“I just want to say to all those people who want to make a change out there is that the only thing stopping you from reaching your Goals is you. The past 15 months has really made me a believer in the saying, “There is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it.” Believe me, when I started I had my doubts as to how long I would stick with it myself, but success is addicting, with each small goal I reached I wanted to do more and continue to feel that way. Be true to yourself and never give up.”
Hi everyone!!! Hope you had a great weekend!!! Today I wanted to share my friend Mike’s amazing transformation, in the last 15 months he has lost over 100 pounds and gained back his health!!! I am inspired by his changes and know you will be too!!!!
I was going to write this post based on my interview of Mike, but I feel his own words are far more motivating than my interpretation.
What inspired you to become healthier and lose weight?
Health Reasons, I had been overweight for a good 15 Years and my doctors had been urging me to take action. I was taking medication for high blood pressure, fatty liver, and high cholesterol & triglycerides. These are health issues that a 38-yr old male should not have to face. I was finally seeing the toll it was taking on me when I participated in the Corporate Challenge in 2011, I barley walked the 3.5 mile course at Jones Beach in over an hour, and it took me a week to recover. The Corporate Challenge is something that should have been a slam dunk for somebody even in my condition, so it was quite a reality check for me.
What are your current goals and how close are you to achieving them?
I am always setting new goals for myself. I tend to set small attainable short-term goals with the overall long term-goal of becoming a healthy, active individual. When I was doing the Corporate Challenge in 2011 I set the goal of losing 100 pounds and RUNNING the course in 2012. To date (15 months later) I have now lost 122 pounds, and RAN the 2012 Corporate Challenge in just under 35 minutes.
Are you following a particular diet that help you to achieve your weight loss goals?
If I said yes, the people at Weight Watchers would hunt me down, LOL. I joined Weight Watchers in October of 2011 and I religiously follow that program. I had tried multiple diets in the past, they would start out great, but I would give up once my weight loss plateaued. This time I knew I needed something that would get me through those times, Weight Watchers has done that for me, (I have plateaued a few times since I‘ve been with them) and it I was the best thing for me. I truly enjoy the meeting environment and I have met a lot of great people in the process. It’s not so much a diet for me, it is a lifestyle change.
In addition to Weight Watchers I know that running has also helped you accomplish your goal. Why did you start running?
I had run in high school, and had great success with it, I was always sorry that I had never formally pursued it. Plus, going back to my goal of running the Corporate Challenge I knew that I would eventually have to start doing it again. I started by walking and after a month or so of walking I started running for one minute at the end of my walk, then the next time I added another minute, and another after that to the point where I was able to run a mile, one mile became two and so on. I kept up this regimen to come to the point where I was just able to complete the Great South Bay 10K in 56:55. This was a great accomplishment and I strive to continue evolving as a runner.
What are your long term goals for weight loss, running?
I am almost at the end of my weight-loss journey, when I started in July of 2011, I was 307 pounds and as of my last weigh in (first week of October 2012) I weighed 184 Pounds. My long term weight loss goal is to maintain my weight at 180 pounds once it is all said and done. My immediate running goal is to do a Half-Marathon. I just completed a 10K but keeping with my philosophy I have decided to take my running to the next level and I signed up for a half-marathon in Austin, Texas in February 2013. After that I would like to do about 4 or 5 more half’s in the next year with the Ultimate Goal of running The New York City Marathon in 2014 0r 2015.
How do you deal with nights out, vacation, etc??
The one thing that I have learned during my weight loss journey is that you cannot deprive yourself, and that you still have to live your life. When I go out I still love to have a loaded bacon cheeseburger with the works and a beer, I treat it as a reward for the work I do during the week. The big difference is that it used to be every night for me, now I am smarter, and it is only in moderation. I actually put some thought into the things that I eat now, and the “Junk Food” that I eat is more of the exception rather than the norm.
As far as vacation goes, to me it just means more time to workout :). Just because you are resting or in another city doesn’t mean you should give your workouts or habits a rest. On a recent trip to Chicago to visit some friends I was up every morning no later than 7am. It also helped that one friend was a marathoner and the other was a fellow Weight Watchers member, but I was able to do a lot of the things that I do when I am home. I even ran a 5K while I was there. If anything, I loved running in an area that I had never run in before, and I even ran a 5K while I was there!
What is your favorite indulgence??
Gosh there are so many! But my favorites are bacon cheeseburgers, pizza, Chinese food, a good steak, and BBQ restaurants. Might I add that I have not given up any one of those things on my weight loss journey, but what HAS changed is the frequency in which I have them. I have never really been a big snacker and I won’t say that I was an over eater, it’s just that I always ate things that were no good for me and I ate them all the time. Now I understand the meaning of Moderation!!!
What advice would you have for others trying to lose weight and make lifestyle changes?
START SMALL AND AIM BIG!
I always tell myself, “It didn’t go on overnight and it won’t come off overnight. I never realized what a difference a few small changes in my life could do to better my health. Constantly set goals for yourself, but make them realistic, don’t try and climb the mountain in one day. Once you see yourself reaching your goals it makes you want to keep going to the next level, always challenge yourself to do more than you did the day before. I had wanted to be able to run a 5K again, it seemed like such a daunting task, but through commitment and effort I was able to take that distance and turn it from a challenge to something I feel like I miss when I don’t do it.