and I began to learn how to cook my favorite foods with healthy substitutes.”
David asked, what else kept me on my weight-loss journey?
I let him know that I learned to celebrate non-scale victories. While it’s definitely a motivator to see the scale move down, it’s really about the bigger picture that make the lifestyle change so much more worth it. Things like being able to participate in a triathlon, shopping at places other than the Big & Tall Men’s Shop, finally being able to sit comfortably in my seat at Fenway Park; those little things are incredible measures of success.
On days when I feel like there’s no change from a month earlier, I look at before and after pictures. When you see your body every day it’s hard to notice changes. And if you’re a bigger person, like I was it’s even more difficult to see significant transformations in the mirror. That is why I depended on those non-scale victories to take a look at how far I physically changed!
Talk about your Thin2win4life program. David inquired.
“It uses a scientific and comprehensive approach in helping others obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle while helping improve their overall well-being and quality of life, not just on what they eat during the 12 week program. It is a complete online program. A new subject weekly with tasks and quizzes to be completed by the participants.
David’s final question was, “Do you have any tips to share with anyone wanting to lose weight?”
My answer was simple. “Don’t let anyone or anything bring you down — just take it slow and enjoy the ride. It’s not a race! It’s all about balance! I see it all the time…frustration with the pace at which weight is lost. I get it. I really do. Believe me.
Scale frustration…we want it now… after all, we are human by nature. We don’t like to wait for things. BUT perfection in this journey does not exist. If this wasn’t an easy road, none of us would be here struggling…learning…growing. We all take different paths to our weight loss goals. So yes, it’s OK to get agitated from time to time but each and every one of us needs to realize at some point – THIS IS NOT A RACE IT’S A LIFESTYLE.”
Oh, did I SHOUT that David? I’m sorry, Haha! I’m not trying to. It’s just so DANG important!” The audience applauded.
“So slow down, celebrate your successes no matter how “small” you think they are. Learn from your failures no matter how “terrible” they may seem.
Strive for progress not perfection. Continue to grow every single day the rest of your life.
Remember, eating is necessary, Eating Healthy is a Choice!
I ended by telling David and the audience, “Oh by the way, I never had the gastric bypass surgery.” My current weight is 218!!! If I can do it…YOU CAN DO IT!
David stood up buttoned his grey pinstriped suit coat said “What an incredible transformation! Thank you for sharing Slim Jim” and then said we’ll be right back!
#masterkeyexperience, #weightlossjourney, #thin2win4life, #incredibletransformation