Saturday, October 16, 2010

How a Fatty started running

All my life I've hated running, frequently mocking runners when seeing them, "Hey you can't run from your problems!" and "Who are you running FROM?" I don't know if it was a defense mechanism or just denial that exercise wasn't needed to have a happy and healthy life. Either way I hated the thought of it and I loathed people that did it. I hated their in-my-mind snarky running talk too, you know what I mean, the constant urging of runners to non-runners to take up running. "Oh you should run with me! It'll be great!" Yeah No Thanks Pal!

Then everything changed.

I don't know why and I don't know how but as of last week, I am officially in love with running. I recently relocated across the country and realized that as of the last time I was in a doctors office with a scale large enough (most only go to 350) that I weighed in at 357 pounds. This is officially beyond shrugging off as "big-boned" or being just a "big guy." I am fat. I am a fatty. A lard monster. A fat ass. It doesn't bother me much on an emotional level. I've known it was happening for years. Slowly my favorite activities like rock climbing and mountain biking became too exerting to handle. I became best friends with my laptop and the couch.

Though, as many who know me will state, I am a pretty narcissistic guy. I'm kind of a big deal but this is definitely the wrong kind of big. At 6' 2" the BMI calculator says 357 is 45% body fat. This is without measuring around my wrist, hips and neck and I do have big bones and some fairly huge calf muscles but that's just the denial talking.

Six days ago I put on an old pair of athletic-y shoes, and set out around the block. Every 50' of running equaled almost triple that walking with my breathing being more than a little labored. I pushed myself hard that night, going around and around the block for almost an hour. I finally came inside with legs of jelly and a drenched t-shirt. The next day though something incredible happened, I felt amazing, better than amazing, I felt healthy. I called a friend who needs to lose some too and that night we went "wogging" (walk/jogging) and did another hour. At one point that night he said "I like running with fat people!" "Me too buddy. Me too." He shot me a text the next morning "Man, I can't wait to do it again tonight!" I've heard of 'runner highs' and I am not sure if this is what they are referring to but I feel great. At the same time that the running started I switched my diet from mostly garbage to mostly fruits and vegetables. Late-night snacking turned into a post wog apple or orange. I've been consuming more food than before but it's mostly all fruits and veggies. Filling our bodies with processed food and sugary drinks has turned most of us into walking blimps. There is no denying my size and no use crying over spilled milk, you just have to get off the couch, put some shoes on and start.

So as I feel the burn from tonights wog, I decided to track this journey from extreme obesity to a healthier me. I hope you are inspired, I hope you contribute and someday I hope to see you at my first race.


  1. Love it Jake! Keep on running! I have an addiction to crisps and now buy sliced (fresh) apple at lunchtime so it makes me feel like i'm still eating the crisps! Looking forward to hearing about your next run.

  2. Awesome Jake!! I took up running about 2 weeks ago and feel great (although im sick now so not running at the moment) and it really is such a great way to destress and get fit. Keep going!!!

  3. Yeah- big boned only goes so far - bones don't jiggle...

    Good luck with that - stay with the routine, it takes a good six weeks for it to become a habit, which'll make it far easier to keep it up.

    If you can do it - for weight loss, I recommend duration over frequency - 30 minutes of running 2x in a day doesn't equal 1 hour of continuous effort, and your gains (losses) will be better for it....

    I've been using the 5-finger vibram shoes, as well - I really like them, but not on pavement - on the trail, on a treadmill, on the beach - they rock!

  4. I am doing it all at once, not twice a day. Where did you get that crazy idea from?