I Lost Weight: Ryan Norton Used A Race As Motivation And Lost Nearly 75 Pounds
Name: Ryan Norton
Before Weight: 305 pounds
How I Gained It: I used to be pretty fit, a U.S. Marine to be exact. I ran triathlons, loved cycling and was generally in pretty good shape. I never considered myself a fitness buff, but I did okay. After the birth of our daughter, I began working out less so I could help my wife take care of her. I also started traveling for business more, eating out and drinking more than I probably should have. I stopped my daily workout routine and the pounds started piling on. I justified it by telling myself that I would get back into it, and that I would be able to shed the pounds in no time.
Soon, I found myself at around 300 pounds and everyone would comment about my weight. I was wearing XXXL shirts, and I was embarrassed. A pulmonary embolism didn’t deter me, I kept eating and not exercising. I would tell people I felt fine, and so I must be fine. I even did a few races just to prove that I was okay, but the truth is, I wasn’t. I hated how I looked, how I felt and everything was suffering as a part of it. My relationship with my wife and family, my work, my stress levels and most importantly my health suffered. I had triglycerides of over 500, my blood pressure was high, my cholesterol and thyroid were way off, and I was on a number of medications. Too many for a 38-year-old guy.
Breaking Point: My wife kept telling me that she was worried. My doctors would warn me about diabetes and other health risks. But for me, it was my USMC buddies challenging me to do a race called the Tough Mudder. I knew it from articles I had read and I knew it was hard. They said, “We are doing this, and you are joining us, period.” I knew that they knew me when I was fit, and for some reason, that made me want to lose the weight so I wouldn’t embarrass myself. Setting that goal and giving myself just enough time to get ready so that I couldn’t put it off, got me going.
How I Lost It: There were several contributing factors. My wife told me she would support me and help me any way she could. That meant the world to me because she is a marathon runner and tri-athlete who needed her own training time. She really motivated me. Then my family did a “Biggest Loser”-style challenge for some good prize money. We all put in some funds and had to report weekly how much weight we had lost, and how long we had worked out. This went to everyone in the contest, so there was motivation to get to work.
Then my wife shared with me the story of a trainer who was keeping a blog called fit2fat2fit. He was making himself fat on purpose to see how hard it is for us heavy folks to get back to fit. I was extremely inspired by the story, and I tried to work out with his routine as often as I could. I started logging everything I ate into an app called myfitnesspal and made sure all of my friends could see my progress in order to keep me going.
Continue reading this article at Huffingtonpost.com after the break!