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70 pounds and counting: Blind man resolves to reach goal weight

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    Pickens resident Scott Rumery, who peaked at over 450 pounds (at right), has shed 70 but has a long way to go to reach his goal weight of 220.

      It’s been just over six months since Scott Rumery underwent bariatric surgery as a last-ditch effort to lose weight, having peaked at over 450 pounds.
    Rumery, who was blinded by the degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, has always struggled with obesity. The self-proclaimed food addict said things reached critical mass and became a life-or-death situation. He couldn’t even walk from the bathroom to the living room without losing

his breath. Maneuvering Jasper’s sidewalks with his seeing-eye dog Duke was out of the question.  The Progress has been following Rumery’s story since March, when he decided to have the surgery.
    “I feel spectacular,” a 70-pound lighter Rumery said just a few days before the New Year. “I mean, I still have a lot to take off but it’s a world of difference. I’ve kind of plateaued but my New Year’s resolution is to get past what’s holding me back and stop with junk food and be more consistent with exercise. It’s a mental struggle, not a blind thing. The weight is caused by the way you think about food. They fixed my stomach but I have to fix my brain.”
    Rumery said unlike many people who have bariatric surgery he hasn’t gotten sick from overeating. His portion sizes have been managed, which is a welcome change and setting him on the right track to reach his goal weight of 220 pounds.
    “Like, for Thanksgiving this year I could only eat a small plate and I was full,” he said. “I went to the Carriage House the other day and could only eat one piece of French toast where before I would eat all of it.”
    His wife Bronwyn, who is blinded by the same eye disease, said she is thrilled her husband can move around the house without the wheezing and panting.
    “He couldn’t even get out of his chair without making all that noise,” she said. “That’s all gone now.”    
    Rumery’s back doesn’t hurt anymore either.
    Unfortunately, Duke, Rumery’s guide dog, was recently retired after he developed a spinal condition. Rumery now uses a cane to get around until Duke is put down and he finds another guide.
    “I’m terrible with cane skills,” he said. “I’m so slow without Duke. I can’t get a new dog until he’s gone because we’re connected, but I’ll get out and walk and I can pedal on my exercise bike up to an hour now. For New Year’s I want to modify my diet and be consistent.”