When Peter Zimmerman returned to the United States in 2002 after living overseas as part of a previous career, the American lifestyle of super-size restaurant portions started to catch up with him.
So he was already motivated to slim down when he joined the John Deere Commercial and Consumer Products division in 2004. "I was discouraged that I'd allowed myself to get out of shape, and there was enough in our family history that I knew I needed to get my act together," he says, adding, "When you look at medical costs, it makes an awful lot of sense, not just financially, but from a pure health perspective," he says.
In January 2005, the 52-year-old C&CE division warehouse and logistics manager turned to a highly structured six-day-a-week regimen of exercise and diet. "I'm eating more frequently," he notes, "but with less volume." The three main meals of the day, for example, are usually a fist-sized portion each of protein and carbohydrates. The seventh day is his to relax and enjoy "whatever and whenever" he wants to eat.
Peter has trimmed down from 230 to 195 pounds, with plans to lose another 10. His cholesterol has also dropped to acceptable levels, and he's enjoying an active lifestyle of water-skiing, golfing and biking around Cary, N.C. "You feel a lot more invigorated through the full course of your day. I also find I sleep better at night," he notes.
And there's another, more serious motivation. "I lost my Dad to cancer when he was just 63 and I was 24," says Peter. "You need to do whatever you can to take care of yourself. I intend, God willing, to share a lot more years with my sons than I was able to enjoy with my Dad."