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Prime Time: Bank executive shed pounds through discipline

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
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Charles V. Wait goes for a run in his Saratoga Springs neighborhood.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Charles V. Wait goes for a run in his Saratoga Springs neighborhood.

— When Charles V. Wait, president of Adirondack Trust Co., was approaching his 60th birthday, he was 50 pounds overweight.

His knees bothered him, and he didn’t enjoy some outdoor activities as much as he once did.

That was in 2010. By the time he turned 60, he had lost the 50 pounds by counting calories.

“It was eye-opening. We burn less than 3,000 calories a day,” Wait said.

In order to lose the weight he wanted he found that he had to keep his daily caloric intake below 2,000 calories.

Wait said he had an epiphany at the local Stewart’s Shop.

“I love milkshakes,” Wait said. He is especially fond of Stewart’s shakes.

But a milkshake contains 1,000 calories, more than half his allowed food intake for one day.

“Every time I looked at a milkshake, I realized that I had to climb Buck Mountain [in Lake George] to work it off,” he joked.

Wait uses his iPhone to track his calories. “You can’t cheat that way,’ Wait said.

As he began limiting calories, he stepped up his jogging and weightlifting. He also started walking the quarter-mile to his office every day, regardless of the weather.

“The first month was very difficult,” Wait said about his calorie counting and exercise regimen.

He said experts say it takes 30 days to change your habits.

Eating more than he should at dinner was a problem, he said, because he couldn’t work off the calories before going to bed.

He hikes in the Adirondacks and, in the winter, does downhill and cross-country skiing. During the summer, he and his family enjoy sailing off the coast of Newport, R.I., in a 28-foot Trimaran (triple hull) sailboat.

Charles and Candace Wait, program director at Yaddo on Union Avenue, have three grown children: Charles Jr,, Christopher, and Sascha.

Wait also renewed his love of motorcycles in recent years.

After Wait graduated from Cornell University in early 1970s, he rode his motorcycle, a 200cc Suzuki, from Saratoga Springs to Washington, D.C. “in the pouring rain.” He got a job in a fast food restaurant in Washington that summer and attended some of the Watergate hearings then in progress.

When he married and had children, he pledged not to ride a motorcycle until the children had grown up and left the house. So five years ago, he started looking at Harley-Davidsons.

“I wasn’t sure if I could ride it,” Wait said.

He still had his motorcycle license, so he took a Harley for a test ride. He was hooked.

How was he able to keep the 50 pounds off over the past year and a half?

“It’s education and discipline. It’s also about priorities,” Wait said. “That has to become your priority every day. Every day this is what I am going to do.”

Free calorie counters are available from websites such as www.acaloriecounter.com or www.fitwatch.com. The free A Calorie Counter allows people to search the USDA food nutrition database in the quickest and easiest format it has ever been made available in, according to the website www.acaloriecounter.com.

Wait currently jogs between 15 and 20 miles each week. He lifts weights on the days he doesn’t run. He will run 5.5 miles in one session, four times a week.

“I like to run longer distances,” Wait said. He said he has run two marathons over the years.

 
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