After two brain surgeries to remove a tumor that left him depressed, Keith turned to food for comfort. His weight reached “way over 300 pounds.” When Keith Guernsey met his wife, Susan, his life changed. “I knew I had to be healthy to have a long life, and I had to get rid of all that excess weight.”
He went on to figure out the keys to his own weight loss lock, and has lost 166 pounds. If you want to know how to lose over 100 pounds, this episode is well worth listening to.
Keith is the author of the book Fathers and Sons, Sports and Life.
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Book: Fathers and Sons, Sports and Life
Confessions of a Beantown Sports Junkie
Keith’s story: https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/life/life-top-stories/cresswind-resident-keith-guernsey-walks-his-weight-off/Download the episode here.
After two brain surgeries to remove a tumor that left him depressed, Keith turned to food for comfort. His weight reached “way over 300 pounds. When Keith Guernsey met his wife, Susan, his life changed. “I knew I had to be healthy to have a long life, and I had to get rid of all that excess weight.”
He went on to figure out the keys to his own weight loss lock, and has lost 166 pounds. He is the author of the book Fathers and Sons, Sports and Life.
“I read you have to lose it slowly if you want to keep it off,” he said. “Over the course of, maybe 10-15 years, I lost 50 pounds. But I hit a plateau if you will, and it stopped.”
Guernsey lost the weight while living and working in Massachusetts, but three years ago he and his wife moved to Gainesville. They live in Cresswind at Lake Lanier subdivision.
Cresswind is an “active-adult community,” which boasts a clubhouse including an indoor pool, outdoor pool, hot tub and fitness center.
“When we moved here, I figured the big guy above put me in a place like this with a gym right down the street,” he said. “So I had no excuse.”
He took advantage of the active-adult amenities, shedding 73 more pounds since moving to Cresswind in 2013.
Now Guernsey keeps the weight off with a daily routine. He wakes up by 5 a.m. to do cardio at the center, while his wife walks the family dog. He does an hour of cardio every day, usually walking or jogging on the treadmill and then cycling on the stationary bike. Plus, the 64-year-old does some light weightlifting.
Living an active lifestyle and participating in sports have always been important to Guernsey, who grew up 10 miles from Fenway Park in Boston. He played hockey and football growing up and excelled in both. But he said he was “always a chubby kid.” His nickname as a child was “Cow.”
Guernsey said he remained active through college, but took “a bit of a break” from active living from ages 23-53.
Luckily, Susan and his poor health motivated him to start living better and losing weight.
As his size decreased, he watched his overall health improve.
“As the weight dropped, so did my blood pressure and glucose, and I have no more asthma,” he said.
As another form of therapy after his surgeries and during his first round of weight loss, he wrote a book. “Confessions of a Beantown Sports Junkie” tells the story of his surgeries and his experience as a player, coach and fan of all Boston sports. This year, he self-published a sequel, “Fathers and Sons — Sports and Life,” which picked up where the first left off.
As he looks back on the past 20 years, Guernsey said his way of thinking about food and healthy living has changed dramatically thanks to his wife. He had cultivated some extremely bad habits as a bachelor, which had to be broken over time.
“When Susan and I first met, she said, ‘You know what the four food groups are, don’t you?’” Guernsey said. “I said, ‘Of course — pizza, Chinese food, Bud Light and Ben and Jerry’s.”
But the Massachusetts native did not have to change his eating habits alone. Susan Guernsey started with Weight Watchers when the couple moved to Gainesville. Guernsey said it gave them a guideline for their diets. They gravitated more to fruits, vegetables and fish than take out and ice cream.
Throughout the years, Guernsey said he’s cultivated a list of the essentials for successfully losing weight and keeping it off.
The first and most important thing was “the love and support of my wife,” he said.
“They aren’t secrets to success, but they are sort of touch points that have allowed me to get to this point,” he said. “Susan has not only been incredibly supportive, but she’s done this with me. Together, we have lost 166 pounds.”
The second tool was having access to a gym or a place to work out. But Guernsey said moving regularly and naturally at home is just as important.
“Move around after you have a meal,” he said. “I remember regularly sitting in my recliner after a big meal. That’s not good for your digestive system or for your health to just lie around like that.”
Instead, he said, he will go outside to play with the dog or walk up and down the stairs a few times.
Finally, Guernsey said portion control and cutting back on indulgences are essential to losing weight the right way.