Friday, July 07, 2006

Minnesota Man Tries The 'Lawnmower Diet'

Here's the perfect yard for that "lawnmower diet" of yours

Put yourself into the shoes of this man for just a moment.

About a week ago, he decided enough is enough and that the time had come for him to take control of his weight problem and devise a simple plan that would help him shed the pounds by increasing his exercise in conjunction with eating healthier.

So he puts an ad out on the popular goods and services web site called Craig's List offering "Free Lawn Mowing" to anyone in his hometown of Coon Rapids, Minnesota willing to let him cut their grass so he can burn some extra calories to help him with his weight loss pursuit. He was hoping to get five or so takers on his offer to help him reach his desired 50-pound weight loss goal.

Here is the ad he wrote in the "Free" section at Craig's List:

"I used to compete in powerlifting many years ago. I now lack the commitment to myself to go out and exercise. I figure if I make a commitment to someone else about mowing their lawn once a week, I will stick to it."

What happened next took this man, Darrell Nelson, completely by surprise.

Nelson said he never wanted attention, he just wants to lose weight

The life of this 5-foot, nine-inch tall, 44-year old man who had allowed himself to reach the hefty weight of 258 pounds was "turned upside down" when several reporters in the Coon Rapids, MN area saw what he was doing. So what began as a personal challenge to take his commitment to exercise and improving his health more seriously has now become a national news story that may just inspire others to start their own "lawnmower diet" as well.

Nelson said the idea just popped into his head recently while mowing his own yard.

"I was mowing my lawn one day, one of the warmer days, and I was sweating like a pig," Nelson recalled. "I thought, 'I should mow a few lawns, I could probably lose more weight.'"

Nelson said he'd like to lose 30-50 pounds and knows mowing lawns and eating better will help him get there. Now he's got something even better working for him that I bet he never knew would be a part of the deal when he placed that ad on Craig's List: ACCOUNTABILITY! He's GOT to lose the weight now! :D Too many people will be watching!

"It's a commitment to myself I don't follow through on, I've done it before," said Nelson. "This is a commitment to somebody else, then I have a tendency to follow through on it."

The outpouring of support from people all over the country wishing Nelson well in his creative weight loss endeavor has been an added bonus, just as the feverish media coverage of this man who only desires to lose weight and get healthy reached its peak.

"The first call I got was not from someone who wanted my services," Nelson said. "It was from a woman -- I think she lives in Coon Rapids somewhere -- and she said: 'I saw your ad and I just wanted to call you and commend you and give you my support.' Her and her husband struggle with their weight, too, and they fight over mowing their own lawn -- because they each want the exercise of doing it."

There was even an offer for Nelson to appear in a local hardware store ad in exchange for a brand new lawnmower. Nelson gracefully declined stating, "I have a long way to go."

Reporters and news people have been all over Nelson about his "lawnmower diet" idea, including an appearance on the national morning news program, CBS' "The Early Show."

Not surprisingly, one of Nelson's new lawn customers said he thought the ad on Craig's List was a "scam" at first and wondered what hidden agenda Nelson really had for offering free lawnmowing services.

"I thought: This is going to be a scam," said Jerry Woods, proud new recipient of FREE mowing for his yard. "But after I talked to him, I thought he was legit."

Describing the reaction he has received to his attempt to lose weight in this most peculiar way, Nelson exclaimed all the attention "is just insane."

"I'm in an onslaught of phone calls ... I never anticipated what this has turned into. I have to lose weight now. I cannot fail, now that this has gotten this big. I'm overwhelmed by it. I'm getting my 15 minutes of fame and didn't expect it. I just wanted to lose weight."

And YOU WILL, Darrell! YOU CAN DO IT!!! The story only says he wants to "eat better" by "watching his diet," but that doesn't say HOW he will eat. Might I suggest eating healthy amounts of protein and fat while reducing the consumption of sugar, white flour, processed foods, and starchy vegetables to a bare minimum or none? That's what I call livin' la vida low-carb and it worked especially well for me when I wanted to lose weight in 2004. A total of 180 pounds are now GONE FOREVER!

I like mowing lawns now that I'm a lot skinnier than when I weighed 410 pounds because now I am in better physical condition as a direct result of my daily exercise. My wife used to worry about me mowing the grass at my previous weight because I would have to stop and take a breathing break every 20-30 minutes since I would be sweating so profusely and gasping for air. It would literally take THREE HOURS for me to mow our front and back yard if my body would make it. Sometimes I had to stretch it out over a few days to get it all in and our yard is only a little more than an acre big.

Today, at 230 pounds and with a VERY healthy body, I can mow that grass straight through in one swell foop front and back yard in less than 45 minutes! Yee haw! And what a fantastic cardiovascular workout, too! WOO HOO!

As for Nelson, he is eager to get started in earnest on his weight loss journey by beginning his "lawnmower diet," although he does have one caveat about the free mowing deal.

"I won't bag and I won't do any trimming," he remarked.

LOL! I don't blame you, Darrell, because I hate doing those things, too. No weedeating, picking up branches, etc. for me neither! Besides, you don't get as good of a workout when you do those little jobs. What will burn the calories is pushing that mower WITHOUT the self-propelled motor (HINT, HINT!) that will melt the pounds away.

If for some reason Darrell Nelson comes across my blog post about his weight loss idea, then I would be happy to personally consult with him regarding that "healthy diet" he wants to do along with the extra exercise that will come from mowing 6 yards a week. The low-carb lifestyle would perfectly complement this novel approach to getting more exercise.

How about you? Is there any specific job like mowing grass that YOU would be willing to do for FREE to help yourself lose weight? We could see this idea spread like wildfire across the United States as thousands of people decide to take their health more seriously. If that happens, then we can all look back and thank Darrell Nelson for starting it all.

Regardless, BEST WISHES to you, Darrell and THANK YOU for showing others the importance of taking your weight and health problems seriously! Don't let ANYTHING stand in the way of the success I KNOW you will become. Now GO MAKE IT HAPPEN!


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