“No More Mr. Fat Guy”

If you haven’t had the chance to see Drew Carey lately, I doubt that you would recognize him.  This article about Drew Carey was written by Robert Moritz in the healthystyle section of Parade.  Please read this and pay attention to his nutritional changes in which he has made.  Many of them sound ironically similar to what we have all been working since day one at Surge Elite Performance & Fitness.  Our favorite parts about this article is that the quotes taken from Carey him self, he lived a life in which he was unhappy with and explains that in his own words.  The next time your having trouble remember that change is hard, no matter how small or big that change maybe.  You’re not alone with your struggles, but if you truly want change there are sacrifices that need to be made in order to accomplish that change.  In addition those sacrifices can not be made once in a while, change is just like Functional Fitness; it takes consistency in order to get better.  The once in a while mentality will not help with your success no matter what it is.

Drew Carey: No More Mr. Fat Guy

by Robert Moritz
published: 09/26/2010
Drew Carey: No More Mr. Fat Guy
Photo by Matthias Clamer for PARADE

Drew Carey is just a shadow of the man he used to be, and that’s the way he likes it. The former star of The Drew Carey Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the current host of The Price Is Right has given himself until Oct. 31 to achieve the ambitious goal he set last November. He is aiming to reach 170 pounds—92 less than the desperately unhealthy 262 pounds he used to weigh. Not only has he succeeded in changing his body, he has changed his life.

Sitting down for breakfast at a West Hollywood diner recently, Carey, 52, ordered his new “ usual”: scrambled egg whites with a side of fruit. In the old days, he’d start his mornings with pancakes and an egg, sausage, and cheese sandwich, washing it down with four cups of coffee sweetened with eight-plus packets of sugar. Now he quenches his thirst with bottomless glasses of water. And he’s loving it—really. “The hardest diet I was ever on was the one when I was fat,” Carey declares. “You can only wear fat clothes, you don’t feel good, your sex life gets damaged, you don’t have energy for anything. It’s horrible.”

Photo Timeline: Drew Carey’s Battle of the Bulge

Through better nutrition, daily exercise, and good old-fashioned willpower, the famously funny fat guy from Cleveland with the 44-inch waist and XXXL shirts has given way to a good-looking, fit, and happy 185-pound guy in a short-sleeve shirt (size M) and 34-inch pants. The incredible shrinking Carey rhapsodizes about the divine experience that is healthy living, especially his enhanced clarity of thought and renewed vigor. “This is how you’re supposed to feel every day,” he says. “This is what I should have felt like my whole life!”

But the comedian is the first one to point out that he’s lucky to have made it to this moment. “I always thought I was going to die before I was 60,” he says matter-of-factly. “My father died of a heart attack in his 40s. I’m not an idiot. The writing was on the wall.”

A former Marine reservist who once aced the Corps’ physical-fitness exam, Carey has been battling the bulge ever since he left the military in his 20s and hit the road to do stand-up. As he describes it, his “slow creep” upward commenced with a “That’s okay” uptick from size 32 to 34; led to an “Uh-oh, I better start doing something” alarm bell at size 36; and, finally, entered the rationalizing “I’ll just go out and buy bigger clothes” phase when he reached sizes 38 and 40. “If the weight gain had occurred overnight, you’d think, What happened to me?” he says with a sigh. But because it was gradual,  “you just get used to being sick.”

Exclusive Photos: Drew Carey Flaunts His New Frame

Nine years ago, however, Carey got a reality check when he experienced chest pains that were diagnosed as heart disease. He underwent an angioplasty and had a stent inserted in one of his arteries. At the time, it motivated Carey to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and he exercised and lost weight. But when his mother became terminally ill in 2002, his new routine fell by the wayside. Shuttling back and forth between his home in Los Angeles and her hospice in Cleveland, he grew depressed, stopped working out, and haunted diners. “I was miserable,” he recalls. “I remember being in Vegas and ordering a burger. When it didn’t kill me, I started eating one every day and went back to my old habits.”

Fast-forward 2555 hamburgers to November 2009. At 262 pounds—his heaviest ever—Carey was poised to bust the seams on his 44-inch pants, a symbolic barrier for him since it was the largest size carried by the Gap. He had also developed a litany of weight-related health conditions, including type-2 diabetes. But it was Connor, fiancée Nicole Jaracz’s 5-year-old son, who gave him the incentive to get serious. “I couldn’t keep up with him,” Carey admits. The comedian would be left breathless and sweating after just a few minutes of playing. “I’d be like, ‘Connor, I can’t,’ and he’d say, ‘C’mon, Dad!’ That was a terrible feeling. I thought, I’m never going to see him graduate high school.”

Carey sent a plaintive e-mail to Marc Vahanian, the trainer he’d worked with after his 2001 surgery. It said: “Are you still in the lifesaving business? Because I need to have my life saved.” Vahanian started Carey on a fitness routine and in February referred him to Dr. Chris Renna, who has 30 years of experience in preventive medicine. Renna devised a customized nutritional and behavioral program. “Drew was at a crossroads, and the distance between where he was and serious medical problems was really very short,” the physician says. “His behavior had brought him to the precipice.”

Video: Go Behind the Scenes of Drew’s PARADE Photo Shoot

For the first two weeks—a detox period—Carey’s diet was restricted to lean protein, lots of vegetables, limited fruit, few starches, vitamins and nutritional supplements, and at least 64 ounces of water a day. The austere menu left him “wanting to chew my arm off,” he says, yet he stuck with it. By week three, Renna had analyzed Carey’s blood-test results to prepare charts of “ core,” “neutral,” and “avoid” foods. The “core” list alone has a huge variety of choices—over 230 items including mahi-mahi, lamb, goat cheese, and rice.

At the same time, Carey began a six-days-a-week workout program. Starting with 30 minutes of light exercise (keeping his heart rate below 126 beats per minute), he progressed over the next six months to 45 to 60 minutes of daily aerobic activity on a treadmill or an elliptical machine, his current regimen. After a few rough weeks, Carey got inspired, both by his rapid decrease in weight and by the increase in compliments.

In March, he broke the 250-pound barrier.   To celebrate reaching this first milestone, he went to Neiman Marcus and asked a personal shopper to pick out clothes, a ritual he repeated when his waist shrank to 42 inches and then to 40. He especially relishes the memory of the day he passed the 38-inch mark. “That was a big deal, because it’s the cutoff size at many stores.”

Soon Carey was looking forward to his morning workouts, something he attributes to his renewed energy and keeping his eyes firmly fixed on the future. “When I was working out, instead of being like, ‘I’m so tired,’ I thought, I’m going to do a 10K run, and this is how I’m going to feel at mile three and mile four,” he recalls. “I could see myself in the clothes; I could feel the breeze. That way, I wasn’t just on a treadmill going nowhere. I had a goal in mind.”

Before & After: 9 Celebrity Weight-Loss Wonders

Carey’s weight kept dropping at the rate of about three pounds a week. After 10 weeks, his doctor told him that his diabetes symptoms had reversed and that he no longer needed to take medication. In June, Carey went on vacation to Africa and carried Connor on his shoulders without breaking a sweat. Finally, on Aug. 15, he tweeted from the finish line of a race: “Just ran my first 10K in almost 25 years. Sub-60. Then I had my first ice cream since January. :)”

But then Carey followed the cone with an entire pepperoni pizza and a cupcake. The next day, he ate another pizza, leaving him a few pounds heavier and feeling sick. He learned a valuable lesson from his relapse which he posted above his bathroom mirror: “Eating crappy food is not a reward—it’s a punishment.”

According to Carey, being healthy doesn’t mean banishing the occasional cupcake or slice of pizza from one’s life. “It’s no problem if you’re eating well all the time. But an entire pizza? I might as well think that hitting myself in the face is a reward,” he says, adding that for his next celebration he’ll treat himself to a massage or a quiet day with a book.

Photo Timeline: Drew Carey’s Battle of the Bulge

Carey attributes his remarkable success to two factors: his decision to commit 100% (“ Working out and eating right isn’t an extra thing I do. I told myself, ‘I’m going to make this part of my job’”); and having the support of Nicole and Connor, as well as an experienced team to help him. While he acknowledges that he is wealthy enough to hire an array of specialists, he believes that anyone can find an affordable nutritionist and gym and join a local or online group like Weight Watchers. “You just have to be willing to reach out,” he declares.

As for his next goals, Carey is thinking about running more races, maybe even a marathon someday, and is toying with the idea of re-taking the Marine Corps fitness exam.

But ultimately, Carey’s most profound triumph can’t be seen in a number on a scale or a belt size. Rather, it’s the gift of a long and healthy future. The message was poignantly brought home in July after his 64-year-old brother, Neal, died of a heart attack.

“I felt like I could have been attending my own funeral,” Carey recalls somberly. At the burial, he turned to his brother Roger, 58—another slim-down success story who went from 240 pounds to under 200—and said, “Man, let’s make sure we don’t gain our weight back. We don’t want to end up like Neal.”

Carey is determined to keep his end of the bargain. “Connor doesn’t make fun of Dad’s belly anymore,” he proudly reports. “I look in the mirror and I feel like I’m in my 20s again.” He savors a final bite of cantaloupe and adds, “I feel like I have my whole life back. I could live to be 100 now.”

A Tale of Two Diets
When Drew Carey decided he wanted to drop to 170 pounds in November, he faced a daunting task: He weighed 262 pounds and had a 44-inch waist. To reach his goal, he needed to exercise and completely overhaul his fat- and sugar-fueled diet. Here, from breakfasts to beverages, is his before-and-after.

The Old Drew The New Drew
An egg, sausage, and cheese sandwich on an English muffin with pancakes; or steak and eggs with toast, hash browns, and pancakesLunch
A turkey club sandwich or tuna melt with French fries; or an entire pepperoni pizzaDinner
Spicy chicken fettuccine with a cream-based sauce and bread

A bag of Doritos with ranch dressing

Gallons of Pepsi and multiple cups of coffee with two sugars each

Scrambled egg whites with a side of fruitLunch
A turkey burger (without cheese), steamed broccoli, and a green salad with balsamic vinegarDinner
Grilled chicken breast, a steamed green vegetable, and a green salad with balsamic vinegar

An apple, a handful of grapes, or a sugar-free popsicle

At least 64 ounces of water a day

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