PORTSMOUTH -- The larger-than-life Portsmouth mayor, Kenneth Wright, set an ambitious goal last year - to drop 100 pounds in one year.

Wright is 6'2' tall. In January 2013, his doctor told him he was morbidly obese at more than 400 pounds.

Wright eschewed help fromfancy gyms and personaltrainers. Hedecided to do iton his own by simply walking briskly around his neighborhood before work, walking around downtownPortsmouth at lunch and participatingin numerous charity walks around Hampton Roads.

The walker-in-chief felt it was important to show constituentsthat fitness can be free.

His hard work paid off. By November 2013, Wright haddropped 67 pounds.

Then came Christmas and days of snow. Wright could not resist holiday treats and he compounded the problem by not working out during the bad weather.

Today, on April 1, Mayor Wright checked in at369 pounds. That'san overall weight loss of 53 pounds, but a 14-pound gain since the beginning of winter.

At his doctor's office in Chesapeake, Wright said he was disappointed he did not meet the goal, but he is still proud he was able to drop a substantial amount of weight.

With improved weather in the forecast, Wright says he is back on the wagon, eating healthy foods and taking regular walks.

He says he will drop 50 pounds by the end of the year. That's an ambitious goal, but his doctor, Alison Skinner of Bon Secours, says that will be the beginning. Wright was told he needs to drop a total of 200 pounds.

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