Half-Marathon Training Helped This Guy Lose 118 Pounds

Half-Marathon Training Helped This Guy Lose 118 Pounds
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Before I decided to make a change, my life was pretty stagnant. I didn’t do anything active. I just worked, ate, slept, watched movies, and hung out. I was perfectly happy not doing anything. And boy did I love to eat! I didn’t really care what it was—I would eat it.

It wasn’t uncommon for me to get double burgers and fries or a couple of burritos from places like Taco Bell. Since I didn’t necessarily grow up fat, I never struggled with self-confidence or self-image. Even at 315 pounds, I thought I looked good. However, I did notice that I would get out of breath doing little things, like tying my shoes. I didn’t sleep well and snored a lot.

The moment I decided I need to change was June 11th, 2014, when my wife and I found out we were going to have our first baby. I didn’t want to be a fat dad, and I wanted to be able to do things with my child. More than anything I wanted to be alive and healthy for my son. I needed something bigger than myself to keep me going, so I focused on my children.

When I first started trying to lose weight, I looked at several different diets and tried a few along the way. I quickly realized that didn’t work for me. They were short-term fixes—not long-term solutions.

Instead, I changed my lifestyle. My wife and I started to cook more meals at home and stopped eating fast food—except for Chick-fil-A! I focused on portion control and making better decisions. I still ate pizza and burgers, but instead of eating a whole pizza, I would eat half a pizza.

Luckily my wife was already a runner, so I started to run with her. I signed up for my first half-marathon and didn’t really train for it. Ultimately, I didn’t complete.

I didn’t like that, so I signed up for another one. I trained with my wife this time and that was great motivation. She would run so much faster and lose me pretty quickly. I am a very competitive person and didn’t like that—so I trained harder.

We got to marathon weekend at Disney World, and once we took off, my wife quickly outpaced me. I completed with a finish time of 3 hours and 14 minutes for my first half-marathon. My gorgeous wife beat me by about 20 mins. My current personal record for my half-marathon is 1 hour and 47 minutes.

A good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do a sprint triathlon with him. I got on YouTube and searched how to swim and started swimming in my neighborhood pool. I trained for about six months and did my first sprint triathlon in October of 2015. At the time I weighed about 285 pounds. I completed it in 3 hours and 32 minutes and it was the hardest thing I had ever done.

From there, I went on to become an Ironman and completed my first race in October of 2017. At the time, I weighed 195 pounds. Since then, I have become passionate about helping others achieve their goals. LifeTime Fitness opened a door for me to become a run coach and a cycle instructor. I have helped many since I began there almost two years ago.

It took about two years to go from 315 to 197 pounds. Some months I would lose 10 pounds and other months I would not lose anything. At first it was really frustrating, but then I started to notice a pattern. From that point, it became easier to deal with the plateaus and struggles.

It’s incredible to feel stronger, look better, and have so much more energy. I might have had to buy new clothes due to my shrinking size, but it was totally worth the journey. Most importantly. I am creating a new lifestyle that is keeping me healthy and alive for my children.

Health Writer
Melissa Matthews is the Health Writer at Men’s Health, covering the latest in food, nutrition, and health.



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