Eddie lost weight on a prior Weight Watchers program and is maintaining on the PointsPlus® program
“ “Once I started measuring foods in fistfuls or palm-sizes, I was home free. I was eating the appropriate amount—I wasn’t hungry at all—and I was still losing weight.” ”
*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Learn how Eddie, a New York high school football coach scored the biggest victory of his life by losing weight—and earning accolades from his football players and family.
Eddie is no stranger to challenges. In 1999, the school teacher from Brooklyn started his own football program in a difficult neighborhood. From conducting practices with sometimes only three attendees, Eddie’s Grand Street Campus Wolves grew to become one of the top-ranked high school football teams in the city. His next challenge—dropping almost 60 pounds* and physically conditioning himself to keep up with his players.
As if dropping that much weight wasn’t demanding enough on its own, Eddie’s schedule was what you might call “busy"—like three kids and two jobs, busy. Finding a plan he could follow on his own time was crucial, and the coach soon found that Weight Watchers Online for Men was just the ticket.
WW.com: Did being a football coach affect your drive to lose weight?
Eddie: My job is to get my players ready to compete at the highest level. I was getting these kids in shape, but I couldn’t keep up with them—I’d be breathing heavy near the end of practice, and usually I’d have to sit down before it was over. I wasn’t a good example for my players—I was 230 pounds, which considering I’m also 5’8", is pretty unhealthy.
WW.com: Was it uncomfortable being 5’8" / 230 surrounded by well conditioned athletes?
Eddie: It was embarrassing. All the kids on my team are huge and muscular. It’s like hanging out with the cast of “300"—they’re all ripped. I was this little pudgy guy next to them.
WW.com: Has dropping 60 pounds* affected your coaching?
Eddie: Definitely. Now I’m out there running the plays with my offensive linemen and linebackers, and we even have our own weight-lifting group. My getting in shape has actually pushed my players to work out harder—I mean, if your coach outruns you during laps, you’re gonna get in trouble. I seriously think it’s making us a better team this year.
WW.com: So once you decided it was time to get healthy, what was your next step?
Eddie: Well, I tried to lose weight on my own, which basically amounted to starving myself. Then I would just binge. Small breakfast, small lunch, and then at dinner I would overeat. I couldn’t do it without discipline—I needed a program to show me how to eat. I also needed to know portion control, because I was eating everything in front of me. Then, I found out Weight Watchers had a Web site that could teach me those things.
WW.com: Was it important being able to follow the plan online?
Eddie: I have three kids at home—they’re 7, 6 and 5. Every day I’m either at their soccer practice, baseball practice, gymnastics, ballet, you name it. On top of that and coaching, I have a fulltime job as a Director of Education, so the day is packed. A weekly meeting would have been hard. But with access to WeightWatchers.com through my computer and phone, it's easy for me to log in and track—it doesn’t take long at all.
WW.com: That’s quite a hefty schedule. Does that make it tougher to stay on track?
Eddie: I have to be careful—I can’t grab fast food because it’s quick. I make sure that I schedule time to eat and plan meals. Plus, unexpected school meetings come up all the time, so I always carry lunch with me. There’s also a well groomed track around our school football field, which I do a couple laps on each morning.
WW.com: What foods did you rely on while you were losing weight?
Eddie: Oatmeal for breakfast—lots of water during the day. At lunch I’ll have like turkey on whole wheat, but the options are limitless. I’ll snack on some fat-free yogurt. For dinner, fish, even pasta, whatever.
WW.com: How did you learn portion control?
Eddie: It’s just something you get a sense for after you practice it. Once I started measuring foods in fistfuls or palm-sizes, I was home free. I was eating the appropriate amount, I wasn’t hungry at all, and I was still losing weight.
WW.com: So are you a more active dad now?
Eddie: Well, my kids don’t really remember me being heavy. They see pictures and say, “Who’s that?" My wife is just thrilled that I’m healthy. When I was heavier, I never wanted to go anywhere that involved walking—when you go the Bronx zoo, you walk a mile before you see an animal—I couldn’t do it. But now, we go wherever we want—to the pool, to the beach—and I’m ready for it. I’m carrying a stroller, I’ve got a kid on my back, and I can handle it because I’m in shape.
WW.com: Were there any areas of the Web site you took a special liking to?
Eddie: I love the Success Stories. After I hit a plateau, it was helpful to read what other guys did to get past theirs, and that pushed me. I saw these stories and said, “These guys are losing hundreds of pounds. I can lose 60."
WW.com: Has your experience coaching affected your attitude toward your weight loss?
Eddie: The football program teaches kids how to set goals—short term, long term and life goals. Our slogan is “Heart, Pride, Desire." We can’t cross our fingers and hope to win—we need to work. Do the exercises, learn the plays, practice hard, and you’re gonna win. I applied that philosophy to weight loss. I couldn’t just sit there and hope that I’d lose weight. I didn’t have my stomach stapled—I worked at this, and I’m proud of it.