From 48 to 38

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Driver Steve Bugg of Sharon, Tenn., went from a size 48 pants to a size 38 in just over six months.

“I started out last summer at 333 pounds,” he said in late February. “This week I was 248.” The 6’3” reefer hauler didn’t exactly set out to lose the weight, either. He caught the wrong end of a great deal of stress going through a divorce last summer, and that, combined with annual sweat working the hay fields on his family’s farm, which usually shaves a good 20 pounds from his frame yearly on its own, accounted for at least half of the weight loss, he says.

“After I got over the initial shock and all, I thought I’d just go ahead and lose some more because I was feeling good,” he says. He capitalized on basic techniques he’d learned years ago when dealing with a blood pressure problem that had him on medication. “Back then I lost 150 pounds,” he says, sticking to a regimen whose No. 1 prescription was avoiding any eating 3 hours before bed and the use of American Longevity ( vitamin and mineral supplements to help break the cycle of craving the high amounts of salt and sugar regular fast-food consumption brings.

He went back to the three-hour rule last year, and he combined that with an elimination of salty snacks and unhealthy, starchy foods, as well as the addition of a good dose of regular exercise. Bugg drives a 2009 International ProStar tractor for Kennesaw, and he started out on-road exercises doing about 10 sit-ups three times a day on the bed in the bunk. As his strength and endurance increased, he increased those numbers.

But then he made an important discovery of a peculiarity of his rig’s bunk. “In these Internationals, they have a lip in the wall at the very back of the sleeper,” he says. “I cross my legs and hold myself there and lean backward off the bed. At first I could only do five or ten sit-ups this way, but now I do 40 to 60” a few times a day. “I do them at more of an incline to provide more resistance this way, too.”

Bugg also gets exercise walking his dog, Charlie, for longer periods than he did before.

Keeping to this regime of burning more and taking in fewer calories has proved fruitful, but it hasn’t come with an elimination of all fast foods. “I still eat the Pilot hot dogs,” he says. “I just eat more wisely and pay attention to what I’m doing.” Rather than loading up on sugary soft drinks he sticks to a moderate amount of Diet Mountain Dew instead.

“And once a week, on Friday afternoon, usually, I’ll splurge,” he says. “It’ll be whatever I would usually eat as a treat, but I’ll cut it in half – it took me a few weeks to get to where the cravings just stopped.” But stopped they have.

“I’m hoping I’ll keep this weight off,” he says, advising other drivers looking to lose weight to just “get to what you’re comfortable at” and stick to your program, whatever it is.

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