Name: Richard R.
BEFORE Measurements Weight: 340 pounds
Dress/Pant Size: 52
Weight: 190 pounds (low of 178 but working to get back to 180 for Ironman Arizona in November)
Dress/Pant Size: 33
What my life was like before joining LIVESTRONG.COM
I am a technology professional so I work off shifts, long hours and I travel, which includes hotels, food and more food.
I never really looked at myself and really did not see "me" as I got heavy. I would break a sweat putting my shoes on in the morning. When I went to the doctor, they not only told me I was over-weight; they kept trying to label me as a diabetic.
My diet was not great but part of that was my love for food and the rest was my odd schedule. I had not eaten breakfast regularly since high school. When I missed meals, my next meal was an over indulgent. I did not exercise and probably had not since I was 27 years old.
My inspiration to make a change
Two things changed for me. The first was my wife began training for a triathlon. She was riding on her own and running and I thought she needed someone to be with her. She could not find a partner and pushed me to join her. I could not walk a mile but walked our neighborhood while she biked and ran.
The second was a visit to the doctor. They determined that I was a diabetic even though I did not fail 3 months of daily testing. It was getting the Diabetes magazine in the mail that pushed me to change. I still get that stupid magazine and can't seem to get off the list.
How LIVESTRONG.COM helped me lose the weight
I used the MyPlate food-tracking tool, which helped me track my food and make adjustments. With the recorded data, I got to see what helped me and where, since it isn't just in and out but a whole process. The articles and newsletter also helped me find information on what I could or even needed to do.
As I started to train for my own events and started to enjoy running, the weight began to drop. The tools helped keep me focused on good and bad days. It helped me change my work focus, made me rethink my stresses and things I let impact my home life too. I actually started taking care of me.
It took me about 3 years to lose 130 pounds and another year to drop the last 30. I did my first Ironman event in 2012 (after about 100 pounds lost) and I have dropped about 60 pounds since then. I have kept if off with a little bit of change depending on what I am training for an how long some events like an Ironman take to recover from after the event.
My support system
Aside from the tools I used to track my workouts, my wife and family helped me. Being an eater, my wife enjoyed making food and it was her changing the way we ate, that helped me reach goals and helped the family get better at what we do and how we do it. I used the LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate tool, joined a gym and then joined a tri club too.
The biggest challenge(s) I faced
I think the most interesting road block was "me changing" and how many people questioned me or told me that I was over doing it or that I would fail. Today, I try to encourage people to ignore the negative, especially the perceived negative that we tell ourselves. I probably took more of a beating from my internal thoughts and perceptions that anyone else. We can be our own worst critics. The 60 pound loss mark was big since I started having less knee pain but when I got under 250 and then under 200 that was big but getting into a 32 men's jean was smaller than my high school weight and pant size.
My BIGGEST secret(s) to success that I want to share with others
We can do more than we think and often more than the body and head allows. It is good to test your limits, set tough goals and even fail at reaching them. When we fall down, get back up and that is success.
Often we think that we can’t do it and really that is our own head and not reality. It is hard to get up early and work out but you can find similar people to work out with. They’ll make it more fun and help challenge you to get better. Change is good and we need it to keep living.
What my life is like now
I have started using more tools around my training specific to triathlons and come back to MyPlate to track my food from time to time as I have bumps and struggles. My struggles are smaller than before - a few pounds here and there and I am able to adjust. I feel good about myself. I definitely sleep better and can relax more.
Depending on the race coming up, I can train 20 hours a week swimming, biking and running. I love the bike and the run and I can average 45 miles a week running and have even hit 60 miles running some weeks. I also co-lead a running group that meets 4 days a week in the morning. My wife and I enjoy picking events and help each other work towards goals. We do some events together and some we just go out to support the other on their day. It sure keeps us focused.
I like going into the doctor and having them question the numbers - a resting heart rate of 45-48 and lower blood pressure numbers. They tell me my numbers are better than many of the teens and young adults who come into the office. I can also enjoy that my pain and soreness is workout related and not just from having to get up and walk somewhere.