130 Pounds Down- and Counting

In 2012, this Allendale deli owner lost more than a third of his body weight without drugs or surgery- or feeling deprived. Here's his story.



I’VE BEEN HEAVY SINCE I WAS IN SECOND GRADE. When I graduated from high school, at 5´11˝, I weighed 246 pounds. But by the end of 2011, at age 52, I weighed 350 pounds— and I was scared.

My business, Bernie’s Bagels and Allendale Gourmet Delicatessen, keeps me busy, and in my free time I’m a drag racer. After the end of every drag-racing season, I’d let everything go because I no longer had to make weight and didn’t have to feel comfortable in the car. I’d gotten used to gaining 20 or so pounds after the season, but for some reason in 2011 I gained 40 pounds in November and December.

My blood work was fine—I didn’t have high cholesterol or diabetes. But my knees began to hurt constantly, excruciatingly. Also, my kids are older now—they’re 19 and 21—and we’re more like friends; I wanted to be able to do things with them. I saw the writing on the wall—I was not going to be around if I continued as I was.

I’ve tried all kinds of ways to lose weight—Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, you name it. I started the process for gastric band surgery four times, but because of issues with insurance and bad timing, it never worked out. Last fall, I noticed my neighbor had slimmed down considerably. He gave me the business card of weight-loss management specialist Gladys DiTroia in Wyckoff, and after a couple of months I finally called her. Our first appointment was on January 14, and I’ve never looked back. I do believe that she saved my life.

The way I used to eat was, I’d go to work at 4 a.m. and be there for 12 hours or so. I didn’t eat all day, just drank coffee. When I got home I’d have dinner, usually around 9 at night, then I’d go to bed. Gladys explained that I was starving my metabolism all day, then overloading it at night and going to sleep. I’m on a schedule now: An hour after I wake up, I have breakfast—that was a little rough for me at the beginning because I’m not hungry then. Then every three hours or so for the rest of the day, I’m having either a snack or a meal.

A typical breakfast is one-third of a piece of American cheese and egg whites on an English muffin. For lunch, I eat turkey with lettuce, onions and mayo on reduced-calorie rye bread or a reduced-calorie wrap, with a serving of fruit. At dinner, I have chicken, salmon or bison, with a baked potato and vegetable. Also, In Motion Meals (inmotionmeals.com) helped me keep on track because they have a full line of prepared meals that are awesome. A snack is a piece of fruit and one of those 100-calorie bags of smoked almonds or some pistachios. And that’s my day. I never feel deprived, not a bit. In fact, I’d be fine with 900 calories a day, not the 1,500 Gladys insists I have. But I’ve learned that if I don’t eat enough calories, I won’t lose because my body will go into starvation mode and hold onto fat.

Look, I was a chef—I know what good nutrition is. I just chose not to live that way. Now I preplan my meals and keep a calorie journal. Gladys says “Fail to plan, plan to fail,” and it’s really true. I’m on my feet 12 hours a day at work, and I used to be so exhausted afterward I’d collapse on the couch. Now I ride my bike up to 10 miles a day and plan to keep increasing that. I haven’t been much of a gym person, but Gladys wants me to do weight training.

I used to wear size 50 pants; now I’m between size 36 and 38. From the way I used to snore, my wife was sure I had sleep apnea—but now I sleep soundly, without snoring, through the night. My knees don’t hurt anymore. And my kids and I are closer now because we do more things together. I would probably like to lose at least 20 more pounds. That would be cool. I’m not focused on a particular number; I just want to look normal. And though I know it’s common for people to gain back the weight they lost, I don’t think that will happen for me. I was fat for so long. I don’t want to be fat again.

 

THE SECRET TO WEIGHT-LOSS SUCCESS?

Weight management specialist Gladys DiTroia (gladysditroia.com) focuses on “small changes” for her clients—like eating within one hour of waking and drinking plenty of water. She also customizes meal plans and has weekly meetings to review the past week and strategize for the upcoming one. In between there are calls, texts and emails. Says DiTroia: “You can find plans in a lot of places. People give you a piece of paper and send you away. I help clients implement the plan. The hardest thing is doing it alone.”

 

Related Read: The Best and Worst Foods for Weight Loss

Edit Module

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Find Events

May 2018

Bring your curious kids to TOUCHA- TRUCK, sponsored by the Junior League of Bergen County at Nordstrom’s Garden State Plaza location. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., children can get behind the wheel...

Cost: Tickets: $25 (for a family-of-four pack)

Where:
Nordstrom’s Garden State Plaza
, NJ


Website »

More information

Join the Bergen County Historical Society for its annual PINKSTER FEST at New Bridge Landing in River Edge from 1 to 5 p.m. The fest is a traditional Jersey Dutch celebration of springtime and will...

Cost: Admission: FREE

Where:
New Bridge Landing
River Edge, NJ


Website »

More information

Put on your thinking cap and head to the Tenafly Nature Center for a SEASONAL SCAVENGER HUNT from 2 to 3 p.m. Families will receive a set of clues and solve nature-themed riddles along the nature...

Cost: Admission: $6

Where:
Tenafly Nature Center
Tenafly, NJ


Website »

More information

Rides, Food, Games & Fun for the Whole Family! Free Admission & Free Street Parking Plus ...Daily Chance to Win! - 50/50 & Gift Basket Raffle!  Rides for all ages.

Cost: Free Admission & Parking

Where:
Church of the Assumption
32 Locust Ave.
Emerson, NJ  07630
View map »


Telephone: 201-262-1122
Contact Name: Brian Beahm
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

 Renowned virtuoso guitarist and composer Gil Gutiérrez with bassist David Rodriguez and violinist Robert Sternmakes a much–anticipated return to the legendary Jazz Standard in New...

Cost: $30

Where:
Jazz Standard
116 E. 27th Street
New York, NY
View map »


Telephone: 212-576-2232
Website »

More information

Embrace your creative side during a series of PENCIL DRAWING CLASSES at the Hillsdale Library. Local artist Deidre Malloy will lead the class, and each session covers a different topic:...

Cost: Admission: FREE (but there is a $5 fee for supplies)

Where:
Hillsdale Library
, NJ


Telephone: 201.358.5072
Contact Name: Marian Sheeran

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events
No Events
No Events

Your First Mud Run is the ONLY mud run in the country designed so both parents and kids can run together. Our courses are 1.5 - 2 miles and include 10 - 16 obstacles that are designed for...

Cost: $45-$55

Where:
Century Field
75 Elizabeth St.
Garifeld, NJ  07026
View map »


Sponsor: Your First Mud Run
Telephone: 201-891-4115
Contact Name: Brad Vaccaro
Website »

More information

Dare to get dirty at YOUR FIRST MUD RUN at Century Field in Garfield, which starts at 10 a.m. The 1.5- to 2-mile courses are complete with obstacles like rows of tires, walls to climb over, jump...

Cost: Registration: $37

Where:
Century Field
Garfield, NJ


Website »

More information

Join members, friends & neighbors as we celebrate a new season. The pool opens with the ringing of the bell, words of welcome & our annual pool jump-in! A pot-luck lunch will be served, bring a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Highlands Natural Pool
180 Snake Den Road
Ringwood, NJ  07456
View map »


Sponsor: Highlands Natural Pool
Telephone: 973-835-4299
Contact Name: Emily Berry
Website »

More information

Ocean Galleries kicks off Memorial Day weekend with guest artist, Josef Kote, who returns to Stone Harbor, NJ for the second consecutive year, bringing with him an all new collection of dramatic...

Cost: Free & Open to the Public with ALL Artwork Available for Acquisition.

Where:
Ocean Galleries
9618 Third Ave
Stone Harbor, NJ  08247
View map »


Sponsor: Ocean Galleries
Telephone: 609-576-3717
Contact Name: Kim Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module