Williams weighed in during the first week of January at 268 pounds. At the final weigh-in, he was down to a svelte 171—a loss of 36 percent of his original body weight.
“I just got ridiculously heavy over the winter, and needed to do something,” said Williams, 44, a partner in Williams Trucking in Florence. “I heard about this contest and I figured it was a good motivational tool to get focused.”
Ironically, his drag-racing avocation was a key motivator to lose weight.
“In the class I race in, a car has to weigh 3,000 pounds,” he said. “The closer you can get to 3,000 pounds, the faster you can run—every 100 pounds is worth about a tenth of a second.
“I was about 80 pounds overweight last year, and I had bought just about every lightweight component part you can buy, and was buying a carbon-fiber front end to save 20 pounds.
“Then I was looking at myself and I said, ‘This is ridiculous.’ For the money I spent to lose 20 pounds (on the car) I could lose 60 pounds myself, easily.”
To drop the weight, Williams limited himself to a diet of 1,100 calories day, mostly fruits, vegetables and non-red meat. Twice a day, for at least an hour at a time, he exercised—primarily on an ellipitcal machine. He figured he was burning 1,000 calories per workout.
“Do the math,” he said. “It takes 3,500 calories to lose a pound. If you need 2,000 calories to survive and only eat 1,100 and work off 2,000 extra calories—that’s 3,000 a day you’re losing on the whole.”
Beyond transforming his appearance, Williams said he notices the impact of his weight loss in many aspects of his life.
“If I get a phone call at work and have to run across the parking lot to answer the phone, I’m not breathing hard and my knees don’t hurt,” he said. “Before, my knees would swell up and ache if I tried to do any strenuous activity. Now they’re strong.”
These days Williams is investing some of his competitive energy in bicycling. On Sunday he won the 40-mile Tour de Florence race.
Williams said he plans to do more bicycle racing, and will use that as motivation to continue a diet and exercise regime into the future.
As for the $1,725 prize money for winning “Biggest Loser,” Williams is looking toward his favorite past-time.
“I have my eye on some electronic parts for the race car,” he said.