When my dad, Michael Lamb, began his weight loss journey for the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation Million Dollar You Challenge back in September, I have to admit I was skeptical. This was not my dad’s first attempt at weight loss, and I wasn’t sure it would be the last, as he had been a chronic yo-yo dieter throughout my childhood. Dad was a cheater—at least when it came to food and weight loss. He would always appear to eat well-balanced meals, but I can’t even begin to count the number of times I would catch him eating HoHos or my mom’s German chocolate cake when no one else was around. The only difference was that this time he had true motivation: my mom.
My mom, Jody Lamb, was diagnosed with lupus three years ago on my birthday (talk about bad timing!). Lupus can cause fatigue, stiffness and other problems, so since her diagnosis we have been constantly learning to adjust to her daily needs and doing everything we can to help her. Lupus also affects the kidneys, and when Dad learned he could be a potential kidney donor for her, he knew he would need to shed some pounds. Unfortunately, the kidney of a 300-pound man cannot possibly fit into the body of a 120-pound woman.
Dad started the Transformation Nation Challenge by joining Weight Watchers. Every Saturday morning he got up, went on a long walk and attended the early meetings. With my mom’s support (and reign of tyranny!) he began to lose weight the healthy way and was truly making some lifestyle changes. Around January the weight loss became very noticeable, and I began to realize that maybe this was a true lifestyle change, and not one of his attempts like before.
Toward the end of February Dad’s weight loss slowed down and he began to lose steam. My mom and I brainstormed ways we could help him break through his plateau. That’s when I decided I would work out with him.
Together we signed up for Boot Camp at a local gym. We probably should have picked an easier class, but we were ready to dive in. Together we ran on the treadmills, climbed the stair climbers and did lunges, squats and other moves that made us ache the next day. Halfway through the first class, Dad walked out when he could not climb Jacob’s ladder, a tricky cardio machine that speeds up when you do. My heart sank. Determined to not let my workout buddy quit, I hopped off the row machine and followed him outside. To my surprise, Dad had not given up—he was jogging around the parking lot.
Day after day for two months, we dragged each other to the gym. Some days we were a great team; other days we were on two treadmills as far apart as we could get. Throughout the whole experience, Dad never gave up. Even when I had a sinus infection and couldn’t work out for two weeks, he still went without me.
Last month, Dad won the Transformation Nation Challenge. So far he’s lost 65 pounds and has made a vast improvement in his health and the way he views and enjoys life. He has truly made a lifestyle change that he can commit to—one which someday may help prolong my mom’s life. He has become the ultimate workout buddy, my motivator and my continuing source of support. Although it might sound cliché, he truly is worth a million to me.
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File under: Success Stories