Fed up with 20 years of bad living that left him weighing 400 pounds, one Southern California man has taken responsibility for his health into his own hands — or rather, onto his feet. You may have heard of Steve Vaught, the “Fat Man Walking,” who set out from his Oceanside home in April of last year to walk all the way to New York City.

“Nuts you say?” reads his personal manifesto. “Well, maybe. But how nutty is spending a fortune on miracle weight loss drugs or fad diets that never seem to have lasting results or dangerous surgeries that cost about the same as a luxury car?” Displaying some rare common sense in our hype-maddened world, Vaught sagely observes that “there is no other option but physical exertion to truly get back into shape.

The Fat Man Walking has no need of a trial lawyer to take control of his life. Instead of suing his favorite restaurants, Vaught realized that he alone is responsible for the calories that enter and leave his body. There’s no secret to his health plan: he just walks a lot.

Now in Ohio, Vaught has lost at least 114 pounds. The Observer (that’s right, a British paper — his story has gone international) recorded his reaction: “One hundred and fourteen pounds is a whole girlfriend!

Walking across the country is a pretty drastic weight-loss solution, but consider that — in Vaught’s own words — it took “20 years to get into this situation.” Do most people — FatManCycling.com notwithstanding — have the time to retrace Vaught’s steps? Certainly not, but very few people need such dramatic self-help in the first place.

While it’s determination that has kept Vaught moving all these months, it’s common sense that has helped him stay on track:

Don’t expect that since you have decided to eat tofu pizza, sprouts, and wheatgrass smoothies that the pizza parlor is going to close up and go away. You must find a happy medium between healthy eating, correct portions and frequency, and living in an imperfect world where the corner taco shop somehow seems to smell better than the tofu and sawdust emporium does.