DEVELOPING STORY: Test Weight Loss A Matter Of Life For A Tulsa Man

Monday, January 26th 2009, 12:56 pm
By: News On 6

By Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Lots of us made New Year's resolutions to eat better and exercise more.  Sometimes that vow springs from vanity, other times it's literally a matter of life and death.  The News On 6 begins a journey with a Tulsa man who faces a bleak reality unless he summons the courage to find a new weigh.

If you've ever been to the Full Moon on Cherry Street, you probably already know him.

Tom Basler is 52 years old, talented, funny, charming, and according to his doctors, about to eat himself into an early grave.

"When I went to my doctor's office, they put down 450.  I think their scale only goes up to 440," said Tom Basler.

Basler says he has battled his weight his entire life.  Ironically, he started losing that battle when he was in his mid-20s and went on his first diet.  On one level it worked, he lost 25 pounds.  But, it started a cycle of yoyo dieting that over time, spun increasingly out of control.   

"If I lost 40 pounds, I'd gain back 45.  If I lost 60, I'd gain back 70.  And, that just became a pattern.  About 15 years ago, I lost about 120 pounds.  Here we are," said Tom Basler.

Basler admits it gets frustrating.

"I get frustrated with the fact that I walk into a room and the first thing I do is think:  where can I sit?  I walk into a restaurant and check what kind of chairs they have," said Tom Basler.  "You know, I've gone to board an airplane and have them walk me down by myself to the cabin to make sure I can fit into the seat before they let me fly.  I've been there."

Tom knows that for him, food is an addiction.

"Some people drink.  Some people do drugs.  I've been there, done that.  I don't do it anymore.  Perhaps, that's why I was eating.  It became my comfort drug," said Tom Basler.

And, he also knows, he's got to get it under control.  His doctor used to tell him that if he lost weight, he could add another 10 to 15 years to his life.

"In the last year, that conversation has changed to if you don't lose weight, I don't see you living 10 to 15 years," said Tom Basler.

And, that was the motivation he needed.  Next week, we'll show you what Tom is doing to regain control of his life.  It's a 12-week program and we're going to follow his progress.

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