Former Cowboy is unrecognizable after shocking weight loss
by JANET ST. JAMES – WFAA
Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton’s life has been filled with statistics.
The former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman has three Super Bowl rings and has been a part of six Pro Bowls. But, the number he is most proud of these days is the one on his weight scale.
In his prime-time playing days for the Cowboys, Newton tipped the scale at 325 powerful pounds. When he quit pro-football, he packed on another 75, medically qualifying him as “super obese.”
In February, fearing he might die of obesity-related health conditions before his youngest son King would graduate from high school, Newton underwent a relatively new type of obesity surgery called “vertical gastrectomy,” or “gastric sleeve.” The gastric sleeve operation is like stomach stapling. However, instead of staples alone, up to 75 percent of the stomach is removed. Left behind is a far smaller stomach that looks like a shirt sleeve.
Six months later, at 220 pounds, Big Nate is almost half the man he used to be.
“Feels good,” he said. “You can pop out of bed; you can get up without groaning. It just feels better, lighter.”
Newton said the last time he weighed such a weight was between ninth and tenth grade.
“I don’t get discounts anymore because nobody recognizes me until they see my credit card,” he said. “Then it’s, ‘Aw, Big Nate.’ But, by that time, I haven’t ordered enough to even matter.”
Over the last six months, 175 pounds have melted off Newton’s 6’2″ frame.
And while Newton’s bariatric surgeon, Dr. David Kim of Colleyville, acknowledges Newton’s extreme weight loss might not be the norm, he insists it is safe.
“Yes, it absolutely is,” said Kim, who pointed out the medical conditions connected to Newton’s former hefty size were clearly dangerous.
“It’s not just the operation; Nate has been reallying amazing with regards to the lifestyle changes he’s been able to make,” he said.
A few months ago, Newton couldn’t walk a few yards without catching his breath. Now, he says he eats healthy foods in reasonable portions and exercises at least two-and-a-half hours a day, five days a week. Some days, he fits in double workouts, just as he once did as an elite, professional athlete.
“I don’t call walking two or three miles working out,” he said. “I don’t call riding a stationary bike 45 minutes with sets of push ups, pull ups, stuff like that – that’s not working out.”
Newton still shuffles like a man carrying a heavy load, until he is reminded he doesn’t have to walk that way anymore.
Sometimes, he admits, he doesn’t recognize himself in the mirror.
“Just six months ago, my head was like this big,” Newton said holding his hands wide. “Most people say I look like my kid that’s at the University of Texas. So, they just think I’m a bigger Tre.”
Most of Newton’s former teammates don’t recognize him either, including Deion Sanders who couldn’t believe his eyes when the two met for coffee recently.
“Nate, are you kidding me man?” Sanders exclaimed in disbelief.
Sanders was among many friends concerned that weight would cut Newton’s life short.
“I’m happy for him because I know I’m going to have him for another 70, 80 years,” Sanders said.
Like Fantasy Football, Newton said he’s working toward his fantasy weight.
“I started at 396, and if I can get to 196 then I’ll have accomplished my fantasy goal,” he said.
He is just 24 pounds away from that goal.