Thursday, August 8, 2013
Local businessman wants to KO obesity
By Michael Woods
Restaurant owner Dimitrios Verteouris doesn't sell garbage at his three places, in Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, and Cobble Hill.
His Nature's Grill menus don't feature the fat-laden caloric counts you might see at a fast-food joint, but nevertheless, the businessman found his own waistline expanding over the years. He knew he needed to attend to it when he hit 327 pounds. So Verteouris tweaked his eating regimen and got serious about exercise. He took up a boxing workout and today, after six months, he's down to 220 pounds.
Here is a short video in which he goes deeper into what pushed him to trim down.
In fact, the Bayside/Flushing resident got so pumped about his success, he started a charitable outreach program, Knockout Obesity. At the Boys Club of New York in Manhattan, KO Obesity hosted a boxing program, featuring professionals like former WBA welterweight champion Paul Malignaggi and Gary Stark Jr.
Kids from 6 to 17 did shadowboxing, pad work and heard positive messaging from the fighters. They broke camp Wednesday.
"It went so well, they are looking to do a year-round program," Verteurois told me. "It was big hit, and we will continue the partnership."
The founder of the non-profit, who said he's aiming to enter the 2014 N.Y. Golden Gloves, said he has two children, daughters age 5 and 3, and is sad for them to see sugary temptation everywhere. Marketers look to lure our kids into eating unhealthy choices, he said, and Verteouris is sick of it.
"Kids eat fast food and soda and snacks, and they get to a pre-diabetic stage," he said. "It's not fair. They're young kids, and don't know how to make decisions on their own yet. That's why I try to bring boxing to everybody. It's not just about punching. It teaches a lot of discipline, it takes heart, desire and focus."
Not to mention you will burn off those burgers and shakes in efficient fashion with a tough gym workout.
Malignaggi said he is thrilled being part of the Knockout Obesity campaign.
"Seeing my good friend Dimitri overcome obesity is an inspiration," he said. "Boxing builds endurance and discipline, and requires good eating habits to fuel your fight. Dimitri has taken his personal quest further, teaching young kids and teens in the community how to box and eat right. To see them at The Boys Club of New York thrive under his mentorship is really powerful."