Skyline grad tips the scales in his favor
June 16, 2009
By Jim Feehan
Chris Darnell wanted to set a good example for children as a youth pastor. So, he shed 75 pounds this year and hasn’t put one pound on since.
“I figured I can’t teach kids to eat healthy if I looked the way I did,” said Darnell, 26, of North Bend.
Darnell underwent a rigorous, twice-daily workout, lifting weights and running on a treadmill as part of the Gold’s Gym Challenge. He and about 70 other individuals at the Issaquah, Redmond and Bothell Gold’s Gyms lost a combined 1,430 pounds during a 12-week span.
The weight loss is remarkable, given the number of Americans who are either overweight or obese.
After a quarter-century of increases, obesity prevalence has not measurably increased in the past few years, but levels are still high — 34 percent of U.S. adults age 20 and over are obese, according to a new study released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report, Obesity Among Adults in the United States — No Change Since 2003-2004, is the latest analysis based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
A former lineman on the 2000 state championship Skyline High School football team, Darnell said he was always a big boy. During his gridiron days at Skyline, he tipped the scales at between 250 and 260 pounds. On New Year’s Day 2009, he weighed 367 pounds; today, he weighs about 290, he said.
“I take pride in the fact that I did this for me,” Darnell said.
The pounds came off and stayed off by him eating a high-protein diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. He wants to drop 30 more pounds in the coming weeks.
“I want to be a sexy 260 pounds by my wedding in mid-July,” he said with a grin.
Helen Martin, 38, of Mercer Island, lost 18 pounds in 12 weeks and reduced her body fat to 11 percent. Thirteen years ago, a semi truck slammed into Martin’s Honda Accord on Interstate 5 in Seattle. The impact injured her shoulder and curtailed her weight-lifting regimen in the gym.
“Fortunately, my trainer at Gold’s also had a shoulder injury, so he tailored a training program that worked for me,” said Martin, a real estate agent based in Bellevue.
Martin recommends a good cardio workout, a diet devoid of cheese, butter, bread, pasta potatoes, candies, ice cream and cake. In addition, go easy on the alcohol.
“What made the difference for me was that I set a goal to lose weight, focused on that goal and achieved it,” Martin said.
Darnell said he eliminated dairy, whole wheat and processed sugar from his diet.
“Do it for yourself and not for someone else, eat smaller meals, and cut out the fast food and soft drinks,” he said. “We humans are grazers and we’re not built to eat three large meals a day.”
Darnell will eat six to eight small meals a day consisting of a slice of fruit, broccoli and perhaps a chicken breast.
Darnell operates a Kettle Corn stand outside the Issaquah Home Depot when he’s not working as an intern at Eastridge Christian Assembly church. His Kettle Corn stand affords a great view of Krispy Kreme, the donut emporium he worked at for 18 months.
“I really don’t crave it, but every once in a while I’ll have a Reese’s peanut butter cup,” he said.
Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.