GRANVILLE, Ohio — Even among the negativity of the pandemic, some people are finding silver linings. Some have developed closer relationships with family and friends, and others have returned to a simpler way of life.
Twenty years ago, Scott McFarland was as skinny as could be. But the days of looking like he did in his 20s and 30s are gone, and for much of his adult life, he’s struggled with his weight.
“It wasn't how I looked as much, I'm okay with how I look, skinny or fat, but it’s how you feel. And when you can't move, when you walk up four stairs and your body's creaking because you're 47 pounds in the obese range, it's time to move on,” said McFarland, a native of Granville.
Three years ago, those health issues got serious. McFarland suffered congestive heart failure.
When asked what was wrong when he went in, McFarland replied, “congestive heart failure, that’s what they suspected and so my diet had to completely change, I had to give up all the hundreds of thousands of Mountain Dew I was drinking each year, alcohol I had to give that up and the main thing was sodium, I had to cut way back.”
As many can relate, life got busy, and the weight started creeping up again.
“So, I was never eating normal dinners and healthy stuff. We were eating out a lot, you know you’d pick up the stuff on the way. It seemed like I went from 200 to 220 and before I knew it I was well over 240,” said McFarland.
When the pandemic hit in early March, he says he weighed almost 250 lbs. That’s when he said enough is enough.
McFarland was furloughed from his job for a few months. So with more time on his hands than ever before, there were no excuses.
He began to be more conscious of his eating habits again and began walking the hills and streets near his home.
“I’ve come out here for 182 days in a row now,” said McFarland.
McFarland is 63 years old and down almost 40 lbs. No magic pill, just consistency and determination to not gain weight during the time off like many predicted would happen to most.
“Everybody’s weight was going to go up right, well Scotty’s weight was going to go down and I was pretty convinced that that would happen,” said McFarland.
So consistent that even his neighbors look for him on their walks.
“I guess we got to know each other by sight and we’d looked for him and then he mentioned that he was losing weight. You’ve lost more since you told us originally, I mean you look great. Not that you didn't look great before but wow, that’s amazing,” said Megan Olbur, Scott’s neighbor.
When asked how McFarland feels now compared to the beginning of the pandemic, he said, “Oh, I feel fantastic I really do. I have a lot of family and friends that I enjoy being around on a daily basis and I love life too much to take it for granted, so that’s why I'm out here doing what I do."
McFarland knows the seriousness of congestive heart failure and understands next time he might not get another chance. He says in all this madness, he’s found his silver lining -- that is -- prioritizing his health and well-being.
“I have a routine and I know what it’s all about now and I'm planning to stick with it,” said McFarland.