Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | September 28, 2009
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HEALTH & FITNESS - Weight loss success stories
Sacha Walters, Staff Reporter

Donald McDonald, before weight loss.

Donald McDonald had a goal and went after it aggressively.

The professional realised he had gradually packed on the pounds. He had difficulty tying his shoe-laces and was tired and lethargic. At 225 lb, the father and husband decided he must do something about his weight.

After a week of exercising on his own, the company he works for, National Meats and Food Distributors Limited, in Lydford, St Ann, entered the National Health Fund 'Work It Out' Challenge. The 12-week weight-loss and body mass index competition saw 50 teams entering. His company entered as team Hart Hill, representing a fresh juice which they distribute, bearing the same name.

Full steam ahead

He went full steam ahead, working out four times per week at the gym and making up for any shortfalls by running on his treadmill at home. Running with his teammates was also an essential part of the programme.

"The first week was the hardest. It was like my body was in shock," he said.

His breakfast consisted of boiled egg whites and toasted brown bread. For lunch he would have a piece of skinless chicken breast with vegetables or some soup.

For dinner it was chicken salad, soup or a tuna sandwich. These meals were accompanied by a glass of Hart Hill orange or grapefruit juice. On Sundays his wife would prepare a complete healthy meal. "I looked forward to Sundays," he said. After three weeks he lost 15 pounds.

The fourth week was not so easy for the man who never really had a problem with his weight. He didn't lose any weight that week.

"At that stage I said I had to step up my diet." He focused on eating fruits for breakfast, a sardine sandwich for lunch and soup or raisin bran (without milk) for dinner.

"After that it was smooth sailing," he said.

He finally lost 45 pounds, dropping to 180 pounds.


Donald McDonald, after weight loss. - Ian Allen/Photographer

The team emerged winners in the competition and McDonald and another team member, Erica Nembhard, placed in the top three for individual prizes in August.

McDonald said the most rewarding part of the experience was just watching his clothes swallow him up.

"I could hardly find clothes to wear to the weigh-in. It felt good," he said.

Today he has managed to keep the weight off. His diet is not as stringent as before but he watches what he eats, making the healthiest possible food decisions. His family has even joined him in his exercise sessions. For his children it's simply emulating their father. "They just want to do what Daddy's doing. My daughter just loves sardine sandwiches now," he said.

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