Overcoming Obesity: Chuck Carroll

by Shandi Pace

 

Chuck Carroll started his weight loss journey at 420 pounds while consuming at least 10,000 calories a day. Today, he weighs 155 pounds and happier than ever he decided to lose weight. Chuck’s journey wasn’t easy, but his resilience paid off in the end.

At a very young age, Chuck started to gain a significant amount of weight. By second or third grade, he had already passed the 100-lb mark and was so embarrassed he wanted to go on a diet. This weight gain continued into his twenties.

As a radio host for BIG 100.3 in Washington, D.C., “Big Chuck” thought his weight was reasonable, as he had to live up to his larger-than-life persona. Chuck was eating “high fat, high calories, every single day.” He wasn’t able to walk long distances without running out of breath or sweating profusely. Chuck knew something had to change.

Out of desperation, he decided to have weight loss surgery. On September 1, 2009, as a 27-year-old, Chuck underwent gastric bypass surgery. With health problems running in his family, Chuck was afraid he wouldn’t live past the age of 30.

The surgery is able to reroute a portion of the intestine and bypass another to help restrict the number of calories consumed daily. Doctors also staple off a part of the stomach. Although it’s an adequate solution for those with weight problems, it’s not a permanent one.

“Here’s where a lot of people who don’t understand get weight loss surgery wrong. They think it’s this magical cure…but the statistics show that nothing could be further from the truth because, over time, your stomach is just like a balloon,” Chuck said.

This procedure was only a starting point for Chuck’s weight loss journey. After an interview with pro wrestler Austin Aries, Chuck was told he had to watch the documentary What the Health if he wanted to change his outlook on nutrition.

“Once I watched that documentary, I understood even more about what it was that I was putting into my body,” Chuck said.

Both Chuck and his wife decided to adopt a plant-based diet in order to become healthier individuals. Going vegan “is not this huge dramatic shift that everyone thinks it is,” Chuck said. There’s not a ton of meal prep, and the cost isn’t overly expensive if meals are planned beforehand.

The question of protein deficiency often arises for those against a plant-based diet. Chuck insists that everything you eat has some level of protein in it. These can include beans, quinoa and other grains, which have high levels of protein, that can replace meat.

Chuck now works with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine as the host of The Exam Room, a podcast that coaches health care professionals about nutrition so they can help their patients prevent chronic diseases. He was even asked to speak on Capitol Hill on their behalf.

Coined as the “The Weight Loss Champion” by former NFL player Adam Carriker, Chuck wants people to know that by simply changing his lifestyle and the way he ate, he changed his entire life.

“I was anti-gym because I associated a gym with every failed diet that I had ever had…I just started by walking; it was just across the street. Then I built up to where I could walk around the block, then two blocks. Eventually, over time, it graduated all the way to five miles every single afternoon on my lunch break. Come hell or high water, rain, snow, sleet, it didn’t matter, I was out there walking.”

For more information on Chuck Carroll and The Exam Room, check out his website.

 

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