It’s funny; my students see my blog and think it is weird that it is titled “Thank God I Was Fat”. They know I used to be fat (275 on a 5’10” frame) yet they don’t know why I am thankful, they think I should be grateful I am no longer fat (which of course I am). See what they don’t realize is that being fat made me who I am today.
Being fat made me:
1. Never ever want to be fat again
2. Makes me want to train my butt off 365 days a year
3. Makes me unsatisfied with my body so I am constantly trying to improve it through weight training and running
4. Makes me have a strict diet
5. Makes me not want to drink too much alcohol
6. Makes me understand the plight of those who are struggling with weight even if it looks like I was never fat
7. Makes me the self-deprecating funny guy who would rather poke fun at himself than those around him (if you make them laugh at you first, they can’t make fun of you)
8. A coach of middle/high school long distance runners.
9. Have a ridiculously amazing work ethic
10. And most important- gave me the confidence to know that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.
Now some people might look at these as negatives (What you don’t drink much? How do you enjoy happy hour?) but I really, really like myself; who I have become, what I have accomplished thanks to fighting through all the years of ridicule.
The day I started to lose weight was the day I started running. I hated it at first and only did it because it was the quickest way to lose weight. After months of struggling to run a block or two, I slowly started to enjoy the peace and solitude that running offered. When I was running no one could make fun of me, well they could as they drove by but I couldn’t hear them, so I started to spend more time running.
This lead to the unthinkable for me, trying to run a marathon. I had dropped almost 100 lbs. and had completed three 10 mile runs so I was curious. Three hours and twenty-four minutes later, my first marathon was complete. I was hooked and have since run 29 more marathons which include 5 Boston Marathons. I lowered my PR to a painful 3:00:58 (stupid 58 seconds!!!) and have run a 3:01 at Boston (that one I am really proud of).
I have gone on to really enjoy running and racing (except the 5K to short fast) with fairly decent PR’s.
My half is 1:23
My 10K is 35:34
My 5K is 17:15
Went from 275 lbs to 170
Went from 34% body fat to 6-8%
Went from a size 46 inch waist to a 32 inch waist
These last few months I have been struggling with an injury which has made me think two thoughts: one- I really want to come back and kick ass, being faster than I was before. Smarter, wiser, more body conscience should lead to better running. Two- my best years are behind me and I am breaking myself down, it is time relax and enjoy the beauty of running without the hard training and racing.
Being fat has lead to almost every great thing in my life. It made me become a teacher so I could educate kids about health. Being a teacher lead to me being a long distance coach for middle/high school kids as a part of Student Run LA which is now one of my greatest joys in life. Being a coach and teacher allowed me the opportunity to meet one of my runner’s sister, which led to the greatest joy in my life, she became my wife. So you can see that being fat, losing the weight, and wanting to help others, had really formed my life and made me who I am today.
I would really like to thank McDonald’s and Jack-In-The-Box for the contributions to my previous, fat filled life.
Enjoy your day