The bagginess of his work attire speaks volumes.
But Dr. Nicholas Guittari isn’t going on a shopping spree for new, more fitted clothes just yet. He still believes he can shed a few more pounds, for the sake of his health.
Guittari, New Community’s medical director, recently underwent a visible transformation after making changes to his daily diet and exercise habits.
He walks at least two miles a day by opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. His meals are comprised of healthy options like grilled chicken salad, nuts and dry cereal. He’s ditched the junk food, including the six liters of soda he guzzled daily.
As a doctor, he’s now walking the talk when it comes to his health. However, it took a major health scare to set him straight.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Guittari, 55, said he felt heart palpitations that would not go away. He arrived at the hospital flushed and saw a cardiologist who performed a stress test. His blood pressure was measured at 200/100, which was well above the norm. At 5-foot-11, he weighed 198 pounds. The doctor told Guittari that he needed to lose weight.
“Lose weight? What do you mean?” Guittari said. He soon decided to take the advice.
Step by step, Guittari said he began making wiser choices. He immediately stopped eating out at McDonald’s or pizza joints, which were his staples previously. Instead, he eats more fish and vegetables. At work, instead of distracting himself with candy, he pops chewing gum. Junk food is no longer kept at home. He weighs himself twice a day to keep tabs on his progress.
And four months later, the progress is remarkable. Sharon Pleasant-Jones, director of Health and Social Services, called him a “good example” of making positive changes.
“When he got a health scare, he immediately went into action,” she said. Guittari said he now weighs between 168 to 174 pounds and dropped four pant sizes.
Bernice Fitzpatrick, a resident of New Community Associates who visits Guittari for appointments at the senior building’s health clinic, said she was proud to see her doctor change old habits, such as his overconsumption of soda, which she reminded him about regularly.
“He was drinking Pepsi all the time,” Fitzpatrick, 69, said. “If you tell me what to do, you gotta do what I ask you.”