(WJAR) — A local man is sharing dozens of pictures of his food, helping him to look at food in a whole new way.
"I kind of geek out on taking pictures of my food," said 51-year-old Curtiss James.
He said food has long been an unhealthy obsession.
"I struggled most of my adult life and about six years ago I had broken my leg," James told NBC 10.
That led to multiple back surgeries and weight gain.
"I ended up putting on about 100 pounds after that," said James ."I was very unhealthy, I had diabetes, I had high blood pressure."
At his heaviest, he tipped the scales at 385 pounds.
That's when he made a commitment, opting for a procedure at the Lifespan Center for Bariatric Surgery known as a sleeve gastrectomy.
"And that is basically removing a larger portion of your stomach, so 80 to 85%, on average, of the stomach is removed," said Kellie Armstrong, manager for Lifespan's Center for Bariatric Surgery. "It's not a quick fix, it's not a permanent fix. It's up to them to decide what they're going to do with these tools."
"You hear a lot of people say, 'Oh, you cheated, you kind of took the easy way out.' And my concept of that is, I got my life back. I got many years added to my life because I did this," added James, who is down 125 pounds.
He no longer has diabetes -- he does admit his obsession with food continues.
"Cooking before the surgery and cooking after the surgery is amazing. It was a great transformation of cooking healthy and not cooking silly things and unhealthy things," said James.
He posts what he calls his "foodtography" on a hospital-based support group Facebook page.
"We've never had anybody like Curtis' photography, these are amazing pictures. And he has these amazing recipes that he is so willingly sharing," said Armstrong.
The Center for Bariatric Surgery is considering a cookbook with his pictures and recipes as it celebrates its 10 year anniversary.
In that time, they've helped 3500 patients -- 70%, they said, keep the weight off five years later.