Suffolk, Va. - John Blair started packing on the pounds after a bicycle injury in 1999. He became sedentary and started eating anything and everything.
His weight ballooned to 526 pounds.
During a routine doctor’s visit, he got a wake-up call.
“It was a new doctor and I had to switch plans and he said we have to do something about this weight it’s going to kill you.”
That got his attention, so John turned to the Bon Secours Weight Loss Clinic in Suffolk. It`s a strict, medically supervised plan where most patients lose 3-5 pounds a week.
“So they`re roughly taking in about 800 calories a day so it`s a dramatic change from somebody’s diet that was roughly around 5,000 calories initially,” says Dr. Kristen Conley.
"The first two weeks are difficult. You`re going through all the changes and your body is screaming for sugar or that soda you used to have every day at noon,” says Conley.
You can’t have soda there. The weight loss pantry consists of dry mixes for drinks, shakes, puddings and soups as well as snack bars. They are 220 calories each, and you can have four a day. Patients come in once a week to stock up spending about $80-$100.
Blair saw drastic changes just 18 months later. Both he and his wife are able to get into an old pair of his pants. He lost 300 pounds and he did it all without exercising.
John credits the food regimen and classes for his success.
“It doesn`t have a lot of the options like the other plans that I`ve done where you have to make your own food and make your own choices. you have a set 10 or 12 things you can choose and that`s it,” says Blair.
There`s also a weekly weigh in and meeting which John says has also been crucial to his success.
“What we`re learning and everybody that`s there. Somebody in the class mentioned it’s like a big group hug,” says Blair.
But the biggest payoff he says is watching the numbers go down and seeing himself in the mirror.
“It feels great. It’s like, wow getting back to where I was in my military days and in my teenage days,” says Blair.