Elite runners and professional triathletes make up a minority of our population. Most people are like me with little to no athletic background, who want to lose weight and become more active. After working for several years and starting a family, I found myself overweight and out of shape. I wanted to set a better example for my children by showing them a healthy lifestyle is important and that it can be done no matter how busy you are; if you make it a priority. I wanted to live long enough to see them grow up and enjoy the families they would start. I decided to change everything in my life. I ate better and joined Endurance Reno to become active. The diet change helped me shed over 60 lbs. and I started to run with my wife which neither of us had done before.
By improving my diet and running I found myself feeling better and healthier. Then with the help of Endurance Reno I became active and passionate about running, biking and swimming. Over the past four years I have raced five marathons, a half ironman triathlon and several other races. My story is not unique though and there are many who look to do the same as I have done. I’ve also included a couple great stories of individuals who went from off the couch to accomplishing things they only dreamt about in the past.
For me, losing weight came before activity. I weighed near 240lbs. I was unhealthy with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and always sick with colds. I had enough and didn’t want to die young. I made the commitment to have a healthier life and began to lose weight.
Once I locked in better nutrition and started losing weight, I challenged myself to become active. I wanted to try running. I never could before because of weight and health issues related to weight so I took it slow. I did a run walk combo until I worked up to the level of a couch to 5k run level. Once I knew I could actually run, I thought there must be a ‘coach’ to help me be a better runner. Endurance Reno came into my life.
I lost 100 lbs. and have kept it off for the past 3 years. In the beginning, I ran at about a 14:00 minute per mile pace and today I can say that I am in the 8:00-9:00 minute per mile range. I attribute both successes to commitment and passion for a healthier me. I am actually one of those runners that love running. I have added swimming and cycling too and love those as well. They are hard and you feel the workouts but I love every step of it. Why?? Because I’m investing in me and love feeling alive and healthy!
My advice to anyone thinking about making a change and becoming active, a runner, swimmer, cyclist, or triathlete, is to find your “why” and get started by placing one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time out (like run a mile non-stop). If it means walk for 5 minutes, run for 20 seconds…then do it. Next time, walk for 5 minutes and run for 30 seconds! Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and your health.
The saying goes “If I can do it…” well, you know it’s true. I did it. You can too!
I quickly ballooned up from the low 200’s to 240 lbs. My food choices were poor; there was always beer at dinner and ice cream before bed. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea. I was on 6 to 8 prescription medications a day, many of which made me feel worse. One day I got sick of it all and decided to change.
I started running and cutting calories. I tried to make better nutritional choices and lost 20 lbs. but then stalled. My brother-in-law started doing P90X and lost close to 40 lbs. so I decided to give that a try while following a 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat diet of about 2200 calories. I dropped close to 30 lbs. in the first 90 days of the program. That put me at about 190 lbs. I stayed around this weight for a few years until I got back into bike racing and decided that to be competitive I need to get even lighter. I found that running helped me drop weight during the winter months and used it to get down into the mid 170’s last year. Since taking on the challenge of my first Ironman 70.3 and joining Endurance Reno in November of 2013, I have managed to lose another 10 lbs. Currently I am 167 lbs. and hope to get down to 165 lbs. and maintain that weight.
Being healthy and living a long life motivates me to live a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want to live in fear of a heart attack or stroke occurring at any moment. Advice I would have for someone that is just starting this journey? Commit….Commit…Commit! It’s all about commitment and hard work.
-Coach Sam #enduworld