PORTSMOUTH -- In recent weeks,when it comes to sharing weight loss stories, Portsmouth Mayor Kenneth Wright has been conspicuously silent on Facebook, because he says he recently hit a wall.

Wright who weighed more than 400 pounds in February, must shed 40 more pounds in his journey to drop 100 pounds in one year.If he meets that goal, Wright must shed another 100 pounds before his weight would be considered ideal.

With the holidays just around the corner, Wright says its time to kick it up a notch when it comes to exercise.

'ThisHealthy Portsmouth Initiative is about lifestyle changes, and we have to go through the seasonsand evaluate what we do. So, if you see me with a piece of chicken, slap my hand,' said Wright.

The Mayor walks four miles daily, but hisweight loss has hoveredaround 340 for the past several weeks. He has added more arm movement to his stride, but Wright wonders whether the answer is in the water. At the Portsmouth YMCA, Wright stepped in the pool to determine if he can swim even one lap.

Aquatics director JozenneLokie endorsed the effort saying swimming will work everymuscle in the Mayor's body.

'Swimming is one of the best cardiovascular exercises and it's easy on the joints, saidLokie. With lifeguards at the ready, Wright swam the width of the 25 meterpool with ease. He then swam a lapinthe pool. When the 50-year-old returned to his starting position, he concluded the water isjust what he needs to get back on track.

'That gets the heart beating, it's racing, big difference, huge difference, and that's just one lap,' said Wright.

If he is to regularlyswim laps, Wright says he has to figure out how to work the water into his busy schedule. He's due for a weigh-in with his doctor next month.


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