By Rachel Gobep
Ian Tanner has lost over 100 pounds in eight months through the Weight Watchers at Work Program at Youngstown State University.
He said when he got on the scale at his first Weight Watchers meeting, he weighed 375 pounds.
“That was kind of a shock because as a bigger guy, I tried to stay off the scale. I tried to not see that and face that everyday,” he said.
Tanner, the associate director of residence life, has lost 118 pounds since January. He said he began his weight loss journey because he was not in a good place health-wise.
He said there were multiple people in the Office of Housing and Residence Life that encouraged him to attend a meeting and he said he is glad that he decided to go.
“I realized my weight was ballooning. I wasn’t taking the proper precautions. I wasn’t being active,” Tanner said.
He said his original plan was to start small and lose 70 to 75 pounds by the end of the year to make weight loss manageable and enjoyable.
He said people around campus have been complimenting him on his weight loss and it will “never get old.”
Tanner said he feels healthy and has energy, but there are many “non-scale” victories.
“My mental health is in a much better place because I’m just committing myself to [have] a healthier lifestyle. Weight Watchers hasn’t been a diet for me, I have made lifestyle changes,” Tanner said.
He said he is now able to shop anywhere for clothes and does not have to go to the big and tall section or a specialty store.
“It’s a fantastic feeling, and it’s nothing that’s necessarily going to be shown when I get on the scale, but it’s not all about that weight … It’s the little things that are making my life better,” Tanner said.
He said his biggest victory so far is that he is running and ran his first mile in a while over the summer. Tanner added there would be days that he would be out of breath or in a “full sweat” after walking from the parking lot to his office or on campus.
“It amazes me that I am able to run and not be winded after climbing a flight of stairs,” Tanner said.
He said what keeps him going is weighing in at the Weight Watchers meeting each week because it forces it him to get on the scale and there are about 20 other people in the room going through the journey with him.
“I may have the largest amount of weight lost, but there’s some pretty badass people in that room who are focused on improving their lives, making healthier choices, and they’re the ones who motivate me,” Tanner said.
He said that although he was the one that got himself through the door, the other people participating in Weight Watchers at Work are the ones that keep him there.
Tanner said he is also eating more food than he did in the past, but he is eating the correct portion sizes and healthier foods.
He said there are also some struggles he has faced throughout his weight loss journey including stress because he is a stress eater. To combat his stress eating, he said he likes to keep healthy snacks around or indulge in Halo Top ice cream.
Tanner also said his ability to walk and run has given him time to focus on himself and reduce stress.
Carrie Clyde, wellness coordinator at YSU, said Tanner is having wonderful success through the program and she wants to cry everytime she talks to him.
“He looks so healthy, vibrant and full of energy. He’s beaming, you can tell he’s very happy with where he is right now. I know he still has goals to continue on with his weight loss, but he has the confidence to do it,” Clyde said.
She said to date there are 21 participants in the program who have lost a cumulative amount of 432.8 pounds. She said the group encourages each other and is a great support system.
Tanner said if a person is considering weight loss to just go for it and make the changes.
For more information on Weight Watchers at Work, contact Carrie Clyde at (330) 941-3360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.