Today’s post was submitted by Andy from Big Andy’s Running.
My story starts on November 18, 2011. That was the day I decided that I had finally had enough and things needed to change. Let me start by introducing myself, My name is Andy (Big Andy if you are a friend), and I am a 35-year-old dad living in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
I have always been a big guy, even before I got really heavy, hence the longtime nickname, Big Andy. For the past 10 years or so, I slowly made the switch from being a big guy to an insanely overweight and dangerously out of shape guy.
At the time when I hit my breaking point, my daughter was 6-months-old, and I found myself as a 330-pound man who was long on ideas and short on action. I always knew that I was out of shape and overweight, I knew something had to be done, but I just couldn’t find the time to do it.
One day, while at work, I went to climb a regular, run-of-the mill stairwell. Walking from the first to second floors was enough for me. I got winded walking up one flight of stairs, and although that had happened many times before, for some reason that day it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I decided right there that I was going to change, for myself but even more importantly, for my family.
I have an amazing wife and a beautiful daughter at home, and deserve the best of me, and that includes a healthy version of myself. So over the next few weeks, I started watching what I ate, started counting calories, and even though I had never done it before in my life, started running. Well, walking and running at first, and a lot more walking than running, but I was committed and I was doing it. Starting in November, I began an interval program called 4 weeks to 1 Mile.
“I decided right there that I was going to change, for myself but even more importantly, for my family.”
When I started I was not able to run 1/16th of a mile( ¼ lap of a ¼ mile track) without thinking my lungs were about to fall out of my chest or set on fire from all the friction from the heavy breathing. Once I completed the program, I transitioned into the Couch-to-5K program and ran my first 5K in Feb 2012.
Since then I have continued to control the eating with counting calories and I’ve kept up my running, and I am happy to report that as of today, I have lost a total of 115 pounds (down from 330 to 215), and am currently training for two half marathons this fall. I am registered for the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Sept. 16, 2012 and the Philadelphia Half Marathon on Nov. 18th (exactly one year to the day from when I started running). I’m a work in progress and even though I’m not anywhere close yet I’m still training to get to that 13.1 mile distance; as long as I keep plugging away, I’ll get there.
In an effort to document my experiences throughout the entire process, and as a means to keep myself honest and focused as I went through everything, I started a blog. Please check it out if you are interested: bigandysrunning.wordpress.
While I can’t credit running as the sole factor in my change (the nutrition was also a large part of it as well), it has been a huge and integral part of the plan, and I know I would not be sitting here a changed man without it. It’s true what they say, running does give more than it takes.
I’m at my goal weight, maintaining now and still using the blog as a means to track my training progress and to inspire others who are looking to change their lives do the same. The outpouring of love and support from everybody was a huge motivator for me, it only make sense to try and give that back to others who are looking for the same, after all, we’re all in this together.