When he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes two-and-a-half years ago, Jack Ransom was exercising within days. He started out walking. Three miles at a time. Within a few weeks, he was jogging and swimming. Then he took to cycling.
At the time, the 6-foot-tall Ransom, who is now 56, weighed about 265 pounds. These days his weight is down to about 240, and he is off his diabetes medication. But, he says, even though shedding the pounds isn’t easy, he would like to lose 40 more.
“I’ve really, really struggled with weight loss,” said Ransom, a Unadilla resident and civil service worker at Robins Air Force Base.
In the past few years, he has taken an interest in doing a triathlon — swimming, cycling and running. He rides his bike more than 50 miles a week, swims two or three miles and runs about 15 miles.
All while fending off his weakness: the desire for fried food. He loves fried fish and chicken.
“You fail sometimes and you’ve got to pick yourself up and start the next day,” Ransom says. “I’m working harder, focusing on weight loss more than I am the triathlon. ... The key to it, I think, is getting out (and moving). And they tell you that, but some people just don’t listen.”
Mike Register, a 50-year-old Type 2 diabetic, has listened.
The 6-footer from Gray has seen his weight drop from 263 pounds last November to 214 now. He has gone from wearing pants with 44-inch waists to 34-inchers.
“The main thing is making better food decisions,” Register, 50, said. “If you like food, it’s like being an alcoholic. You can’t get enough so it’s a never-ending struggle. I just decided in October that I could make better choices.”
Before, he was eating whatever he wanted. “Hamburgers, fries, cookies. I had no control. ... I would eat bad stuff,” he said.
Register, a hair dresser, hopes to cut out some of his diabetes medications after a blood test next month.
“You can get off medication if you watch your diet and exercise and do what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “But most of us don’t want to do it. Because it’s work.”
Register attends body-boot-camp sessions about twice a week and walks about three miles a day. He plans to run his first 5k road race later this summer. He also keeps a food journal, jotting down everything he eats.
“You think twice before you drive through a drive-through. ... You have to be more mindful. ‘I’ve got to write this down. What would be the better choice to write down?’ ” he said.
As for the exercise regimen, Register said, “It makes you feel better. I don’t like exercise really. I hate it. The thing is, I’m just not gonna be skinny-thin. But I could be healthier.”
He says when he works out he feels invigorated.
“Before, I was kind of like slug,” he says. “I had no energy. I didn’t want to do anything. Getting out and getting sweaty a little bit makes you feel better after you do it. It’s just making yourself do it. ... You’ve got to quit being lazy and take control.”
To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.