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Dave's Secret To A Healthy Life

The Early Show weatherman Dave Price shares how he went from heavy to healthy. He says he did it without fancy diets, surgery, gym memberships, personal trainers or privates chefs.

His secret? Just old fashioned portion control and exercise. It was definitely the toughest thing he has ever done, he says, but he will never regret a second of it because he really had a lot to lose. The following is his story.

My friends knew my eating had been out of control for a long time.

"DL" Ressel, who has been a friend since freshman year in college, says, "He was an eater. He and I would go to your local Sizzler and we would probably close the place down."

Mary Koening, also a friend and former co-worker, remembers, "He would be on a diet. He would be obsessed with eating salads because he was on a diet and he would mound his plate with macaroni and cheese and a cup of Thousand Island dressing."

Ressel says, "We would eat a lot and Dave would eat these bizarre fattening things like macaroni and ketchup, bowls of it."

Now every day started out fine, I'd have a balanced breakfast but by the time it got to lunch I don't know what happened. For lunch, I'd have what most couples split for dinner: Four sushi rolls, all the extras, a ton of soy sauce. And then dinnertime, I'd get home: two pounds of macaroni and cheese for me, one person. And I'd be disgusted. I would be sick. And I'd say, 'Ican't do this again,' but then, the next day would roll around and it would be the same cycle, over and over and over.

And I kept on gaining weight, until one day I decided that enough was enough.

Koenig says, "He told me he'd had a conversation with his boss."

And he says, "You don't have the energy you once had. Are you happy?" And I said, 'No. Look at me.'"

I needed help so I came to the University Of California at Irvine's Weight Management Program for some tough love.

As I visited the scene of the struggle recently, Linda Gigliotti of the program was happy to see me. "You look great, you look great," she says.

They're glad to see me like this because they remember how I looked when I first walked in. They offered help, not just to diet, but to keeping it off by changing the way I looked at food.

Dr. Morris Hasson explains, "He lost the weight the old-fashioned way of reducing calorie intake."

Did I take any medication or pills? Absolutely not, none. No high protein, no low carb, no Atkins, no grapefruit, no booklet-in-the-aisle-at-the-front-of-the-supermarket. Balanced eating.

I said goodbye to excess calories, and hello to my walking shoes.

I walk everywhere. Unless there's a blizzard, I'm walking. I'm walking home, I'm walking to get my food, I'm walking up the stairs, and it doesn't cost anything. The only investment is time.

I was losing weight, but I was still frustrated with work, until lightning struck.

Former boss Connie Colau remembers, "Someone here at Taco Bell had a brother who had this gig to go to Erie, Pa., to be a weatherman."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

What do I weigh now? Anywhere from 162 to 168 and I really don't think a lot about it. You know what the funny thing is? I don't step on the scale anymore either. I know how I feel.

I'm as happy as I can be; I feel good every day.

I still love macaroni and cheese.

Ressel says, "Dave has been the success story as far as weight loss goes. I should probably follow his example myself."

Koenig notes, "And he's an ordinary guy. I think, 'God, if he can do it, anyone can do it.'"

Dr. Hasson says, "Dave's been working at it every day."

Koenig points out, "He has unbelievable happiness in his career and where he is in his life and everybody should be so lucky."

Price tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, the turning point for him was a day when he was so sick he realized he had to something about his eating habits.

He says, "I met with Connie Colau, my boss. She said, 'We're coming up with a goal-setting session for all the bosses at Taco Bell.' I said, 'My goal is lose 20 pounds.' I didn't say 80 or 50. I said I'm going to lose 20. The people who get air time, the people who promote weight loss, are the people that show dramatic results, pop pills, lost weight, surgery. Slow and steady. You don't have to celebrate it immediately. Do it. That's what I can tell you."

If you would like to send questions or comments to Price, you may email him at Thursday, Dr. Emily Senay answers your questions.

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