The Stella Family Lost 560 Pounds Together!
When Rachel and I got married I weighed a reasonable 175lbs. I didn’t expect that over the course of the next twenty years I would more than double in size. My whole life all I had wanted to do was be a successful chef, but my weight soon took me out of the kitchen, and into a wheel chair. Even congestive heart failure and doctors telling me to “lose weight or die,” couldn’t stop the weight gain. I had tried diets in the past, nothing worked. In my mind there was absolutely nothing that I could’ve done.
As my weight and eating grew more and more out of control my family paid the price. Due to my weight I was unable to hold down normal jobs, and we were forced at times to get by on very little money. We learned how to shop for the cheapest most filling foods; foods filled with empty calories from sugar and fat, foods filled with hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, fillers, and corn syrup.
Even when finances improved we still loved our junk food. As with most kids, giving candy to my sons made them happy, so it became a Stella Family tradition to go over-the-top on holidays, with Christmas stockings and Easter Baskets overflowing with candy. The way we lived our lives had put Anthony at 225 pounds and my youngest son, Christian, was well on his way to a future like mine. At fifteen years old, he was already over 300 pounds and growing. I thought I was being a good father by giving my children what they wanted, but really I was killing them with food.
Then one day a family friend left an Atkins book in our kitchen. Rachel and I read some of it and at first thought that it had to be a joke. If we could lose weight while eating as much as we wanted, we thought, maybe this time we could actually stick to it.
Together, Rachel and I devised ways of having all our favorite foods without the white flour, sugar, rice, potatoes, and so on. After the weight began to fall off, I was able to get out of that wheelchair and even start cooking again. It was then that we decided that we could never go back to the way things were before.
To date I’ve lost 260lbs, and Rachel has lost 75lbs.
After Christian and Anthony saw the tremendous success that Rachel and I were having they too decided to make steps to change the way they looked at food. We never asked them to join us; it was their choice, (as I believe it should be. No one can be told to lose weight.) Soon after Christian dropped more than 160 pounds and Anthony lost nearly 75.
My family and I currently travel all over the country sharing our stories and recipes to hopefully inspire others to do the same for their families.