Walking to fitness: Weight-loss success story

At 327 pounds, 46-year-old George Batch met the woman of his dreams and was ready to change his life.

One year later, Batch is more than 100 pounds thinner. He dumped the plump by walking on the treadmill.

"I couldn't walk outside," he said. "There were too many distractions. I'd start and then stop talk to people along the way. I wasn't getting anything accomplished.

"Last year, I started at a speed of 1.5 miles at 20 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes on a stationary bicycle every day. After the first week I had lost about six or seven pounds and the following week, I lost another three pounds. That motivated me to go a little faster and stay on a little longer.

"Every week I would kick it up one notch and stay on an additional five minutes, and I gradually continued to increase my time and speed. I started a week before Christmas in 2004 and so far, I've lost 114 pounds."

Now, he walks on the treadmill for 2.5 hours a day at a speed of 3.7 miles at a 13.5 incline. Batch hopes to get down to 200 hundred pounds. He also made changes in his diet in an effort to reach his goal. He's gone from a size 50 pants to a size 36.

Batch and Darlene Byrne were married in July with Batch weighing a pound shy of the 100-pound goal just days before the wedding. He managed to reach the mark by his wedding day.

He said his mother also motivated him to lose weight. She lost about 40 pounds on the Weight Watchers program.

Words of encouragement

He offers words of encouragement for others: "First of all when you start, don't overdo it. You have to take your time and do things gradually. Even if you only go and walk 10 minutes a day, it's more than you were doing before. If it's only three days a week, it's more than what you were doing before and it's going to help you out."

For the first time, Batch went parasailing this summer and wore a pair of Speedos.

"Losing weight has allowed me to take my life back," he said. "Now I can do things that I couldn't do for the last 15 or 20 years. Before, I would make excuses about doing things, because I was embarrassed to go places, but now I have my life and my confidence back."

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