Originally created 07/11/00

Being in spotlight motivates Weight Loss 2000 participant



George Ball Jr. has adjusted to living his personal life in the spotlight, and he attributes some of his success to his fans.

Walking 73 pounds lighter, 10 pant sizes and two shirt sizes smaller, Mr. Ball is proud of himself and grateful for the support of all the readers who have follow his progress.

"It makes me work a little harder, walk a little faster, and run a few more steps."

Wherever he goes, people stop him to ask for tips or wish him well.

"At the mall, movies, walking at Riverwalk, I know people are watching," Mr. Ball said. "In restaurants people look to see what I'm eating, but it keeps me motivated."

On a recent Sunday, as he had breakfast with his family at Shoney's, another customer stopped him to question the plate of bacon, eggs and French toast he was carrying. Mr. Ball patiently explained that the plate was for his wife, who was holding their sleeping son. His breakfast consisted of fruit and eggs.

Some days he feels like a celebrity because of all the attention, Mr. Ball said. On Friday he was approached by a woman while walking at Riverwalk Augusta. She and others wanted to know the secret to his success.

One of his many tips was no salt.

"The first thing she said was, `I can't do that.' "

Mr. Ball uses lemon juice instead of salt on his foods. Vegetables like green beans and collard greens get doused with it for flavor. For grilled chicken and fish, he uses butter-flavor Pam cooking spray.

"One of the best things is that I'm teaching my son. He loves my grilled or baked chicken, and my green beans are his favorite food," Mr. Ball said.

About the series

The Augusta Chronicle is following four people who volunteered to go public with their battle of the bulge by participating in a weight-loss program. We offer an update on one participant's progress each Tuesday.

Today is our fifth follow-up with George Ball Jr., 30, a store manager at Heilig-Meyers Furniture Co. His beginning weight was 363 pounds. He has lost 73 pounds. He is working with Professional Health Control, Inc.

Health Tips

Weightlifting has a number of benefits in a weight-loss program. The following advice is from HealthCentral.com.

Bigger muscles can improve appearance - making the body shapelier and firmer; weightlifting makes your muscles stronger so you can do the aerobic portion of your program more intensely; increasing muscle bulk under the skin can reduce the appearance of cellulite; and the No. 1 reason is to get the after-exercise metabolic effect - more muscle burns more fat.

Reach Lisa M. Lohr at (706) 823-3332.