September 30, 2016

Webster University golf coach loses 100 pounds, appears on Today Show

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Tim Godfrey/ The Journal Belksy standing with his golf clubs in his Webster attire.

In front of Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and millions of viewers at home, Andrew Belsky said he miserably missed a putt on live television. Minutes earlier, he had been introduced as the Webster University Head Golf Coach who had lost 100 pounds, thanks to BistroMD, a delivery dietary food service.

After a brief interview and congratulations from the two hosts on his weight loss, Belsky stepped onto the makeshift putting green.

“Alright, he’s going to make one in,” Kotb said.

Belksey putted. The ball rolled past the hole. He had missed.

“It was like putting on field turf,” Belsky said. “It wasn’t a good roll on a putting green. I had three seconds to hit the putt and then it was over.”

When Belsky recalled his Today Show appearance, Neil Devasto, Webster’s sports information director, gave his own analysis of Belsky’s shot.

“Like a bad putt-putt player,” Devasto said.

Today, Belsky need only worry about turf getting in the way of his golf game. But 18 months ago, turf was the least of his problems. Belsky’s weight had climbed over 350 pounds. He realized that while he was finding success in coaching his golf team, he had not found success in caring for his health.

“The direct correlation with our success was that I was putting time into the team and not putting time into taking care of myself,” Belsky said. “With what we do (as coaches), it’s very easy to ignore yourself and only pay attention to the team and your job. That was something I had to overcome as well, I needed to start paying attention to myself.”

Belsky decided to make a change and that started with what he ate. Belsky said he had always been a big eater and ate anything that was put in front of him. He exercised in college, so eating healthy didn’t matter to him. But then he graduated, and his exercise began to slow down while his eating habits stayed the same.

“When you work this job, our hours are crazy. So, what do I do when I get done at the end of the day? I’m headed to find beer and some (buffalo) wings and over ten years, there it was. I didn’t even realize it was happening.”

Belsky went on the Internet and researched dietary meal plans. While looking through Dr. Phil’s top ten diet meal plans, he found BistroMD and signed up for their service. The dietary service delivered 21 meals, plus 21 snacks, each week. For the first six months, Belsky said he dropped weight by following the BistroMD eating regimen. Then, Belsky began to fit long walks into his daily schedule.

At first, he would walk around the mall for an hour or more. Now, Belsky walks around his neighborhood or campus and at the very least, he walks 10,000 steps per day.

“There are many days when I am in the 18,000- 20,000 step range just because I enjoy going out for a walk at night. In the winter I am walking in the gym but the nights have been so nice right now, I just go out and enjoy the nice weather. Even if it’s at 10 o’clock at night,” Belsky said.

Weighing in at 255 pounds, Belsky’s figure is not the only thing to have changed. He said that he’s added 50-60 yards to his drives and his golf game overall has gotten significantly better since he lost the weight. Golf partner and friend Luke Hoyer, whose dad used to coach alongside Belsky, has noticed the change, too.

“It’s much more like his previous self,” Hoyer said. “He’s a very good athlete. He had a ton of accolades when he played (at Webster) and that was when he was at the playing weight he’s at now. When you put on so much weight, you’re feeling things that adversely affect your movement, flexibility.”

With long hours as a head coach, Belsky said that with the weight loss his sleep has gotten better. Before his weight loss, Belsky said he would be roommates with Webster Athletic Trainer Martin Fields during golf or Webster athletic tournaments, who would complain to Belsky about his snoring. But Fields has not roomed with Belsky since the weight loss. Will the snoring of the past keep Fields from requesting Belsky as a tournament roommate?

“I’m sure that discussion will come up,” Belsky said

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