Williams wins race â " on and off the track

Staff reporter

Stan Williams of Marion had more than the typical reasons to lose weight. He wanted to win more races.

Well, yes, on his bicycle but also in his race car.

The stock car racer recently lost the highest percentage of weight as a participant in the countywide Biggest Loser competition sponsored by Greenhaw Pharmacy of Hillsboro.

Ninety-seven pounds in four months was what the 40-something Marion County native lost in the program.

How did he do it?

"I didn't eat much and exercised a lot," Stan said with a laugh.

He used a diet he found on the Internet, eating about 1,100 calories per day, primarily vegetables, fruit, and protein.

Stan could be found at the Marion Wellness Center, particularly in the early mornings, working out on an elliptical or rowing machine, burning calories and sweating off pounds.

"During the first two to three months, I exercised twice a day for two hours. During the last month I exercised once a day in the mornings for two hours," he said.

The only "drug" he took were multi-vitamins. Otherwise he did it all on his own by watching what he ate and exercising like a fiend.

An athlete in high school and college, Stan is at the weight he was as a college cross-country runner.

His motivation for this incredible fete was to feel better, wear clothes that fit, and oh, yes, the prize money. But another huge factor was his race car.

Stan explained that the drag car and driver cannot weigh more than 3,000 pounds.

"I spent money on light-weight car parts to keep that weight where it was supposed to be," Stan said. Now with the car being 97 pounds lighter in the coupe, he can add weight as needed to the car to give it better balance.

Another good thing about being in shape, Stan said, is the reduction of stress on his body.

"My knees used to swell up when I tried to do anything strenuous," he said. "It sure makes running around or jogging around the parking lot a lot easier."

These days, he wants to lose a few more pounds and maintain a lean physique. He's following a training diet for athletes, not so much to lose more weight, but to become more muscular. He rides a bicycle 20 to 40 miles per day, riding a stationary bicycle indoors when it's cold or wet, and outdoors otherwise.

Stan participated in the Tour de Florence four or five years ago and won it. He participated in it this past weekend and, yes, he won it.

"I'm in a lot better shape now than I was back then," he said.

A heart monitor is an important part of Stan's gear when he exercises. He's noticed that his resting heart beat used to be 70 beats per minute, now it's 45. When he's working out, he tries to keep it below 150 or 170 when he's riding his bike.

In the beginning for weight loss, he didn't push it as hard but exercised for longer periods of time.

"If I pushed too hard one day, I was tired the next day," he said.

To maintain this weight, Stan knows he can't revert back to his old habits.

"This is a lifestyle change," Stan said. "It has to be in order for me to keep it off. There's no way to eat ice cream and keep the weight off."