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His big loss is also his gain

Langer points way healthier lifestyle

June 8, 2011

Tom Langer is half the man he used to be.

"I was 373 pounds, and today, I'm 184," said the 6-foot-1-inch Langer.

Yet, the 52-year-old Wauwatosa resident is living larger than ever: He cooks, bikes and uses his profession to profess the balanced lifestyle he now embodies.

His transformation began in August 2009, making a quick decision to embark on a slow weight-loss process.

"I got to be 50," said Langer. "My dear wife said, 'You probably should get a physical.' My doctor was absolutely adamant that if I stayed on the road I was on there would be dire consequences."

With advice from medical professionals, Langer devised a plan to shed pounds safely and keep them off. He learned to lose no more than 2 pounds a week. He learned to read food labels for caloric, sodium, fat and cholesterol contents - and to cut those from his diet. He learned to exercise - he bikes every day, even in winter - and to love it. He learned to write down what and how much he eats each day.

"I had to learn how to cook," said Langer, to ensure varied and nutritious meals. "I didn't want to eat sticks and berries."

In short, Langer changed his life, and likely prolonged it.

As CEO and president of The Langer Group, an insurance firm in Wauwatosa, he knew the health risks associated with excess weight. He needed to practice what he preached. "I was talking to people about preventive care, wellness, to contain costs. You go home and look in the mirror and say, 'This is really hypocritical.'"

Now, a lighter Langer is still talking about wellness as he shares his success stories through free Lunch and Learns his company offers. "It's not an advertisement for the business," he said. "If someone wants to make a change, I'll put them in the right direction.

"It's not about a book or a TV show or the latest fad," he added. "It's about learning about yourself."

To recommend a person be featured in Someone You Should Know, send an e-mail to someone@cninow.com or call (262) 446-6643.

JUST THE FACTS

NAME: Tom Langer

AGE: 52

NOTED FOR: president and CEO of the Langer Group; weight loss success story

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