He came into the Mandarin Weight Watchers meeting with a bucket of linked chains weighing nearly 90 pounds and wrapped them around himself. It was a very illustrative visual as Tim Taylor allowed several guests to handle the overwhelming weight of the chains—the very badge of slavery Taylor described as having dominated his life for many years. Then he shared how Weight Watchers helped him break those chains.
Taylor standing trim, fit and a modest 183 pounds is an even better version of his former youthful self. He calls himself Tim 2 Taylor, saying the 2 represents his second chance at life. A lifelong Weight Watcher himself, Taylor shared some of the intimate details of his success to an eager Saturday morning audience and autographed copies of “Fat As My Dad” participants won in the morning’s drawing.
Being shocked back into reality is exactly how Taylor described the beginning of his weight loss adventure. He was 45 years old, 267 pounds and waking up to find himself in an ambulance with an emergency medical technician hovering over his heart with two defibrillators.
His book, Fat As My Dad, documents his determined journey from fat to fit, each short chapter illuminating what he calls “chain breakers.” Filled with humor, sincerity and his personal researched facts on health and fitness, Fat As My Dad reads in a conversationally spirited tone while meeting its goal of dispensing important information about weight loss through the eyes of a former fat guy whose face to face brush with death scared him skinny. Its friendly no-nonsense manner appeals to male readers as it addresses sensitive criteria even the fellas won’t discuss out loud.
In an interview following his Weight Watchers presentation, Taylor said, “I was just an average guy. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, I didn’t know. No one really teaches you about your body and what goes on with it, how it works. You may have had a health class in high school or a nutrition class in college. But I always just trusted what doctors told me. I had no clue. I only went to the doctor when I had one of my multiple illnesses: everything from acid reflux to kidney shards and gallstones and a list of problems that were just ridiculous.” Taylor went on to tell about his whirlwind learning experience of personal research, reading, learning and applying the chain breakers himself that worked best. “I became a ravenous learner. I studied everything from cellular biology to neuroscience and neurobiology. I spent hundreds of hours studying and researching that.”
Taylor started Weight Watchers in January 2006; 50 weeks later had reached his goal weight and became a life time member 4 weeks after that.
“When I first started in Weight Watchers, whenever I would hit a 10 pound goal, I would reward myself with a Cuban sandwich,” Taylor reminisces. “When I hit my 27 pound goal, I began to realize ‘wait a minute. Something’s wrong here. I shouldn’t be rewarding myself with food.’
I learned really quickly that I needed to find something else that would help become a more healthy choice reward.
“I chose getting a massage. What’s better than going and relaxing, de-stressing and having someone massage you for an hour, an hour and a half and use that as a reward? The beautiful thing about that is not only is it a physical thing, it’s an emotional thing, and it’s a healthy thing. It tackled all three fronts and was an actual incentive to reward myself in a more positive manner.”
Taylor also frankly discussed the difficult hurdles he had to overcome.
“Giving up soda was the hardest step I took toward change. I was 6 months into losing weight and I was still drinking soda. I was on a trip to London where they sell you 8 ounces of coke for $3.79 and there’s no refill. Out of the machine, it was $4.00 for a can of coke. I was used to drinking about 2 liters a day. Immediately I realized ‘I can’t afford this’ and decided to stop.” It was during this time on his trip, Taylor says just that brief cessation caused his body to go into withdrawal mode: he was irritable, having the shakes, his body was actually detoxing. Taylor decided then and there to quit. He points to this decision in being one of the major victories from a food standpoint in losing weight and restoring his body to good health.
In a chapter entitled, “The Wolf is Always at the Door” Taylor gives the strategies any one can easily employ to stay on target and not return to the habits that led one to the former state of overweight.
He describes a devastating motorcycle accident that prevented him from working out for a year while he recovered from his injuries. He was determined not to be defeated and let the momentary set back throw him back into the abyss. “I maintained in my mind that I would do what I needed to do to be restored,” Taylor promised himself. “Doctors were telling me I’ll never work out again. Something about people telling me ‘I can’t’ made me more determined. Embrace the struggle and keep going.”
During the change, Taylor admitted it was very stressful. Friends and family say they’re supporting one’s weight loss venture on one side ‘you’re doing great’ and on the other hand will sabotage your efforts.
“You must surround yourself with people who will encourage you in the direction you want to go,” Taylor admonishes.
A Southern Baptist at heart, Taylor agrees to the importance of living a balanced life in all areas to achieve a greater chance of success. “The littlest victories make the biggest wins on the battlefield.”
Taylor's decision to give back and help others has been his ongoing primary goal. “It is the most rewarding experience to know in some way I have helped others."