Twenty-five years have passed since these five dieters graduated from Edison High in Minneapolis, and now they have more than memories in common. They're all at least 30 pounds overweight. So they volunteered to be part of the second Dateline Diet Challenge, to let Dateline follow their ups and downs of weight loss all the way to their 25th high school reunion in November. They could pick one of five weight loss methods, and each had to weigh in and set a weight loss goal. Which diet will work best?
Meet Jim Wentland
A star athlete back in high school, Jim Wentland is 5’9” and weighs 229 pounds. His goal is to lose 30 pounds. High school couldn't have been better for Jim. He lettered in three sports and was popular all around. Now he’s a carpet layer, the father of six children, and at age 42 the former star athlete wants to shed some weight. And it's not a moment too soon. His cholesterol is high, and his father died of a heart attack a year ago. Jim picked the USDA Food Pyramid diet, the government's low fat food plan that emphasizes portion size. And Jim has extra incentive. The homecoming king has promised that if he loses 30 pounds, he will crown Jim.
Meet Carrie Newman
High school band member Carrie Newman is 5’6” and weighs 314 pounds. Her goal is to lose 60 pounds by the reunion. She has never been thin, but it never stopped her from doing anything. In high school she was on the student council, the swim team, pep team, speech club and pretended to play the flute in the band. Carrie married her Edison sweetheart. They have two children and over the years, her weight kept going up. She developed diabetes, but was so in denial she couldn't see what was obvious to everyone else. She has now decided to reinvent herself. Carrie entered law school last year, and now she says she's ready to tackle her weight. She selected the popular South Beach Diet, based on eating the right fats and the right carbs. With it she also hopes control her diabetes and take on her nemesis -- chocolate.
Meet Lorri Pecoraro
Next up is self described wallflower Lorri Pecoraro. At 5’7”, she weighed in at 204. She hopes to lose 50 pounds by the reunion. Lorri the wallflower was overweight, wore big glasses and has bitter memories of being teased in high school. Now, 25 years later, Lorri is the heaviest she's ever been. She says between the demands of motherhood and working full time, she's been last on her list of priorities and is determined to turn it all around. Like so many women, Lorri was inspired by Oprah Winfrey's successful weight loss with the help of a famous weight loss coach, Bob Greene. Lorri will have Bob Green himself and see what it’s like to work with a personal coach.
Meet John Memorich
Meanwhile, 5’6” John Memorich, weighing in at 197 pounds, wants to lose 40 pounds by the reunion. Back in high school, John was a quiet skinny kid in the AV club. So it came as a surprise when he showed us where he was caught and suspended for partying in the roof -- which makes it even more fun to know John is now Father John, a Russian Orthodox priest in Cleveland. The Russian church allows its priests to marry. Father John married an Edison girl and they have four kids. Why the diet challenge? Well, believe it or not, his job has occupational hazards. During his daily rounds, there's usually food after every event. He now says there's too much flab under those robes and he got a wake up call last year. His father had a heart attack last year and had to have quadruple bypass surgery. But instead of focusing on dieting, Father John is going try to exercise his weight off and fulfill a dream by training to climb one of the greatest mountains in the United States, Washington state's formidable Mount Rainier.
Meet Dawn Singh
Finally, there's Dawn Singh. She's 5’6” and weighs 182 pounds. She hopes to lose 30 pounds by the reunion. After high school ,the former student council president pulled up her Minnesota roots and moved to Jamaica where she married a local man with whom she had two children. She remains an island girl at heart and a long way away from her Edison days as a straigh-A student. Today, Dawn is single and a working mom, living in what she says is a constant state of triage, taking care of her children, not thinking of herself. To support her girls, Dawn cleans houses for a living, but her domesticity ends right there. She can't stand to cook. But Dawn's going to have to get creative. The lady with dreadlocks has chosen the vegetarian diet. She says the Dateline Challenge is just what she needs, a rut buster.
How will they do it?
So there are the five different methods of losing weight, five dieters and eight months to slim down for their 25th reunion. Read their stories below: