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Half ton man continues weight loss

AP PhotoManuel Uribe, who once weighed half a ton, celebrates with champagne as he sits on his bed while being driven around his neighborhood on his first trip outside of his home in five year to celebrate the weight he has lost in San Nicolas de los Garza, northern Mexico, Wednesday, March 7, 2007. Uribe, drew worldwide attention when he pleaded for help on national television in January 2006 and has lost 397 pounds (180 kilos) since he began a high-protein diet a year ago.
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SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico (AP) — A man who once weighed well over a half ton left his house for the first time in five years Wednesday – wheeled outside on his bed to greet neighbors and see a mariachi band.

“The sky is beautiful and blue and what I want is to enjoy the sun,” said Manuel Uribe, who had once been certified by doctors as weighing 1,235 pounds. Though still unable to leave his bed, Uribe has lost 395 pounds since he began a high-protein diet a year ago. He now weights about 840 pounds.

To celebrate the milestone, six people pushed Uribe’s wheel-equipped iron bed out to the street as a mariachi band played and a crowd gathered. Then, a forklift lifted him onto a truck and the 41-year-old rode through the streets of San Nicolas de los Garza, a Monterrey suburb.

With dozens of reporters and photographers in tow, Uribe traveled along, passing the town’s plaza and church and waving at clusters of people eager to get a glimpse of him.

“It fills me with joy to see he’s getting better and getting a little sun,” Uribe’s neighbor Guadalupe Guerra said. “I would go crazy if I had to be inside my house for so many years.”

Uribe was a chubby kid and weighed more than 250 pounds as an adolescent. In 1992, he said his weight began ballooning further.

Since the summer of 2002, Uribe has been bedridden, relying on his mother and friends to feed and clean him.

He drew worldwide attention when he pleaded for help on national television in January 2006. Afterward, an Italian and a Spanish doctor both visited and offered gastric bypass surgery.

But Uribe chose to accept help from Mexican nutritionists working with the Zone diet. He says he will stick to that diet until he reaches his goal of 265 pounds.

“My goal is to leave the house on my own but I know that will be a long process,” he said. Doctors say it may take between three and four years for Uribe to reach his goal.

Uribe said he plans to start a foundation to help overweight people get medical assistance and teach them about healthy eating habits.

On the Net:

Manuel Uribe’s Web site: http://www.manueluribeac.org

The Zone Diet: http://www.zonediet.com


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