Local News

Man Finds Success In Keeping Weighty Resolution

Posted January 6, 2005 2:05 a.m. EST

— So you say this year will be different -- that you will actually keep your New Year's resolutions? A man who started a year-long quest to lose 100 pounds did.

There are plenty of ways to lose weight fast. What is significant about Marc Erickson's story is he did it the old-fashioned way. He went on a sensible diet and stuck to it. Then he made exercise a habit and the pounds melted off.

The day came in October 2003. Erickson decided he needed to lose 100 pounds.

"When I started this I weighed 318 pounds. I'm 6 foot 5. I really started to feel the pain of the weight. My knees started to hurt. It was hard to get up stairs," he said.

Erickson had a plan to go on Weight Watchers and to finally put his YMCA membership to good use.

"They had the facilities that I needed and the staff that was really helpful and friendly," he said.

Every day, Erickson either swam laps or rode his bike. He kept a record of everything he ate -- three meals a day, low-fat, single portions.

"There is a simple side to this, which is, if you eat something and you don't burn the calories, you're going to gain weight," he said.

If you burn off more than you take in, the pounds drop off. When Erickson's chart showed the weight loss stalling, he increased his workout intensity. Twelve months later, he lost roughly a third of his weight.

"He had a wake-up call and there was something that pushed him and motivated him to go to that next level," said Becky Langton, Kerr YMCA Wellness director. "But the truth is, do something. Do something more than you're doing today. That'll improve your health."

Langton preaches safety for gym newcomers. She said start with a health assessment and let the staff teach you about exercise options, the way Erickson did.

Erickson also did not expect to solve years of weight problems overnight.

"So again, gradual was the way to do it. Slow and steady won the race," Erickson said.

How often should you exercise in a week? Some experts say at least 30 minutes a day, three days a week. Others said most days of the week.

The key is to begin by doing more than you are currently doing and building on it.