He lost 250+ pounds, and gained new life

March 16, 2009 11:46:48 AM PDT
More Americans than ever are struggling to control their weight. A South Jersey businessman who has gone through that struggle is now trying to inspire others to take that first step.

Tim Liebmann makes his living in healthcare, running a major prescription benefits company in South Jersey.

But 3 years ago, he was anything but healthy.

Years of eating too much had pushed his weight over 500 pounds.

Tim, however, didn't see it.

"I used to stand in front of the mirror, and say - you don't look too bad today," he says.

His family spent years telling him he had to change, that he was endangering his life, but he paid no attention.

But three years ago,on a business trip, he overhead a fellow traveler ask a flight attendant not to be seated next to Tim.

And then, "On Labor Day, 2006, is when my wife and I decided this is it, it's time to change."

Tim didn't begin his weight loss out of emotions. He knew he needed a logical strategy. Initially, he lost some weight with a commercial diet program, just to get the process going, and to learn how to limit his calories.

"I focused on getting my calorie intake down to the point that I could lose weight."

Then he began exercising, and slowly, but steadily, the number on the scale went down, even though Tim sometimes had doubts.

He says "Tough love" from wife Rori helped.

"We had some people over at the house, and there were pizzas on the table. I reached out to grab a piece of pizza, and my wife almost cut my hand off. And she said, "Don't do it,' " he recalls

"I realized after the fact that if I had taken that slice of pizza, it would have been all over. I would have gone right back to where I was."

Tim says he realized he was addicted to food. To succeed, he had to break that addiction. He didn't allow himself to even touch things like pizza, a food he thought he couldn't live without.

"If you're addicted to alcohol, and you go into alcohol rehab, and you stop drinking, they don't tell you you can cheat, do they?" says Tim.

Today, Tim is 270 pounds lighter. It's hard to imagine he ever had a 50 inch waist.

He is passionate about exercise now, not food. He's even run one 5K race, and is making plans to run several more races.

His family is so proud of him.

Tim says,"They walk around telling lots & lots of people what I've done."

As Tim moves from the treadmill to another exercise machine in his home, his 6-year-old daughter climbs onto the treadmill.

Rori says, smiling, "She wants to be like her daddy."

Tim says he used to take a lot of medication, for everything from high blood pressure to acid reflux.

He still takes blood pressure medication, but only 1 drug, and at a very small dose.

But for all the weight he has lost, Tim has gained much more. He has a website,"End The Excuses" to help others. He is working with a major insurance company on an anti-obesity campaign, works with the Obesity Action Coalition, and speaks before a variety of groups.

"I'm gonna get out there, and help those people. I'll hold their hands, and walk through this with them. It's not impossible."

He says he just wants to help others get started on their own journeys.

"I was put on earth to help people take that step, and get over their obesity problems," he says.

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