- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) - Micah Adams watched his mother die from morbid obesity. He wasn’t going to put his own kids through the same experience.

When the Portage stay-at-home dad came to this realization, though, he already weighed 450 pounds. He looked into weight-loss surgery but found out he was too heavy even for that option. What about bicycling?

“I said, ‘There’s no way a bike would be able to hold me,’” he recalled.

He went to a bike shop, but the staff wouldn’t even let him try out a bike unless he bought it first. Adams, an avid photographer, sold his favorite camera lens to afford it. When he started riding it, his 1-year-old son could outrace him - on foot.

Around that time, Adams began meticulously tracking his caloric intake, through the Weight Watchers program and, more recently, a smartphone app.



“It really made me aware how much food I was eating,” he told The Times in Munster (https://bit.ly/1AwKYp4 ). “I had seen a doctor beforehand because I was sick with something. He asked me how much I ate. I said, ‘I don’t eat much.’ But looking back, I’d sometimes eat 6,000 calories a day.”

He recalled how he’d sometimes have dinner with his family, then still be hungry and go get burgers from McDonald’s. After his wife went to bed, he’d plop a couple of frozen pizzas in the oven.

Raised by a mother who was bedridden because she weighed so much, Adams grew up thinking obesity was normal. His mom was about 900 pounds when she died, so big her doctors couldn’t resuscitate her even if she’d wanted them to. She didn’t make it to age 60.

Adams, 30, had to break the cycle.

He took it slow. He concentrated on losing 5 or 10 pounds at a time rather than hundreds at once. He went on increasingly longer bike rides. If it was too cold outside, he would jog around the house.

He also started cooking at home, ditching frozen pasta and pizza in favor of real food, heavy on the vegetables. He weighed his meals, even while eating out. Whenever he craved a piece of chocolate cake or some other dessert, he asked himself whether it would be worth the hour of exercise he’d have to do to burn the calories.

Since he started losing weight a little less than three years ago, he’s dropped roughly 180 pounds. He attributes his success to having consistent support. His wife has accompanied him on the journey, losing 100 pounds herself in the process. His son, now 4, also cheers him on, encouraging him to peddle faster when he rides his exercise bike.

Now, Adams is giving back. He helps administer weight-loss support groups on Facebook. He also started writing a blog - www.bigbonedbiker.wordpress.com - in part to hold himself accountable.

Adams has learned plenty of lessons along the way.

“Calories-in versus calories-out really is what weight loss gets down to,” he said. “Whether you do Weight Watchers, paleo, vegan - if you take in less calories than you’re putting out, you’re going to lose weight.”

“And take baby steps,” he said. “You don’t have to change everything all at once. Pick one little thing. It can be as simple as saying, ‘I’m going to drink more water today.’”

If you’re patient, Adams added, the results will come. He’s an example of that.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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