Get Fit: Man Loses Weight for Possible Kidney Transplant

Posted at: 04/23/2013 7:43 AM
Updated at: 04/24/2013 10:15 AM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- At the Rochester Y, everyone knows his name. Lanse Kyle is a regular – he can be found lifting weights, riding a stationary bike, or teaching a group fitness class.

That active lifestyle, though, is a recent development for Lanse. It was sparked by the realization that, after years of being obese, he needed a kidney transplant –and in order to get on the list, he had to lose weight.

“I had the classic office lifestyle. I had a sit-down job and liked sit-down entertainment. It led to me getting sick: diabetes and kidney disease.”

“I was so heavy. I remember getting slip-on shoes because bending down to tie my shoes was some grief. Though, at my age, I would be a good candidate [for a kidney transplant], I was not a good candidate because I was so obese. They said I had to lose weight. I was going to die.”

Looking at a “before” photo of Lanse (at least 100 pounds heavier), he said he looked, “haggard.” He did. He looked exhausted. Lanse said it was ironic that he looked so bad because he could remember the photo being taken, and trying to look good for the camera.

“I wanted to get on the list. I wanted to save my life. So that’s what I did.”

Lanse works out on a stationary bike in 30-minute blocks. Depending on how much time he has that day (and whether or not he has an appointment at the clinic, or dialysis) you might be able to find him peddling for three hours or more. He bikes to the gym, too.

“The quality of life, the functional well-being—it’s bananas. I run up stairs. I play racquetball. I rode my bike for 1,100 miles outside last summer.”

As he unlocks his bike, and puts on his helmet to prepare for an outdoor ride he says, “The support I’ve had as somebody who’s trying to make these changes has been great.”

“I feel pretty good, disease aside. Now, I’m on that list so that’s a process too. But when a kidney does come along, I’m a much healthier vessel to receive that. My outcomes are expected to be very good.”

When asked to sum up his journey, Lanse said, “Do you want to feel great, or do you want to eat all the stuff that you want that you think is going to make you feel great…but you’re not going to feel great? Maybe you won’t quit, today, what you know that you need to be quitting, but pick something up that will make yourself a little more active. You’ll feel better, and if you feel better maybe you’ll make some of those changes you need to make.”

To date, Lanse has lost 138 pounds.