There is not much slowing down Jerry McLaughlin these days. Having lost more
than a third of his former 303 pounds and having kept it off for 13 years
McLaughlin is literally "rocking and rolling."
He "rocks" among top high school athletes year-round as a referee
in three sports: lacrosse, football, and field hockey. He is also an accomplished
public speaker in Toastmasters International.
And the "rolling" part? McLaughlin's hobby is rollerblading
and not just a little, casual roll around the block, either. McLaughlin goes
between 13 and 30 miles at a stretch, seeking out interesting trips with friends
all over the region.
"I guess I've broken out of my shell," says the soft-spoken, easygoing
50-year-old who overcame a life-long family history of obesity by undergoing gastric
restrictive surgery at NEMC's Obesity Consultation Center in 1985. Today, McLaughlin
is still involved with the Center's support groups and continues to recommend
the program to others.
"The NEMC program is so much more complete than anything else available,"
McLaughlin says. Today, McLaughlin weighs approximately 180 pounds, slightly over
the ideal weight for his size. However, his body fat content is below average,
at nine percent. "I'm overweight but under-fat," he jokes.
McLaughlin's latest endeavor is becoming a certified aerobics instructor, and
he wants to lead fitness classes for seniors. Not bad for a man who admits, "Before,
I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs."