Competition changes game for McCarron, Medina

The Belt’s Biggest Loser competition inspired employees to adopt healthy lifestyles.

The biggest winners were Assistant Superintendent-Mechanical Patrick McCarron, who dropped 54.7 pounds, and Manager of Terminal Operations Carlos Medina, who shed 54.4 pounds. McCarron and Medina both lost around a quarter of their weight by the end of the competition.

The test of will started Jan. 4 and concluded March 30. 

McCarron admitted to a few cheat days after the competition, but he affirms that he’s dedicated to keeping the weight off by eating well and staying active.

Patrick’s journey

The start

“Back in December, I was playing with my children. It was Ryan’s first birthday; he’s my youngest. My wife and I also have Allie, 8, and Paislie, 6. I was short-winded. My wife would ask me to go on a walk with her and the kids, and I’d tell her I just wanted to watch the Cubs game. While I was already diagnosed with diabetes and suffering from sleep apnea, my lack of energy just wasn’t me. I’m very competitive. I started the competition to win. But now it’s my choice.” 

The results

“Losing weight did everything I’d hoped and more. My A1C levels are back to normal, so I’m no longer considered diabetic. I’m off insulin. My sleep apnea is gone, and I have way more energy. It all means more happiness. When you have more energy, you feel happiness. When you don’t, you’re on the lower end of the happiness scale.”

The method

“I was on Weight Watchers for four weeks. That helped me learn what was good to eat and what’s really not. I learned about how bad carbohydrates are and became really intentional with all my dietary choices. Having a portion of chips with lunch was something I could do, but I learned to put the bag away. I also learned that by checking the nutritional information about what I was eating I could choose foods I preferred and still make the healthy choice. Weight Watchers led me to do zero carbs for eight weeks. Through it all, I did cardio twice a day. I love the Peloton. My favorite healthy meal is chicken and salad. I had that twice a day for 12 weeks. “

— Assistant Superintendent-Mechanical Patrick McCarron