After man loses nearly 200 pounds, he collects on bet

Mike Krumboltz
The Upshot

When Fulton, New York resident Jay Wornick set out to lose some weight at the urging of his wife, he didn't have high hopes. Weighing in at more than 360 pounds this past January, Wornick thought, at best, he'd lose 20 or 30 pounds and then put it back on. But that wasn't the case. Not by a long shot.

Now, a little more than 10 months later, Wornick has lost close to 200 pounds. He weighs just 168 pounds and is still adjusting to his new life as a slender man. According to a buzzy blog from, Wornick still can't help but examine booths in restaurants to see if he'll be able to fit in them, even though he now can easily shift into the open space with room to spare. He's also surprised when somebody accidentally jostles him in a crowd--a far more routine occurrence when he was carrying all that extra weight on his frame.

So how did he shed so much weight?  It all started with a bet in the form of a New Years resolution. Wornick's wife, Angela, challenged him to see who could lose the highest percentage of body weight. The loser would have the winner's name tattooed on his or her stomach. Those big stakes inspired Jay to cut back on eating big steaks. He ate less meat, switched to water instead of soda, and began working out.

At the end of the first month, he'd lost 40 pounds. Inspired, he kept at it, and the weight kept coming off. It's worth noting that Jay was able to do this without a personal trainer, though he did have a lot of help from his local YMCA, which he called "a huge support system." He also consulted the Web for diet tips and found quite a few from Dr. Oz. Jay will make an appearance on the doctor's show in next few weeks.

To make good on her side of the wager, Angela plans to have Jay's name tattooed on her back sometime in the coming weeks. Jay also plans to get a tattoo--now that he's so much slenderer, his wedding ring doesn't fit his ring finger--so he plans to replace it with a ring-shaped tattoo.