Sunday, July 02, 2006

Half-Ton Man Losing Weight On Low-Carb

Most people would be thrilled to lose an impressive 200 pounds in less than one year. As someone who used to weigh over 400 pounds, lost almost that much weight and did it in a year's time, it literally changed my life for the better.

But for 41-year-old Manuel Uribe, aka "The World's Heaviest Man," that 200 pounds he has lost since February 2006 was only the beginning of a long journey back to any semblance of a "normal" life again. You see, he weighed an eye-popping 1,235 pounds when he finally cried out for help on Mexican television back in January this year.


Wanna know what that much weight LOOKS like? Check this out:

This is no doubt a miserable existence that no human should endure

Just thinking about THAT much weight for a moment, that's the "old" Jimmy Moore when I weighed 410 pounds in January 2004 -- TIMES THREE! Yikeseroo! As bad as my weight problem was, I cannot even begin to imagine what living inside the body of well over a half ton person is like! How do you breathe? What about going to the bathroom? Is the floor strong enough to hold up that much weight? You can't help but think about these kinds of questions.

But that's exactly what Uribe has had to deal with which obviously left him immobile and unable to do even the most basic living tasks since 2001. His life has basically been laying down in his bed since that time which has led to the development of lesions and bed sores on his legs and other parts of his body. I can only imagine what his cholesterol numbers, blood pressure, and overall health is like at that weight. On second thought, I don't even want to THINK about it!

Wanna know how bad it had to get for Uribe before he wanted to change? He put duct tape over the lesions on his legs to help contain them from getting any more infected. He was stuck laying down flat on his back looking up at the ceiling all the time because the fat build-up in his midsection prevented him from even sitting in an upright position. He has been through the humiliation of having his family and friends feed him, bathe him, and change his clothes as if he were a baby.

When you've reach this point where your weight is paralyzing your very existence, it is WELL beyond the "breaking point." Uribe was desperate to do ANYTHING he could to lose weight and said as much when he appeared on the Mexican network Televisa pleading for help.

An Italian doctor rushed in and offered to do gastric bypass surgery on him, but Uribe received encouragement and hope from a very unlikely source in this day and age of counting calories and fat grams for weight loss -- a low-carb diet doctor!

Dr. Barry Sears, renowned author of the low-carb diet book "The Zone," said Uribe needed to lost weight more naturally by starting on a low-carb, high-protein diet to help him begin losing weight immediately. So far, he has lost 200 pounds in the first five months (an astouding 40 pounds per month average -- my first five months on the Atkins diet I lost an average of about 20 pounds a month) and hopes to lose another 770 pounds or so pounds to reach his ultimate dream weight of 260 pounds.

As someone who has gone through the process of losing weight (albeit not as much as Uribe, but still a large amount), each 100-pound mark that he reaches will propel him and motivate him to keep it going. When he gets down to triple digits again for the first time in a very long time, he'll see that 999 number and jump for joy ... well, figuratively speaking, that is. It's a great feeling when you reach these tiny milestones in your weight loss and I took full advantage of them to help me succeed.

While he used to eat a breakfast consisting of 4 eggs, rice, beans and tortillas, Uribe realizes he can't eat that way anymore if he wants to lose weight.

"Now, I'm learning to eat the right way," Uribe said in a press conference about his weight loss. "I feel better now. I can stretch and move a bit more."

The lack of mobility he has had for so long has undoubtedly taken its toll on him not just physically, but emotionally as well. He probably felt helpless, trapped, like a prisoner inside of his own body, strapped down to a bed that probably reeks of smells I don't even want to think about. People cannot fathom how and why someone could ever get to this point, but I could just have easily been like Uribe had I not found my out with livin' la vida low-carb. My brother Kevin is halfway there to where Uribe is at his current weight of 600+ pounds if it doesn't kill him first.

For Uribe, life is looking better now that he is on the downward trend with the scale although he still has a long, hard road ahead of him. The lesions on his legs no longer need any duct tape on them and have completely healed. He feels well enough to sit up and move around for the first time in many years. Over the past 14 years as his weight was rising and rising, Uribe's weight problem got so bad even as his doctors just acted like nothing was wrong.

"I saw a lot of doctors and did a lot of tests but they never found anything wrong," Uribe said.

THEY NEVER FOUND ANYTHING WRONG?!?!?!?! What about his OBESITY?!?!?!?! THIS is exactly what I was talking about the other day when I blogged about doctors needing to confront their patients about their weight problem more often. Can you imagine if Uribe's doctor stopped this reckless cycle of weight gain when he reached 400? 500? 600 pounds? It wasn't until he tipped 1,200 that HE even realized he needed to do something. What a sad commentary on our society!

How does a responsible doctor EVER EVER EVER allow their patient who they see on a regular basis reach a weight of over a half ton? Can ANYONE explain to me a good reason why a good doctor wouldn't say or do something to help a patient of theirs in this condition to stop the downward spiral? Don't give me this "we don't want to hurt their feelings" mumbo jumbo either because that's not gonna cut it! If you can't rely on your doctor to tell you when you have a health-threatening weight problem, then who CAN you trust to reveal this to you?

Dr. Sears noted that Uribe will need to keep on livin' la vida low-carb until about 2010 to reach his goal, but every 100 pounds he loses at this point makes him that much healthier and ready to take back control of his life again.

Weight loss surgery is still not out of the question, although the low-carb lifestyle seems to be working very effectively right now for Uribe. As long as it's working and shedding the pounds, gastric bypass or even the popular LAP-BAND surgery is off the table.

"For now, I'll keep doing the [low-carb] diet and if I get stuck I'll consider the surgery," Uribe explained.

That sounds like a great plan, man! CONGRATULATIONS to Manuel Uribe for realizing he had a problem, earnestly asking for assistance, and then following the advice he was given to change his life. He's not out of the woods just yet, but he is well on his way to making himself and his family very proud of what he has accomplished. I wonder if insurance would pay for his excess skin to be removed! LOL!

If he sees this thing through to the end and even gets down to my weight of 230 pounds, I do believe he will become the first human being in the history of the world to lose over 1,000 pounds! And he could say his did it by livin' la vida low-carb! Wouldn't that be AWESOME?!!! I'm cheering for Manuel Uribe and fully expect him to continue losing lots of weight the low-carb way.

Where are the headlines on this one? "Morbidly obese Mexican man dropping weight thanks to low-carb!" I know, I know, wishful thinking on my part. But it is truly one remarkable story that should make low-carbers everywhere very proud and cheer loudly for this miraculous way of eating helping yet another person restore his weight and health. WOO HOO!


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Blogger Unknown said...

"The Zone" diet is NOT low-carb. It is 40% carbs - lower than recommended, but not low by any stretch.

7/02/2006 9:45 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

It's lower than most diets! LOL

Good for this guy for losing some weight!

7/03/2006 4:50 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Definitely when you compare it to the Standard American Diet (SAD) which calls for a minimum of 60-70% carbohydrates. Yikes! I'd say The Zone is DEFINITELY low-carb compared to THAT!

7/03/2006 8:13 AM  
Blogger Calianna said...

This is working just fine for him right now. He may find that he needs to go to a lower carb "allowance" after a certain point in his weight loss - I lost about 50 pounds in just a couple months merely by cutting out sugars, while I was still eating plenty of starches.

That was about 4 years ago, and my weight stayed stable all this time, merely by staying away from sugars. It wasn't until just recently, since I've become more careful about avoiding starches too, that I've started losing weight again. If I find that it stalls yet again, I may cut back even further, to actually setting a daily limit on carbs, and counting each and every carb, but I'd rather avoid being that structured in my diet.

I know I'm doing things backwards from most people, who start out doing low carb by cutting back to a bare minimum to start losing weight, then slowly add carbs to reach an amount that they can still lose weight on. This is working for me though, just like the Zone is working for Mr. Uribe.

7/03/2006 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You mentioned a doctor's responsibilities, and with this man, I agree that they should have done something way sooner. I don't completely blame Mr. Uribe in this regard.

7/03/2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger Calianna said...

I recall reading the first news stories that came out about Mr. Uribe, and the implication that there was "nothing wrong" with him only had to do with health problems associated with the obesity (either cause or effec), not the obesity itself. In fact, the doctors who examined him when the story first came out were very surprised to see that he didn't have diabetes, heart disease and a whole host of other "weight related" problem, aside the skin ulcerations and some breathing problems. There's no way he would have even been considered for surgery immediately if that had been the case.

Remember Patrick Deuel, the "half ton man" who was in the news a little over 2 years ago? The most recent story I can find about him is from over a year ago, but this will give you an idea of the difference between these two men's situations:

Patrick Duel's health was in such poor condition that he had a terrible time even finding a hospital that would admit him, and he was told that he'd need to lose weight and prove himself healthy enough to survive the surgery before even being considered for gastric bypass surgery.

On the other hand, Mr. Uribe seemed to have no underlying health problems that would have prevented him from having the surgery immediately, if that was what he had wanted. That doesn't necessarily mean that his doctors never said a word to him about his weight. It almost sounds like he thought his diet was "normal" and thought something must be terribly wrong metabolically for him to gain such an enormous amount of weight.


As an aside note, it seems that Mr Deuel is eating a fairly low-carb diet most of the time:

Deuel concentrates on high-protein, low-salt foods: cottage cheese, refried beans, spinach, asparagus, non-breaded shrimp, steak, roasts, cheese. He avoids potatoes and bread. And milk makes him sick.


About twice a month, Deuel indulges in foods most dieters would consider off-limits: a small piece of chocolate, an ice cream bar, Taco John’s nachos on his van ride home from visiting his doctor in South Dakota.

“I’ve lost 102 pounds in 70 days, eating what I wanted,” he says. “Tell me it doesn’t work. ... For me, the easiest way to stay on my diet and not go absolutely crazy to is eat (to satisfy the craving), get that out of the way and get back on the program.”

In all honesty, if this works for him, and continues to work for him, that's fantastic. We're all different, and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another.

7/03/2006 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Manuel!

12/31/2006 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi i have been watching you on TV in england and glad to see you are losing weight slowly keep it up . good luck

11/16/2008 3:40 PM  
Anonymous melanie said...

Manuel you are an inspiration for anyone who is morbidly obese. My father is similar to you with this problem.
You're courage and smile is wonderful!
I wish you and your family all the luck in the world.
Thank you for showing people that behind the weight is a beautiful, kind hearted gentleman!

much love and well wishes Melanie
Keep up the hard work

4/08/2009 4:34 PM  

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