Jeff - DS

Jeff
(90 pounds lost)

During my senior year of high school I weighed 196 lbs. I played football for 4 years and I also did discus and shot put. At that time, I thought I was fat and was embarrassed of myself. Only if I knew how much worse it was going to get over the next 15 years.
 
I have two boys that have rare health conditions.   The stress that came along with their diagnosis caused me to drop into a deep depression. Food seemed like it was the only thing that made me feel better. It did not make things better though. It only made me more depressed because I was unhappy with myself. I was so unhappy that I was miserable and did not care about anything.
 
When my weight got up to 315, I knew I needed to do something. It was my “rock bottom” you could say. I frequently had people asking me if I was ok because of the way I breathed.  I didn’t want to go outside and play with my kids, and it was starting to get in the way of my relationship with my wife.
 
My wife was always trying to get me eat better and diet. She was very concerned about my health. I never did get on board with any of the plans and they only lasted a couple weeks. We both knew something had to be done but it was so “easy” to just stay the way we were. We even bought a treadmill in 2010 thinking that would magically make us work out and lose weight. We used it a little bit at first then it collected dust. We even moved the dang thing into the living room thinking, “Hey, if we see it everyday we will use it!” Yeah, that did not happen. We just folded it up, pushed it in the corner, and let it collect more dust.

On Dec 7, 2015 my wife asked me to unfold the treadmill. I was thinking here we go again another phase. I unfolded it, complaining the whole time. I said to my self it's just going to take up more space. Something was different this time, though. Something in my head told me to get on it. So I got on it and slowly walked 1.5 miles. I felt like I was going to die, but at the same time, it was satisfying.
 
The next day I got on it again and did the same. This continued for a few days, and then something unexpected happened.  I weighed myself and I had lost five pounds! From that moment on, I was addicted to the treadmill.

We also started eating healthy.  We cut out processed foods, sugar, fast food. We even cut out all soda and alcohol. The pounds started falling off. My wife and I motivated each other.  We both started to feel better and became happier. The stress became less and less. We felt as though a cloud had been lifted off of us.
 
For about a month I did not tell people I was working out. I didn’t want other people to know because I was still afraid that this would not be a lasting thing. Then one day a coworker asked me if I had lost some weight. At that moment I felt so proud of myself. I began to tell him what I was doing with such excitement.  It had been awhile since I was that excited about anything.

One night I began to start looking at races. It seemed like a great way to keep up our motivation. We ended up signing up for the 5k Warrior Dash mud run in April for her birthday.  It was a really good experience to do an obstacle race like that with my wife. We became closer to each other and at that point I knew we were in it for the long run; and it was definitely not just another phase.
 
I began signing up for more races. I signed up for the global energy 10k run in September. I came in 73rd out of 584 with a time of 52:02. Then I did the Terrain 10k mud run in November. But I wanted to do something bigger. I have always seen the relay race Ragnar being talked about in different running groups. I looked at it like something I would love to do “someday”. It seemed like something that was out of my reach though.  I had been contacted by a couple people to run on their teams, but it never felt quite “right” with them so I never ended up committing.  
 
In January 2017, my wife added me to the Facebook group, "From Fat to Finish Line". She has a habit of adding me to groups that she thinks will inspire me.  This time she assured me that it was different. “These people are more like us.” She explained.  After glancing through the group at all the posts, I had to agree and I was inspired to post my own journey. 

The very next morning someone named Rik contacted me. He read my story and was very moved from it. He asked me if I was interested in running a Ragnar relay race.  At the time, I did not know of him or the significance of the group. But I did know that running a Ragnar has been a dream of mine since I jogged my first mile. I realized shortly after that there is a documentary of him and 11 other runners that have had the same weight loss story as me. The documentary is called "From Fat to Finish Line". It followed this team of amazing people that came together from across the United States to run a Ragnar race in Florida. I watched the movie that evening and soon realized how big of deal this race was and I felt lucky to have been offered this opportunity.  
 
Throughout my journey, I have gained so many new friends. I also lost some friends. I realized how important it was to have supportive, positive people in my life, and there was just no room for negativity.  I am now part of the amazing group of people that have had the same journey of weight loss as me. And I would not have it any other way. For the first time ever, people are saying that I am inspirational. That in its self keeps me going.  I have a whole new perspective on life. As of today, I have lost 90 lbs and have maintained since august 2016. I am down to 225 lbs. I am working towards losing another 20 lbs.