By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Dec 27, 2004 at 5:42 AM

{image1} In 2002, OMC dreamed of "100 things for a better Milwaukee." No. 50 on the list was "a 36-inch waist for Bill Michaels." We are happy to report, he's accomplished this resolution. And, if you have weight loss on your 2005 resolutions list, Milwaukee's "Big Unit" should be an inspiration for you.

Michaels hosts 620 AM WTMJ's popular sports talk show, "Sports Central," weekdays from 6 to 8 p.m., and does other sports stuff on the station. But he's taken a much smaller role, on and off the station, these days.

The "Big Unit" has indeed gotten smaller and he's made No. 50 from's 2002 "100 New Year's Resolutions for a Better Milwaukee" list come true. ( The former 412-pounder currently sports a 36-inch waist!

We took five with Michaels recently to learn about his weight loss, how he did it and, of course, to talk a little sports.

OMC: How much weight did you lose in total, and how long did it take?

Bill Michaels: I've lost 153 pounds total. At my largest, I was 412 pounds. I'm now at 259 and still working hard. My goal is to lose another 20 to 30 more. I woke up one morning in November 2001 and decided "enough is enough."

I went to see the owner of the Wisconsin Athletic Club in Waukesha, Ray O'Connor, and told him that I was ready to get fit, could he help me. Funny thing, he asked me NOT to talk about my fitness program and where I worked out, on the air, for at least three months He, along with many many others, didn't believe that I would lose anything.

I started the workouts, with my trainer Gary Jackson, the week before Thanksgiving. I figured that if I could lose weight through the holidays, I'd be able to do whatever I set my mind to.


OMC: What was your waist size when you started?

BM: When I went to buy my last pair of pants, I was a 52 waist, and they were a little snug. That, and the fact that my wife begged me out of fear for my health, made me realize that I was out of control.

OMC: What foods do you miss the most?

BM: Honestly, I don't really miss anything because I still eat everything. There's no magic pill, no hypnosis, no gimmicks ... I just eat sensibly, workout regularly and live by a few new life standards. It's not that difficult.

I've been asked by more than a few writers to put my experiences into a "diet" book but I'm not really sure what to say.

I wish I did invent a magic pill, I'd make millions but all that I have is my own knowledge. I'm sure the diet and fitness industry is scared of that. It's cliché but "if I can do it, anyone can."

OMC: Give us three simple tips for anyone trying to lose weight.

BM: Research, find a dietician and set up a simple meal plan that will suit your needs and tastes.

But ... don't completely give up everything that's bad for you. Reward yourself for reaching your goals. If you do eat the things that tend to cause you to become fat, workout a little harder the next day.

Don't eat anything after 8 p.m.

MOVE! You have to get your heart rate up for at least 25 minutes a day.

So, let's review ... EAT RIGHT, DON'T EAT LATE and MOVE ... simple isn't it.

OMC: One sports shot, how far do the Packers go this season?

BM: As a fan I want to say that they can go as far as Brett Favre can take them, but being a journalist who covers this team regularly, they may win a first round game before calling it a season.

If they open up the playoffs on the road, they may bow out earlier than most Packers fans would want to accept. If that happens, look for management changes.

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.