Kenny Wright is still Portsmouth's most visible citizen. He's everywhere, it seems. But his constituents have been seeing less of the mayor these days - 40 pounds less.
Some months ago, Hizzoner put himself - and the whole city - on a diet. Wright aims to lose 100 pounds ("My doctor says I need to lose 200 pounds") and hopes the city's 96,000 folks drop a collective half-million as part of his "Get Healthy Portsmouth" crusade.
When the mayor went public with his initiative, he didn't just tip the scale. He broke it. He weighed 423 pounds.
After her breast cancer surgery in May, the doctors told Marleen Bremermann to wait at least a week before resuming her exercise regimen.
She waited a week. Exactly.
Seven days later, the 58-year-old Bremermann was back in the gym doing her three-times-a-week conditioning program with a personal trainer and pounding out 2,000 calories a week on the elliptical.
"It was a long week. I could hardly wait to get back," said Bremermann, operations manager for American Turbocharger, a company her husband Willie co-owns.
Patrick Walsh is one of those "lives to eat" guys.
Especially pizza. A self-proclaimed "pizza junkie," he can make a large pepperoni and green pepper disappear in a matter of minutes.
"It's the Italian in me on my mom's side of the family," said Walsh, who heads up Metro Communications' Vacation Channel arm in downtown Hampton. "I just got off a three-day tear."
Walsh, 29, has learned that you can have your pizza and eat it, too. If it's "salad pizza" and you work out hard.
Reza Hashampour's business was growing. The problem was so was the boss. 260, 270, 280...
Finally, when he tipped the scales at 284 pounds in January 2010, Hashampour decided, "Enough."
"I was headed for a heart attack or stroke," said the founder and CEO of Polaris Asset Corp. in Virginia Beach. "I was working out regularly and still gaining. I knew I had to make some serious lifestyle changes."
The little voice would pop into Judy Hamann's head from time to time - "Do a triathlon." |
Hamann, who was 30 pounds overweight and hadn't been swimming - "wallowing is more like it" - in more than 30 years, would answer, "No way."
"I was a 'social exerciser.' I would go to the gym and get on the elliptical trainer for 45 minutes and talk to my girlfriends the whole time," said Hamann who is president of Next Steps Resourcing Inc., which provides marketing and development strategies to small businesses.
Those are Kevin Kordek's arms. |
We're not talking about the muscular pair attached to his body. |
There's that bulging set of biceps that adorn the statue of legendary Virginia Beach fitness guru John Wareing that stands at 17th Street and the Boardwalk.
Kordek, CEO and president of A-Active Termite and Pest Control in Virginia Beach, posed as the "perfect model" to capture Wareing's arms.
At a callow 23, Michael Burns isn't old enough to get too far out of shape. But he got close once. And that was enough.
After he put away his lacrosse stick to concentrate on academics at Christopher Newport University, Burns, now an investment executive for Lions Bridge Financial in Newport News, heard Big Macs and fries calling his name.
"I got up to my all-time high of 225 pounds," said the 6-foot-4 Burns. "It was not a good feeling. I gained about 15 pounds but it felt like 50."
Who has time to sleep?
Not Marian Bear Ticatch. It's not much after 4 most mornings when Ticatch is up and into her stretching routine.
"Then, I stretch some more," said the grandmother of eight. "I've recently started hanging from a door. I heard that's good for you."
After that, Ticatch hoists some weights and does some core exercises. She finishes up her before-sunrise workout by popping on the elliptical trainer for 20 minutes.
"I don't have time for more than 20 minutes, but I'm going faster and farther all the time."
Pierce Tyler is hoping his workouts will take him to new heights. // On April 3, Tyler hopes to climb 50 flights of stairs at Step Up, a stair-climbing competition to benefit The Up Center, which provides social services to local residents.
Last year, Tyler huffed and puffed up the 25 flights - that's 580 steps, if you're counting - of Dominion Tower in Norfolk. This time, he's going for a double dip of 50. Contestants can opt to climb 25, 50 or 100 flights at Dominion Tower.
HARDLY A DAY goes by when Ben Dumire isn't asked "The Question," as he's come to call it.
"Hey, Ben, how'd you do it?"
How did Ben Dumire go from 197 pounds to 132, trade in those 38-inch waist pants for 29s and reduce his pain medications from eight a day to two?
"It isn't rocket science," said the quality assurance analyst for Ferguson Enterprises in Newport News. "I started going to the gym and eating better."