Hi there. My name is Jason. I have basically been fat all my life. Even in times were I was actually not fat, I still felt or thought I was fat. I am sure that many of you can relate to that. Between Dec. 13th 2006 and Dec 13th 2007, I lost about 130 lbs. Not only did I lose the weight then, but have kept it off since and have also been blessed enough to finish 7 marathons and 4 ultra-marathons. I tell ya, it has been a tremendous journey to get here today. The journey wasn’t always fun though, it had many ups and downs, it came with joy, it came with discouragement. Although I am still on the journey, I think things worked out pretty well. I want to share with you a little of the journey because I want you to know that a normal, regular, obese or over weight person can accomplish amazing things. If I could do it, I know you CAN do it. A key ingredient to weight loss, fitness, health, and life in general is perseverance.
Perseverance: To keep at something in spite of difficulties, opposition, or discouragement (Websters).
Throughout my journey, I have learned that this simple little trait can bring a person further than ever imaginable. This word is in every aspect of what we are trying to achieve in our bodies, minds, and emotions. It may take time to loss the weight and get healthy, but if you can just hold and persevere YOU WILL MAKE IT!
Here are some examples of cross-roads that I reached (we all reach)during my own journey when perseverance took me through.
- I was afraid to start: I had to overcome serious mental and emotional barriers to just get started. We all have them. The fears that we won’t succeed or that if we do it will all be gained back.
- I fell off the wagon (in other words, I chowed down)- To most of us, this can be devastating. We feel guilty and say things like, “Oh dang, I’ll just start again Monday.” or “I just can’t do this, I knew I couldn’t do it.” During these times I just jumped right back up and started right then and there with my program. I still felt guilty, depressed, and lacked motivation, but getting up from a fall as soon as possible is all we need to do.
- I was doing great but I still gained/didn’t lose: Hey, we are on a journey. Lets say you gain 2 lbs in a week and you are going to live healthy for years to come. This 2 lb gain is just a blip on the radar. A pebble in the road. So I moved on, stuck to my plan. Our bodies react and adjust, it takes time.
- I could hardly do any exercise and I was embarrassed: When I started I could only ride a stationary bike for 12 minutes. Now, I can run a 50 mile ultra marathon without stopping. It took me about 11 1/2 hours. It’s ok to start out small because with a little perseverance and time you will transform yourself into a strong and healthy person.
- I wanted to give up and quit: Ultra-marathons taught me so much about life and weight loss. When you run for 7-12 hours straight you go through many emotional ups and downs. It hurts, you want to quit, I think you can’t make it, you get discouraged. But you know what, you can actually just keep going. Sure, all that hurt and discouragement is real, but it has nothing to do with being able to take one step after the other. I learned that I could keep going regardless of feelings.
- I quesioned myself as to whether I could even be a runner:I was till pretty fat when I started to run. I had 70 more lbs to lose. When I finally made it to my first marathon and saw that there were people way bigger than me way ahead of me, I realized anyone can run. It was hard, but I just kept going. Two miles, then 3, 4, 5, etc. all the way to 50. Persevering with one foot in front of the other.
The great thing about perseverance is that EVERYONE HAS IT! Think about all the things you have persevered in. We get masters degrees, stay married for 20 years, get promotions in our jobs, lose weight, take care of our kids even if our spouse isn’t there, we start businesses, we move on, we make good, we don’t stop, we keep going.
We all have it in us. I am not trying to sound like a motivational speaker either. This is just so true. I didn’t know it or didn’t believe it before, but now I do. So what did perseverance do for me? I lost 133lbs total, kept it off for over a year, went from 12 minutes on a bike to 11 hrs and 47 minutes of running non-stop, I went from eating the whole large pizza to eating only 2 pieces. It is possible. NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER STOP!