Truckers Lose Big On The Road

Devil Burger
Losing weight on the road can be a challenge, but the drivers in this story prove it can be done. Find out how they are beating the battle of the bulge.
After driving hundreds of miles, the last thing Roy Williams, a truck driver from Denton, Tex., wanted to do was exercise. After a day trapped in the cab, stopping only to gorge on greasy fare at truck stops, who could think of working out?

But once he ballooned to 405 pounds, he knew he had to make a change. So last year, Mr. Williams, 58, did something all too rare for someone in his profession: He embarked on a diet and exercise program.

The six-pack of Coca-Cola he drank each day? Gone. The hamburgers, chips and chocolate he relished? No more. Today, he drinks a protein shake mixed with ice water or soy milk for breakfast, nibbles cantaloupe and red grapes, and makes sandwiches with thinly sliced meat and cheese but no bread. He keeps a fold-up bike in his truck and zips around rest areas on his breaks.

His weight is down to 335 pounds, and he’s managed to reduce the amount of blood pressure medication he takes. I rarely, maybe once a week, even go into a truck stop, said Mr. Williams, who has been navigating an 18-wheeler for the last 30 years.

Mr. Williams’s predicament is hardly unique. On the road for weeks on end, with the sorts of diets that make nutritionists apoplectic, the nation’s truckers are in pretty bad shape. Now, beset by rising insurance costs and desperate to ensure their drivers pass government health tests, trucking companies and industry groups are working hard to persuade road warriors to change their habits.

To read more about the other drivers featured in this story, and track their success, follow this link: to The New York Times.

By ABBY ELLIN  Published: November 21, 2011 New York Times