HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. — Learning that his weight had topped 300 was a shock to Nick Wright of Hendricks County. The father of two knew that he had added weight, but weighing 306 pounds at 5'10" was the heaviest he had ever been.
"It was just the kind of realization that I needed to make a lifestyle change and better myself physically and mentally," Wright said.
It was February 2020, just weeks before the global pandemic. He ordered a basic stationary bike on Amazon.
"It took me longer to get ready for the ride than I could actually ride. Getting the water bottle, getting the bike situated where I wanted to get a towel. All that took longer than when I was on the bike, which I can only go for about 10 minutes, but you have to start somewhere," Wright said.
He gradually added time and increased resistance. Within months, he was biking for an hour a day, six days a week. The weight loss happened quickly at the beginning.
"The first month or two I was losing 15 or 20 pounds per month," Wright said.
The pounds continued to steadily drop and when summer started, neighbors noticed the change and invited Wright to ride with them outside. The group took different routes together on the west side. Wright even completed a few 50-mile rides.
His liked the progress, but also the sense of community, so when winter rolled around, Wright started cycling in a studio on the northwest side.
"There's people in all different phases of their fitness journey, people who are just starting people who have been cycling or doing indoor cycling for years, and you can all be in the same class. You can all enjoy the same — the same ride, the same class — and it's just such an enjoyable community to be a part of," Wright said.
Wright is 37 and said a consistent cycling routine is helping him maintain his weight loss.
"When I stepped on the scale in February, I was 306 pounds. I now weigh 170 — so 136 pounds that I lost. It took about 18 months," he said.
It's a side gig and Wright said it's an investment in being his best.
"I need to be healthy so that I can be here to be a part of my family, support my family, be able to enjoy things with my family. The motivation has to start from within, to be your best self."
Wright said the key to success is to find an activity you enjoy. He tried running, weightlifting and other activities that he really didn't like, but he kept looking and cycling did the trick.
"Another important thing when anyone else is going to start a fitness journey is to make sure you listen to your body. You're going to get sore, you're going to get burnout," he said. "It's OK to give yourself a break. Make sure you get back on the next day. Give your body a break, then get back to it."