Roger Adams was a chubby adolescent. And Lou Allen, his junior high physical education instructor in Council Bluffs, Iowa, thought it was a such a disgrace that he hounded Adams to do something about it.
'He was like a drill sergeant,' recalls Adams, now 42 and general marketing manager of Buick. 'So I decided to take up running.' He hasn't stopped running - or exercising - since.
'When I saw I could shape my body, that made an impact on me,' Adams says. 'Once I started losing weight, I discovered I could wear better fashions - and meet women.'
He has busy days overseeing marketing and advertising at Buick. But he manages to exercise a minimum of three days a week. During the winter he uses either a Nordic Track or a stationary bicycle while he watches TV at home. Nicer weather takes him outside to run. 'Working out is a stress-reliever,' he says. 'It helps clear my mind.'
Adams spends about 25 minutes on the activities, at moderate intensity. He used to work out at very intense levels but dialed back after he learned his body burns fat more effectively by exercising at a lower intensity and lower heart rate.
He also re-engineered his diet. The result: Adams lost 25 pounds over the past nine months and now tips the scales at a svelte 167 pounds.
The diet, which Adams started nine months ago, is controversial. It's an almost pure-protein-and-fat diet (mostly meat) that calls for no more than 35 grams of carbohydrates, including fruits and veggies. Even Adams' doctor is apprehensive.
But Adams says he feels better. 'I have more energy, my cholesterol is down, and I haven't had a cold,' he says. He takes a lot of vitamin supplements to make up for the lost nutrients he normally would get from the carbohydrate group. He plans to test the diet for one year but admits he may modify it after that because 'a rigid diet is hard to maintain.'
Exercise and diet have continued to interest Adams since his teen-age days in Iowa. Indeed, he was president of Weight Watchers International from 1992 until 1994. He still gets a kick out of logging his exercise frequency, intensity, duration and weight changes on his computer.