Area twins, big winners on “The Biggest Loser” Season 11, were in Edmond Tuesday at the Downtown Community Center sharing their experiences of losing their way back to health.
Dan Evans and Don Evans both work for the Oklahoma City Police Department where Dan is a captain and Don is a lieutenant.
Tuesday they were in Edmond sharing some of their experiences on their way to their weight loss, the importance of preventive health and some ways to stay on track for a healthier 2012.
They were part of Life Line Screening, the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings, going on at the same time.
Together the two brothers lost a total of 254 pounds. Dan lost 124 pounds in seven months, and Don lost 130 pounds in eight months.
The majority of their weight was lost once they left the show, Dan said.
Dan said he and Don called themselves functionally fat before being chosen for “The Biggest Loser.”
“We could do our jobs as long as we were taking medications,” Dan said.
It was a fracture in both families that brought the brothers to the point where they decided to do something about their weight.
“My son, Adam, was 24 when he died of a drug overdose,” Dan said, which sent him into a spiral gaining back 100 pounds he had previously lost.
The realization that he wouldn’t be able to share some of the same special moments with his then 8-year-old daughter, Madelyn, like learning to ride a bicycle, was the turning point for Dan.
Don’s son Paul, then 28 years old, had encouraged his father to lose weight by going so far as to try to get his father to exercise with him.
“When I refused to ride the bike he had purchased for me, he said he wasn’t coming around any more to watch me die,” Don said, “and he didn’t.
“My wife said, ‘I am not going to lose a son because you are fat.’”
Together these brothers who had always been best friends and each other’s support applied to go on “The Biggest Loser.”
“Two hundred to 250,000 people apply each year for the show,” Dan said, “and we were selected for Season 11.”
Dan and Don said in addition to exercising eight hours a day they spent the rest of their time learning about nutrition, how to shop, read labels and cook.
“At the Biggest Losers Ranch you do it all yourself,” Dan said. “If you are too tired to cook, then you don’t eat.”
Although both brothers’ time was short on the show, they both went away with a foundation that carried them through the next months as they applied the knowledge they had learned.
Dan went home after week three. He lost 15 pounds on the show and an additional 109 pounds when he went home with his daughter, now nine, who was his cheerleader as she walked, then ran and finally rode her bicycle with him through the neighborhood as he got stronger and more fit.
“I started out weighing 287 pounds, and when I finished I weighed 163 pounds,” Dan said. At his highest weight Dan had weighed 427 pounds.
Don started out weighing 309 pounds and went home after week five.
“I lost a total of 130 pounds and weighed 179 pounds when I finished,” Don said. At his heaviest Don weighed 407 pounds.
“I am 55 years old feeling like I am 35 doing things I never thought I would be able to do again,” Don said.
Between them they suffered from ailments including high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, arthritis and sleep apnea because of their excess weight.
Both were taking medications before their weight loss. Don was taking nine prescriptions and now neither one takes any medication at all.
Their “Biggest Loser” experience taught them valuable lessons in nutrition and exercise which they integrated into their daily routine to accomplish their fitness and weight-loss goals at home, they said.
“Short term exposure gives a foundation to build on,” Dan said. “We learned to do the best we can do, and we can’t underestimate anyone, not even ourselves.”
The brothers said they have adopted a quote from St. Francis of Assisi as the words by which they live.
“Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, then what is impossible,” Dan said.
“In seven months I was doing the impossible,” he added.
“We spent 20 years looking for a quick fix to lose weight,” Don said. “We knew there had to be a pill, a diet, something.”
Their fix was expending more calories than they took in throughout the day.
“The quality of life has improved so much for both of us,” Don said. “My son’s intervention and tough love and the support of both my son and daughter, Courtney, have helped me through the process.”
Dan said he and his brother have had such an amazing transformation in their lives, and they enjoy paying it forward and helping other people.
“You don’t need to be on “The Biggest Loser” to be a winner,” Dan said. “It is just geography. Have a plan. I realized I can lose weight in Oklahoma, but I couldn’t see my daughter while I was at the ranch.
“I said, ‘Take what you learn here and go home and do it there.’”
Recently Dan and Don have been going into the Deer Creek elementary schools sharing their story of losing to be winners, and both will be running in the Deer Creek Classic March 3.
Both men agreed they have received support from their spouses. Dan is married to Darcy Evans, and Don and his wife Ginny Evans have been married for 34 years.
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