BENEFITING: OKLAHOMA CITY NATIONAL MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
EVENT: Oklahoma City Marathon 2013
EVENT DATE: Apr 28, 2013
Life is a journey. A long journey. I am beginning to realize that more, every single day.
In November, 2009, I moved to Oklahoma, in what I considered a long-awaited move. My wife, Rachelle, had been studying at Oklahoma State since late July, and I was tired of being in Ohio, by myself. Our 1st year was great and every year has been; it was so good to be back together and enjoying our life together once again. However, if any of you have ever lived in Oklahoma, I think you could agree that there isn't a whole lot going on here... I mean, sure I was lucky enough to live on a golf course, but beyond that, what is here?
So, in October, 2010, I thought of something... my life needed a change. I needed something else. And so I thought about what I wanted to do to change my life. And then I began looking the mirror, and I wasn't happy with what I saw. I have been heavy for as long as I can remember (maybe 6th grade was the last time I wasn't overweight). But while the weight seemed a problem, it was more than that... it was who I was. And I knew I was "better than that".
So, lucky enough for me, I have a cousin, who has helped make a huge difference in my life, Justin. I emailed him and told him I wanted to lose the weight, and I told him I would need his help along the way. He sent me some workouts, and a few months later, some food choice tips. I will never forget the day I read through my 1st list of workouts (my jaw dropped). I hadn't heard of half of them, and I didn't think there was any way I could do it. So, I started on my journey, really in January of 2011. When I arrived in Oklahoma (Nov, 2009), I weighed 275 pounds.
Making a lifestyle change isn't easy, as I am sure many of you can relate. Instead of a hamburger for dinner, it was a piece of fish and broccoli, maybe some rice if I was lucky. My cousin told me that 70% of weight loss is what you eat. And boy was he right, but breaking away from turning to the chicken wings, or cookies, or chips when I had a bad day was sooo hard. It always seemed so easy to just go back to what I was used to. I can't explain how hard temptation is, and how much harder it is to say no. But I began to realize and see food differently. Food was and is no longer something to do, or something to enjoy (although it's okay sometimes); food is fuel and what my body is.
When the food changed, my body started to change, and my body's ability started to change. I was capable of doing things I never thought possible. I ran a 5K Race, then I ran another, and then another. Running 3.1 miles? 3 years ago, I wouldn't have believed it. I could move my body in ways I never imagined, and I began to believe that I could make my life whatever I wanted it to be.
In the summer of 2012, I reached a new peak in my life. I weighed 220 pounds when I played in numerous summer golf tournaments. I had lost 55 pounds in 2 years, and most importantly I have kept the weight off.
Since last summer, and as I prepare for this half marathon, I have lost another 10 pounds, for a total weight loss of 65 pounds.
As I prepare on this last leg of my Oklahoma journey, I will finish running 13.1 miles, a feat I never thought possible. For each mile and minute I run in April, I will think of so many of you that are such a big part of my life. I have so many people to thank for my journey, but two people, more than others. 1st, my cousin, Justin, was my catalyst. He helped me along the way, encouraged me along the way, and told me to never quit, and I would accomplish my goals. Thank you! And 2nd and most importantly, my wonderful wife, Rachelle. She has been my rock throughout, and helped me get up when I didn't want and get to the gym, or help me eat healthy when I didn't want to, because she knew I wanted a better me. She was there to tell me every step of the way that she loved me and was so so proud of me. She made me believe that I could accomplish anything and was so happy about the man I have become since starting my journey a little more than 3 years ago.
I want to thank all of you for hearing my story. I want everyone to understand that no matter how hard whatever it is you want to do may be, you absolutely can accomplish anything. Life is a journey, a very hard journey. But you can accomplish anything you can dream of, and I can't wait to hear about it when you do.
THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! You all mean so much to me....