Drew Carey on his 80 lb weight loss: I always thought I was going to die by 60

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Drew Carey, 52, is on the cover of this week’s Parade magazine looking thinner than we’ve ever seen him and standing on an old fashioned scale. Inside, he talks about his 80 pound weight loss journey and the personal trials that lead him there. Drew was motivated to get healthy last November when he had trouble keeping up with his fiance’s five year-old son, who calls him “dad”. He reached out to a personal trainer and nutritionist, and they came up with an eating and workout plan for him that helped him reclaim his life. Drew says that he used to think he would die at 60, but that he now feels “like I have my whole life back. I could live to be 100 now.” Sadly Drew was reminded just how close he could have come to death when he lost one of his older brothers, Neal, 64, to a heart attack this July. Carey made a pact with his other brother Roger, 58, that they would each keep the weight off.

Some of Carey’s interview with Parade is below, and you can read more at the source. It’s a worthwhile read in that Carey describes his workout and diet plan along with what he went through to get there. He admits that it was hard, but says it was harder to eat the way he used to and to feel terrible all the time.

On how much better he feels
“The hardest diet I was ever on was the one when I was fat,” Carey declares. “You can only wear fat clothes, you don’t feel good, your sex life gets damaged, you don’t have energy for anything. It’s horrible.”

Through better nutrition, daily exercise, and good old-fashioned willpower, the famously funny fat guy from Cleveland with the 44-inch waist and XXXL shirts has given way to a good-looking, fit, and happy 185-pound guy in a short-sleeve shirt (size M) and 34-inch pants. The incredible shrinking Carey rhapsodizes about the divine experience that is healthy living, especially his enhanced clarity of thought and renewed vigor. “This is how you’re supposed to feel every day,” he says. “This is what I should have felt like my whole life!”

But the comedian is the first one to point out that he’s lucky to have made it to this moment. “I always thought I was going to die before I was 60,” he says matter-of-factly. “My father died of a heart attack in his 40s. I’m not an idiot. The writing was on the wall.”

On his motivation to lose weight
At 262 pounds—his heaviest ever—Carey was poised to bust the seams on his 44-inch pants, a symbolic barrier for him since it was the largest size carried by the Gap. He had also developed a litany of weight-related health conditions, including type-2 diabetes. But it was Connor, fiancée Nicole Jaracz’s 5-year-old son, who gave him the incentive to get serious. “I couldn’t keep up with him,” Carey admits. The comedian would be left breathless and sweating after just a few minutes of playing. “I’d be like, ‘Connor, I can’t,’ and he’d say, ‘C’mon, Dad!’ That was a terrible feeling. I thought, I’m never going to see him graduate high school.”

Carey sent a plaintive e-mail to Marc Vahanian, the trainer he’d worked with after his 2001 surgery. It said: “Are you still in the lifesaving business? Because I need to have my life saved.” Vahanian started Carey on a fitness routine and in February referred him to Dr. Chris Renna, who has 30 years of experience in preventive medicine. Renna devised a customized nutritional and behavioral program. “Drew was at a crossroads, and the distance between where he was and serious medical problems was really very short,” the physician says. “His behavior had brought him to the precipice.”

On how crappy he felt after a relapse
Carey’s weight kept dropping at the rate of about three pounds a week. After 10 weeks, his doctor told him that his diabetes symptoms had reversed and that he no longer needed to take medication. In June, Carey went on vacation to Africa and carried Connor on his shoulders without breaking a sweat. Finally, on Aug. 15, he tweeted from the finish line of a race: “Just ran my first 10K in almost 25 years. Sub-60. Then I had my first ice cream since January. :)

But then Carey followed the cone with an entire pepperoni pizza and a cupcake. The next day, he ate another pizza, leaving him a few pounds heavier and feeling sick. He learned a valuable lesson from his relapse which he posted above his bathroom mirror: “Eating crappy food is not a reward—it’s a punishment.”

According to Carey, being healthy doesn’t mean banishing the occasional cupcake or slice of pizza from one’s life. “It’s no problem if you’re eating well all the time. But an entire pizza? I might as well think that hitting myself in the face is a reward,” he says, adding that for his next celebration he’ll treat himself to a massage or a quiet day with a book.

[From Parade]

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Parade also has a comparison of what Drew used to eat every day compared to his current diet. Not only did he used to eat a lot of carbs, red meat and heavy sauces and cheese, he also used to drink “gallons” of regular Pepsi every day. There are 1600 calories in one gallon of Pepsi, which is enough calories for an entire day if you’re trying to lose weight. Cutting out soft drinks alone can help someone lose weight.

I love Drew and am so happy for him. He is such a positive example of someone losing weight for the right reasons and doing it in a way that’s both safe and life changing. Now that he’s slimmed down, I wonder how long it will be before he marries his fiance!

Drew in August, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 09: Comedian/host Drew Carey appears onstage at the taping of the 39th season premiere of 'The Price is Right' at Television City on August 9, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Drew in December, 2008 (credit: WENN.com)
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25 Responses to “Drew Carey on his 80 lb weight loss: I always thought I was going to die by 60”

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  1. malachais says:

    Congrats Dave. Now he just needs to lose those funky pants :P

  2. khaveman says:

    Such an inspiration, and I’ve always loved his humor. Since we’re talking body image (among other things), he needs to modernize the hair and glasses. They are aging him about 10 years. Otherwise, great story!

  3. red says:

    He had a heart attack or heart “scare” about 5 years ago and lost a bunch of weight back then. Then he gained it back. I hope he’s doing more than diet and exercise (like changing his thinking and reacting around food and eating), otherwise he has a good chance to relapse again.

  4. Stephie says:

    Wow, he looks so much different, and better. Good for him.

  5. susanish says:

    I’m really happy for you Drew, and I’mma let you finish, but..

    can we talk about the blue romper?

  6. texasmom says:

    I think the romper is disturbing, but I think it is supposed to be a riff on Jack LaLane (ok, I’m revealing just how OLD I am!).

  7. a says:

    he’s a great role model for losing weight! i’m glad he shared his experience.

  8. Embee says:

    He looks just like my dad. I can’t help but love, love, love him!

  9. hanh says:

    I love that he lost the weight in a good and healthy way. And that he talked about how he relapsed and dealt with that.

  10. TQB says:

    I really liked what he had to say about rewarding yourself when trying to lose weight, and how eating massive amounts of bad food isn’t truly a “reward” after all.

  11. Aqua says:

    congrats,he looks fantastic.Hope he sticks with it.

  12. Bodhi says:

    Good for Drew!! He lost the weight he needed to in a healthy & sustainable way. He is much more of a role model than Biggest Loser any day!

  13. MSMLNP says:

    I read the article in yesterdays newspaper. But I am absolutely convinced he had some type of surgery, he just has a look about him that post gastric bypass people have, and not that of just significant weight loss alone.

    Not that it matters much anyways, you still need to follow a very strict diet and exercise regimen afterwards and good for him for taking whatever positive steps he needed for his health.

  14. DeeDee says:

    Wow Drew looks amazing. Well I guess he had to do something because of his super sexy partner. Well a real good slogan for Drew could be, “Well if Drew can do it, YOU can do it.” Get it? Drew/You. Cool, eh? I love Drew Carey but I think he was funny as a fat guy, sort of an everyday guy. So he’s going to be all self-righteous and snobby. Freakin’ hollywood man, turns everyone into a clone. All the same, way to go Drew, you rock!!!

  15. Jennifer says:

    I think he looks awfully sickly in the face after losing so much wait. I think he just needs some color to him, but I don’t know.

    I’m glad he lost the weight, it worried me seeing him at the weight he used to be. ):

  16. dvz says:

    He looks great, but am I the only one here who is seeing a case of major gayface on him now? He’s always “pinged” my gaydar, but now it’s really clear. The left arm/hand extension in the top picture is certainly helping.

  17. LBees says:

    Good for him! I read this article in today’s Parade over my morning coffee. It was cute, he talked about eating egg white omelets for breakfast, and I was eating my egg white omelet for breakfast!

    Go Drew! Go!

  18. Marianne says:

    It’s nice that he has gotten healthier…but I find he looks rather old now.

  19. Arianna says:

    god he’s a creepy looking man

    but i still love him from whose line

  20. abby says:

    I read that soon he’ll be losing his “trademark” glasses. He had Lasik surgery a few years ago and only used them as props.

    Also, that middle pic. where he is showing off his muscles, his legs are freaky long!

  21. i think drew is great and i am really happy for him. i love him as the price is right host. i was skeptical at first but i watch the show now and had stopped watching it for years before he became host. he treats the models like human beings unlike bob barker. keep it up drew!

  22. Susie says:

    Drew, you look great! A couple of years ago I had a dream about you and well…since then you’ve gone to a special place in my heart! Your finace is a lucky woman. Best wishes to you and yours. xoxoxo

  23. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be at the net the easiest factor to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get irked whilst other folks think about issues that they just do not recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing with no need side effect , folks could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

  24. KellyinSeattle says:

    I love him! I’ll be his fiance’ if his doesn’t work out.