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FITNESS | HOW I DID IT

Lawyer's Toughest Case Lasted Two Years

October 19, 1998|STEVEN SPITZ

Ten became 20, then 30, 40 and 50! In just over a year, I had gone from 175 pounds to 225. In the process, I had stopped doing all the things that had kept me in good shape for years--exercising regularly and eating a sensible, low-fat diet. I thought my scale must have broken, but my clothes wouldn't lie. I had to buy a whole new wardrobe to fit my body, an expensive and embarrassing undertaking.

Then in June 1996, I went to my doctor for a physical at my wife's urging. He read me the riot act: I needed to exercise more, eat less and gain control of things that are important in my life. I immediately started on a swimming, biking, running and weightlifting regime that fit into my busy work schedule. I usually try to exercise every day before work. I have received great overall benefits from "stacking" my workouts--consecutive workouts in a session, usually biking and then immediately going for a run.

I also became more focused on my diet with the help of my wife. She prepared a lunch for me every day. By bringing my lunch from home, I knew exactly what I was eating, how it was prepared and how much I could eat. I stopped late-night eating and ingestion of empty calories (i.e., alcohol and soda). And I eliminated red meat from my diet, and tried to avoid high-fat and fried foods.

I have gradually lost the weight that I had so quickly gained and have started racing again, having once actively competed in triathlons.

My success has inspired others at my workplace to lose weight too. I have gotten a couple of colleagues to join my gym and run races with me. Finally, I have taken the dust off my suits that I first wore when I started work four years ago.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Vital Statistics

Name: Steven Spitz

Age: 30

Occupation: Attorney

Height: 5 feet, 10 inches

Old Weight: 225 pounds

New Weight: 170 pounds

Time to Get There: 24 months

Vital Statistics:

Want to Share Your Success Story?

Losing weight is as individual as gaining weight. Do you have a story on how you got in shape and stayed there? If so, we'd like to hear from you with a 500-word essay listing what worked in terms of diet, exercise, encouragement and support as well as your emotional and physical changes.

We'd also like you to send us full-body color photos of you, before and after.

Send essay and photos to "How I Did It," Health, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, and include daytime and evening phone numbers. No phone calls, please. Submissions cannot be returned.

In addition to publication, winners will receive a Los Angeles Times gym bag.

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