Software architect reprograms his diet, loses 140 pounds - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Software architect reprograms his diet, loses 140 pounds

Posted:
Software architect reprograms his diet, loses 140 pounds (Courtesy Brian McLaughlin) Software architect reprograms his diet, loses 140 pounds (Courtesy Brian McLaughlin)
Highlights
  • McLaughlin has struggled with weight his entire life
  • After seeing family members' weight loss, he tried a program called Slimming World
  • He has lost about 140 pounds in three years
  • McLaughlin says his weight loss has improved his career and made him more productive

By Alisha Ebrahimji

Special to CNN

Brian McLaughlin used to arrive 20 minutes early to on-site client meetings. He would drive around the parking lot to find a space close to the building, and then go inside to cool off from the short walk. The extra weight he was carrying made him sweat constantly inside his suit.

McLaughlin had struggled with weight his entire life. At age 10 he weighed 140 pounds; at age 20 he was 280 pounds. By 30, he had reached his heaviest weight of 330 pounds.

In 2010, McLaughlin moved from Ireland to New York, after landing a job as software architect for the New York Stock Exchange. He went out for lunch and dinner with his new American co-workers in an attempt to socialize and make friends -- sacrificing all hopes of eating healthy.

"I was living a bachelor lifestyle," says McLaughlin. "I would eat and drink a lot, which played havoc with the weight."

He tried The Atkins Diet and Weight Watchers but nothing seemed to click.

He watched as his mother lost 50 pounds on a diet program called Slimming World, which advocates dieting without deprivation of the foods you like. And he saw his girlfriend shed 100 pounds on Weight Watchers.

Seeing living proof that people can lose weight inspired him to make some changes of his own.

A social sacrifice

It was tough to stop going out to eat for lunch and dinner, McLaughlin says. He used to go out with his co-worker a couple of times a week and indulge in a half-dozen strong cocktails before (and after) lavish three-course meals.

"I'd usually have an appetizer of cured meats, the largest available steak, or a rack of lamb for mains, a side of vegetables sautéed in butter or oil, rich desserts like molten chocolate lava cake or chocolate ganache and a cheese board with dessert wine to finish," says McLaughlin.

Between the two of them, McLaughlin says they would split three bottles of wine with dinner.

"I can't remember a meal where I walked away not feeling completely stuffed to the point of almost being sick," he says. "Dinner and drinks used to add up to 5,000 calories alone."

Now he follows the Slimming World plan and prepares his meals at home. They usually consist of fruit and either chicken rubbed with dry spices, or fillet and broccoli or cauliflower. When he does eat out, he chooses carefully.

"I love the dining experience and social aspect," says McLaughlin. "But I realize a 6- or 8-ounce filet is more than enough now."

He also tries to skip cocktail hour.

"Now I tend to drink wine only, and I enjoy and savor the taste instead of just drinking for the sake and experience," McLaughlin says.

Different diet, same result

McLaughlin's girlfriend, Allison Dressler, says she found it hard to cook in the beginning of their relationship due to their different diet meal plans.

She followed Weight Watchers, which focuses on a point system to limit calories. For Slimming World, McLaughlin would worry about every drop of oil, butter or cooking spray because those were restricted under the diet plan.

"As we cooked more and more we realized a lot of the things he eats are actually good for me," says Dressler. "And a lot of things I eat aren't that bad for him, either."

Neither Dressler nor McLaughlin have gym memberships; they simply walk a few miles a couple of days of the week. McLaughlin didn't want to drastically change his workout plan because he feared he wouldn't be able to stay motivated.

"It's hard to go to the gym after work," he says. "I really wanted to focus on controlling my eating habits more than anything."

That strategy worked. In the last three years, McLaughlin has lost 140 pounds.

McLaughlin now goes to work more than two hours earlier than he used to and finishes earlier, which has increased his productivity.

"I don't feel that constant sluggish feeling anymore," he says.

His energy has also increased dramatically; he no longer lies in bed watching The Food Network until the afternoon.

When he first moved to New York, his only hobby was eating and drinking -- now he spends his weekends researching farmers markets to visit, chili festivals, wine stores and fruit-picking spots.

The couple recently went on vacation and chose to walk to their terminal rather than take the moving pavements like they use to.

Dressler says its these small changes that make the biggest differences.

"A lot of my life still revolves around food and drink, but it's no longer destructive," says McLaughlin.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Capital Murder defendant Calvert wheeled, unwilling, into district courtroom

    Capital Murder defendant Calvert wheeled, unwilling, into district courtroom

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:38 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:38:39 GMT
    James Calvert was wheeled into Judge Jack Skeen Junior's courtroom Thursday afternoon in what appeared to be a catatonic state and seemingly restrained as deputies balanced him on a wheelchair while supporting his legs.More >>
    James Calvert was wheeled into Judge Jack Skeen Junior's courtroom Thursday afternoon in what appeared to be a catatonic state and seemingly restrained as deputies balanced him on a wheelchair while supporting his legs.More >>
  • Officer Involved Shooting Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

    Officer Involved Shooting Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:13:22 GMT
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Hope Fountain says the shadow of recent events has covered up who her son really was."You'll never replace those hugs and those smiles. He would always be there for you no matter what." - Hope Fountain, Wagner's MotherGregg County Jail Records show that Wagner has a violent past but Fountain says he has regretted his crimes since the day they were committed. In 2013, Wagner plead guilty to terroristic threats of a public servant. Fountain says Wagner was going through a roug...More >>
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Hope Fountain says the shadow of recent events has covered up who her son really was."You'll never replace those hugs and those smiles. He would always be there for you no matter what." - Hope Fountain, Wagner's MotherGregg County Jail Records show that Wagner has a violent past but Fountain says he has regretted his crimes since the day they were committed. In 2013, Wagner plead guilty to terroristic threats of a public servant. Fountain says Wagner was going through a roug...More >>
  • Longview Man Vows to Run Across Texas

    Longview Man Vows to Run Across Texas

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 05:00:29 GMT
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) -A man from Longview will be making a 762-mile journey across Texas.Oleus Lilly is lacing up and currently training to run across Texas. He will be running 26 miles a day for the enitire month of October. Lilly will be teaming up with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness and raise money for the organization. He says in '07 he lost his grandmother to breast cancer and she is his inspiration. "She would always come to my house to visit and I would never be there. She s...More >>
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) -A man from Longview will be making a 762-mile journey across Texas.Oleus Lilly is lacing up and currently training to run across Texas. He will be running 26 miles a day for the enitire month of October. Lilly will be teaming up with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness and raise money for the organization. He says in '07 he lost his grandmother to breast cancer and she is his inspiration. "She would always come to my house to visit and I would never be there. She s...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.