Arthur Hinty has lost almost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year.
While most people who make and break New Year's resolutions by halftime of the Rose Bowl would be thrilled with such progress, Hinty is mildly concerned.
"I've been at the same weight for a couple weeks now," Hinty said. "So, I've picked up the walking and my trips to the YMCA."
Hinty (not his real name) is a 47-year-old Milwaukee native and aspiring comedian profiled by OnMilwaukee.com late in August, just as he was undergoing gastric bypass surgery. The surgery, which carried a price tag of close to $25,000, was not covered under Hinty's insurance plan.
In order to help Hinty pay the bill, a group of friends, led by comedian Doug Stanhope, banded together as The Unbookables and put out a benefit CD called "Morbid Obscenity."
"It was one of my drunken ideas," Stanhope said. "(Hinty) was going to mortgage his house or mortgage his life and I thought we could do a CD. It wasn't difficult to do a show and tape it."
With Stanhope headed to town for a date Thursday night upstairs at the G-Daddy's BBC Bar and Grill, 2022 E. North Ave., we figured it was time to update Hinty's progress.
On Aug. 8, three weeks before his surgery, Hinty weighed 392 pounds and was bothered by a slew of health problems including uncontrolled diabetes, lymphedema, cellulites and Stage 1 hypertension.
The surgery went off without incident and the pounds began to disappear quickly.
"I wanted to lose 100 pounds by New Year's," said Hinty, who asked that we use his stage name rather than his real name. "I had to take my shoes off, but I made it."
Hinty now weighs about 270 pounds and needs to lose 70 more to reach his next goal -- which is to weigh 200 pounds by Jan. 1, 2008.
"I've hit one of those plateaus that they warn you about," Hinty said. "For awhile, I was losing about eight pounds a month, which they say is what you're supposed to do. I've been the same for a few weeks, but I'm not worried right now. I've kind of been lazing out and eating some Lean Cusines and other stuff that is high in sodium when I should be eating stuff from Outpost.
"I've reached a point where I have to pick up the exercise. I have to keep walking the dog and swimming."
Having the energy to do those things is a victory in itself, Hinty said.
"I've been surprised at how much energy I have," he said. "All my little health issues have gotten better. (Having surgery) is probably the smartest thing I could have done for my health."
Hinty has lost 16 inches around his waist. Where he once squeezed into XXXXL t-shirts, he now comfortably wears XXLs. He can slide into and out of restaurant booths without any trouble. The fast food runs that used to temporarily provide comfort, before giving way to regret and depression, are a thing of the past.
"There are a lot of foods that I used to like and now I can't stand the smell," Hinty said.
Binge eating, once a regular occurrence, is out of the question.
"I used to have a trash-can liner for a stomach, but now I've got a Zip-lock bag," Hinty said. "When you eat too much or too fast, it goes right through you. I don't want to get too graphic, but it comes out both ends. You can look it up online; they call it 'dumping.' I call it ‘a bad night.'"
Though he once loved to spend his workday pounding diet soda at his Downtown office and beer afterward, Hinty has given up on carbonated beverages in favor of water, tea and juice.
"I had a sip of Diet Coke once and I spit it out," he said. "I had half a beer and I thought, 'I shouldn't be drinking this.' I had read in the groups that you can get drunk really fast on a little booze. That's pretty true. I had a couple of screwdrivers in one night and I was pretty wasted.
"I don't really drink much, though. I've just got a lot of other things going on."
One of those things is selling the "Morbid Obscenity" CD. "I've got a five boxes in the basement," Hinty said. "I need to sell a bunch and then the label (Stand Up! Records) has to sell some to cover their expenses."
Once the CDs are sold, Hinty's friend Stanhope has an idea for another benefit.
"Art is going through a secondary battle now," Stanhope said. "He's realizing that it's hard to get (women) even when you're not fat. I think the next CD will be to raise money to get him women. Maybe we should have just done that right away rather than paying for the surgery, but we didn't think of it at the time.
"That can be our next project: a CD to get him laid."
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.