Friday, July 07, 2006

Weight loss plan: I'll mow your lawn for free

Darrell Nelson of Coon Rapids, Minnesota is a man with a lawnmower and a dream. He wants to lose 30 to 50 pounds, but he has had trouble in the past adhering to an exercise program. However, if he makes a commitment to another person, he tends to stick to it, he said.

A possible solution to Nelson's weight problem came to him while mowing his lawn this summer.

"I get done and I'm sweating like a pig, and I go: God, I should be able to do a couple lawns a week and I could probably lose a few more pounds," said Nelson, a former power lifter who's about 5 feet 9 and 258 pounds.

His solution was to offer lawn-mowing services for free on the website Craig's List. If he were to eat better and mow a lawn per day for almost every day of the week, he figured, he would be able to keep an exercise program going.

"This is no joke or gimmick," he wrote. "I need to lose weight. I have struggled on sticking to exercise programs, including just walking, for quite a while now. ... I need to find four other lawns to mow in the Coon Rapids area."

Nelson was contacted by the Star Tribune North weekly section on Wednesday. Since then, he said, he has fielded calls from WCCO-TV, his family, strangers, a hardware store that potentially wants to use him in an ad- even some women asking him out.

"It's unbelievable. My life has been turned upside down, man, unbelievable," he said. "I was planning on doing five lawns: Mine plus four others. Now, I'm doing six lawns: Mine plus five others. ... The response I've had was amazing. ... I had a phone call from a guy in Iowa just this morning. ... And I've been asked out by three women. It's nuts. ... I was just trying to do some yards and lose some weight, and it just -- voila -- away it went." Article here.

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