Sally Squires's Lean Plate Club - Success Stories

Gain Inspiration From Others Who Have Lost Weight
Andrew Ness
Successful Loser

Andrew Ness

Queens, N.Y.

Pounds Lost


Time to Do It:

9 years


Data analyst for a financial company


49 years old, married, twin nine-year-old daughters, member of the National Weight Control Registry

Maintained Weight:

Past two years

Size Change:

36 waist jeans to 29

Healthy Habits Added:

Running and track. He started out being able to run 100 feet. He's completed two New York City marathons and regularly runs 800 meters in track meets.

Trigger Foods:

Chocolate cherry cordials. His kids gave him two boxes, which are now safely tucked out of reach on top of his refrigerator for occasional treats. "Otherwise I'd eat the whole box at once."

Secret Weapons:

Weighing himself daily and monitoring body fat; reading food labels and watching portion control. He still measures out cereal, nuts and any other food with concentrated calories and a small portion size. He always has something slightly sweet, such as a cup of tea with a little honey, before leaving the office so that he's not ravenous when he gets home.

What He Can't Live Without:

Physical activity, especially running. and... brownies.

Favorite Snacks:

Gorp and trail mix.

Biggest Struggle:

"Controlling myself, especially with stress eating." Also, "It's hard to stop thinking of yourself as a fat person. I am a formerly fat person."

Previous Weight Loss Attempts:

"I've read practically every diet available. I tried the Zone and gained weight. I tried Slim-Fast. I tried South Beach for four days. Anything moderately organized doesn't work for me."

What Worked This Time:

Slowly changing his habits. "I decided not to eat anything from a box and nothing frozen. I lost 10 pounds, then plateaued there and had to take it up a notch. I tend to lose weight in clumps."

What Motivated Him to Succeed:

A photo of him celebrating after the Yankees won the 1996 World Series. "Holy crap, I am gigantic!"

Rewards Along the "Weigh":

New running shoes, a jacket and starting blocks for meeting running goals.

Benefits of Weight Loss:

Being able to stop taking cholesterol lowering medications.

What He's Learned From the Lean Plate Club:

How to eat more fruit in meals. "I've started eating pork stew with apples and raisins and lamb stew with apricots and dates. It's working out pretty good."

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