Roseville’s biggest loser

Extreme regime helps melt off pounds, inspire confidence
By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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It’s one thing to want to lose weight just to look better; it’s a different ball game to do it to save your life. But for Ronnie Warren, who has lost 113 pounds since July 2007, getting rid of so much weight saved him both physically and mentally. One year ago the 45-year-old Roseville resident weighed 292 pounds. But he wasn’t always overweight. Born and raised in Manhattan, Warren said he was always used to being physically fit. He carried so much extra poundage for only about seven years. It began from the time he was disabled in a work-related accident in 2000. He entered a deep depression and become dependent on pain medication for his injuries. In 2004 the death of his beloved mother, Pat, who lost her battle to cancer at the age of 63, put him over the edge. “She was such a big part of my life,” Warren said in his New York accent. “My mom always smiled when I came home and opened the door. She was there for me for everything. “I really went downhill after she died. I was taking 300 Vicodin a month, feeling so sorry for myself and way beyond depression,” he said. The wake-up call for Warren came in July of last year when his doctor told him his blood pressure was 215 over 185. Warren knew if he didn’t make some changes in his life he would soon die. “Something inside said I needed to prove the doctors wrong,” Warren said. So Warren began to walk. “The first day I only walked a block, I was pooped out,” he said. “The second day my back locked up on me and I had to go to the hospital.” The pain of the injury he said was caused while working for the Roseville City School District was acting up as he tried to begin his workout regime. Warren said he had fallen while employed as a school custodian, causing him to undergo back surgery because of damage to discs in his back. But even the extreme pain and the insertion of pins, screws, rods and cages in his back didn’t cause Warren to lose sight of his fitness and weight-loss goal. He said he now runs 10 miles each day throughout his Roseville neighborhood. “I don’t care how much pain I am sometimes in. I just get up and do it,” he said. Once the 10 miles are complete Warren said he has a bran muffin and juice for breakfast and then it’s off to the gym to continue his workout. Warren is a member at Roseville Health and Fitness Center on Lead Hill Boulevard in Roseville. He said he tried a variety of fitness centers and this is the one where he is most comfortable. “I’ve tried a lot of gyms,” Warren said. “This one is clean and I just like the environment. There’s all sorts of ages and everybody here helps everybody.” That’s good news for Wellness Center general manager Lisa Marrero, who along with several other center employees knows Warren by name. “Every conversation I have with Ronnie is good,” Marrero said. “He is here every day, and much longer than most. He said everything he does is because of his mom. He wants to make her proud.” Warren’s routine at the center begins with two miles on the treadmill and then 30 minutes at the punching bag. After that routine he tackles the center’s weight room. He said he added the punching bag to his workout after being inspired when he met mixed martial arts artist Urijah Faber. “I do the bag at different speeds without stopping for a half hour,” he said. “It’s good cardio and it strengthens my arms and hands. I’m here four hours every day.” In addition to his workouts Warren said he watches what he eats every day except Saturday. “That’s my cheat day,” he said. “Every Saturday I eat a pint of ice cream and a double cheeseburger. If I do cheat during the week, then after dinner I come back to the gym and work out for one hour.” Warren hopes his story of losing weight and getting healthy is one of inspiration to others who are struggling with life. He’s emphatic about self-motivation and advises anyone who is beginning an exercise regime to stick with it. “At first it will seem hard but it gets easier,” Warren said. “You just have to take out the negativity. Don’t let people tell you no. Just get out there and do it.”