A New Weigh For Big Tom Part 2

Friday, January 30th 2009, 6:22 pm
By: News On 6

By Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Last week, The News On 6 introduced viewers to Tom Basler, a Tulsa musician in a fight for his life.

After decades of yoyo dieting, Tom's weight has ballooned to 450 pounds, and his doctors said unless he turns his life around, he faces an early grave. 

Tom has started a 12-week program called Health 4 Life. News on Six joined him at the gym as he begins the long road to finding a new way.

Tom is in his first week, and there's no sugarcoating it. It was not an easy one.

He is working out with Jonathan Conneely, the founder of Bootcamp Tulsa. He is one of several people volunteering time to help Tom get his groove back.

"I'd like to lose 200 pounds," Tom said. "That's what I'm looking at. That would change my life."

Tom said he admires the patience of his trainers.

"Their commitment to me ... that means more to me than I think they realize," he said. "I don't think they know how special this is to me."

Tom was an athlete in high school, but since then days in the gym have given way to nights in the clubs.

"The workouts have been kicking my butt," Tom said. "Dying sounded pretty good after the first workout."

Tulsa chiropractor Dr. Shannon Schaffner developed the Health 4 Life program several years ago and has seen dozens of people just like Tom struggling to regain control of their lives. 

"It's not a diet," she said. "It's not a get-fit-quick scheme, even though do people get fit pretty quickly? Yes, they do. But it's looking at their health in a totally different perspective than what they're used to."

Tom said he hasn't had to wait long for a payout. He's already seeing a difference.

"I was doing things yesterday that a week ago were virtually impossible for me," he said.

Next week, we'll look at the Health 4 Life eating plan.

A New Weigh: News On 6 Anchor Terry Hood follows a local man's journey to a healthier lifestyle.