"I love to walk around half-naked and look at myself in the bathroom mirror now," says the Today show's Willard Scott, who has good reason to be proud of his body.
The jovial 6-foot-3 forecaster shed a girth-shaking 70 pounds over two years, slowly but steadily going from 310 pounds to 240 pounds.
Willard revealed why and how he transformed himself from a bologna-loving food-aholic into a sensible eater.
"I was heading on a course of absolute disaster because of my size," admitted Willard, who started having medical problems when he ballooned up to 310 pounds in 1992.
"I was getting a lot of pain in my feet, my knees, and my legs. I went to five doctors and got five blood tests. They all said the same thing. I was a borderline diabetic."
The dire medical news scared him into action. "I made the decision to go on a diet," he said.
To do so, Willard had to break bad eating habits of a lifetime. He’d always been overweight and had never dieted successfully.
"I was born to eat two helpings of everything, from meatloaf and pot roast to lots of steak, lamb chops, and potatoes. I’d always eat two baskets of bread and butter at dinner. For dessert, it was two pieces of pie or a plate of cookies and milk, or three candy bars with a quart of milk, or huge chocolate sundaes with lots of chocolate sauce and whipped cream."
Willard’s favorite midnight snack was an entire pound of bologna, plus a pound of cheese, with crackers. His favorite breakfast was eggs, pancakes, and sausages.
To start his weight-loss plan, Willard tried the popular Slim Fast® shakes and found he loved them. He drank one shake a day and ate two low-calorie meals.
"I lost up to four pounds a month for six months," said the upbeat broadcaster.
Then Willard decided to modify his diet plan gradually. He switched to eating some of the fattening foods he enjoys, but in smaller portions. And he added fat-free foods, especially vegetables, to his daily menu.
He no longer eats calorie-laden breakfasts. Now when Willard wakes up, he eats just a plain bagel, coffee, and juice.
He snacks on fruit and fruit juices, instead of candy bars and ice cream. For lunch, he keeps with Slim Fast® because he likes it.
"For dinner, I do not deprive myself. I’m still a meat and potatoes man, I just eat less," said Willard. "And I eat more vegetables than meat today; corn on the cob, broccoli, peas, spinach, kale, and mustard greens," said Willard. "I love them!"
"I don’t even think about losing weight now. I’ve lost a staggering 70 pounds! I eat in moderation and I’m proud of myself. I’ll never go back to being fat!" said Willard.
— Jay Christian, author of Hollywood Diet & Exercise Secrets. Copyright 2013. Reprinted with permission. All Rights Reserved.