Sandusky resident Ebony Marks wants to get under 200 pounds in the next six months.
While that is a big goal for a woman who is pushing 300 pounds, if she applies the same tenacity to her weight-loss regimen as she did to get chosen for the FIT Challenge.she just might succeed.
Marks is the first ever contestant chosen by the readers. She competed against two other applicants on the FIT Facebook page and secured more than 900 likes to earn her spot at NOMS Fitness Center with personal trainer Shawn Zahel.
Marks worked for days to get her story out there.
“I want to be 200 pounds or under 200. I want to see the ‘1,’” she said. “I have tried everything to lose weight. I really, really just want to lose weight and I want to do it the right way this time.”
Marks said she is an impulsive buyer who will get the latest exercise video to lose weight, but she never gets around to using it. The same goes for her diet.
“I can’t blame it on my kid. I have always been chunky, but I gained more after him, of course. This is the weight I was when I was 9 months pregnant with him and I was already overweight with him.”
Mark is 292 pounds and stands 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches. When she met with Zahel and NOMS, she thought she weighed less.
While she doesn't like to make excuses, her lifestyle has attributed to her obesity.
Marks is a busy single mother. She works at Wee Care Day Care, in addition to Kalahari. She is also in the cosmetology program at Sandusky Career Center.
“When I am working in day care, a lot of the snacks are processed. They are salty. I have a 4-year-old who wants snacks all the time. The stuff he eats, I eat with him."
Marks said she wants to improve her son’s diet as she works on hers. He tends to throw away the healthier foods when she is looking away.
“We went to Chipotle and I got him some colorful stuff and he actually ate it. He usually just likes burger or fries,” she said.
Marks said having a personal trainer is going to help so much because she tends to discourage herself and lose focus.
“It is going to motivate me more. I need someone to keep me on track. Usually when I have someone helping me, I will stay more focused.”
She also thinks being featured in the paper and online will keep her accountable.
When people are looking at me, I cannot lose,” she said.
Weight: 292.2 pounds
Body fat percentage: 49.5
Waist: 55 inches
Hips: 61 inches