Radio host takes weight loss efforts public
Jay McNeil hopes to inspire others in a region where obesity is a major health problem
A big name in Cape Breton radio is getting smaller by the day. Jay McNeil, the news director at the Eagle radio station, is hoping that his battle with the bulge will strike a chord with others.
McNeil weighed 460 pounds just two months ago. Now, he's 80 pounds lighter and he's broadcasting his weight loss efforts on the radio and online.
"I'm turning 30 in July. Thirty's past mid-life in my family, so if I didn't do something about it this year, it almost wasn't worth it," he said.
McNeil made the decision to make the dramatic life earlier this year. He went shopping for a scale because he had no idea how much he weighed. But the scale repeatedly gave him an error message because he weighed more than its maximum weight.
McNeil then had lap-band weight loss surgery. He's also changed his diet and started going to the gym.
"I've literally heard from more than 1,000 people since I started this who are sharing their stories," he said.
"Not everyone has hundreds of pounds to lose like I do, but people who've been fighting with the same ten pounds for ten years."
McNeil said he sees the experience as a way to have an open conversation about obesity with the community. He said his story is resonating with a surprising number of people.
"If I can't feed myself anymore, I can feed my ego," he joked.
He adds the public scrutiny is helping him stay on track.