Man Crowned 'International King of Weight Loss' After Shedding 172 Pounds
A 68-year-old retiree who lost 172 pounds in 20 months was recently crowned the “International King of Weight Loss” by Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) Club Inc.
Joel Marsh took to the stage last month to be recognized by the 180,000 member non-profit organization for his excellent success story.
Prior to Marsh’s strict regime he tipped the scales at no less than 350 pounds and was on 11 medications for diabetes, high cholesterol and other health problems.
“After all the doctor warnings, something finally kicked in and I knew I had to do something if I wanted to live any longer,”
“The whole thing is portion control and exercise,
“I’m on the [Kennebec River] Rail Trail at 5 a.m. every day. I can eat what I want, as long as I get in my three to five miles every day.”
He began his by forcing himself to walk 150 feet – a task that left him exhausted and gasping for breath – and then added another 150 feet each day.
After loosing nearly 200 pounds in less than 2 years, Marsh says he is down to just three medications and expects to be off those soon.
Marsh can be seen telling his story at TOPS chapters across the state and occasionally. The organization also flies him to neighboring states to help provide incentive for others across the country who are trying to lose weight.
As a great example of the pounds he dropped, Marsh carries with him a pair of his old pants with a 58-inch waist. Nowadays these pants are big enough for two.
Marsh says his weight had always been “reasonable.” It wasn’t until he retired from his job as a drug and alcohol counselor in 1994 that the excess pounds started accumulating.
“I didn’t keep active or do much of anything except watch television and eat everything in sight,” he said.
Marsh’s wife, Dorothy, spurred on by her husband’s success, also joined TOPS and lost 45 pounds. In addition, she gained a healthier, more active husband.
“I used to have to do all the yard work and things like that, because he just couldn’t do it,” Dorothy Marsh said. “It’s hard to keep up with him now.”
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