A Go For Bold Success Story

A Go For Bold Success Story

Larry Bayer knew it was time to do something about his health, so he started one step at a time. Today he has walked off more than 50 pounds — even during a pandemic.

As a way to encourage more people to lose weight and embrace a healthy lifestyle, Healthy Washington County has launched Go for Bold. This community-wide initiative is aimed to promote healthy lifestyles for residents of Washington County. The goal is for the community to lose 1 million pounds by 2030.

Bayer is on his way to contributing to that goal.

The 70-year-old Hagerstown resident quit smoking 30 years ago but his weight started to slowly creep up.

“I never really noticed it. It was like a gradual build-up. Then it got to the point I was pretty lackadaisical about it,” he said, sitting in Meritus Medical Center’s lobby where he’s been volunteering for three years after retiring from the City of Hagerstown after 30 years.

In November 2019, Bayer had a physical with his primary care provider,  Matthew Kearney, PA-C, who told him that the 252 pounds he was carrying were affecting more than his pant’s size.

“My blood pressure was high. My triglycerides were not stellar,” Bayer said.

By journaling what foods he ate and using a fitness tracker, Bayer decided to start walking at Robinwood Professional Center.

“At first, I could do one lap of one floor,” he said. “Eventually, I could do several laps of both floors. Then I moved outside.”

As he increased his miles, Bayer’s daughter Julie Bayer-Vile suggested that he join her for an annual 10K in Richmond, Virginia, that she and her husband, DJ Vile, ran every year. The race set for March 2020 had waves for walkers to participate, so Bayer set a goal of 6.2 miles in 90 minutes.

Although COVID-19 forced the run to be postponed, Bayer kept walking.

“It got to the point I was doing 6 to 7 miles six days a week,” he said.

By July 2020, Bayer hit his 50-pound weight loss goal. In September 2020, Bayer, along with his daughter and son-in-law, entered the 10K. It took Bayer the 90 minutes he had hoped for to finish the race.

Today, he continues to walk and sees the benefits. He’s dropped from a 42-inch waist to a 38-inch waist. He went from having to take two high blood pressure medications to one with a lower dose. He’s joined a gym and likes to golf. Through it all, he said, his wife Susan has been his biggest cheerleader. He said he’s proud of himself.

“I have a really deep sense of accomplishment,” he said.

To get involved with Go for Bold, go to https://healthywashingtoncounty.com/go-for-bold and sign a pledge. Then go to the Healthy Washington County Facebook page for updates.