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''Running Helped Me Lose Almost 100 Pounds!''

A Health Scare Inspired MKKAYA to Start Losing Weight

-- By SparkPeople Editorial Staff
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Mike (MKKAYA) started running in 2008. Since joining SparkPeople, he has continued to work toward his weight-loss goals (losing nearly 100 pounds so far), completed three half marathons, and has his sights set on participating in a triathlon.

Mike Before Mike After
Mike Before Mike After


What made you decide to start running?
I started losing weight about three years ago after my doctor informed me of some things that scared the heck out of me. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was borderline diabetic. I lost my dad around that time and really wanted to do something about my weight. During the summer of 2008, my family and I would go to the local high school track and walk three miles. I started getting bored with that, so one day I decided to run around the track—just one lap made me feel like I was dying. At the time, I weighed 260 pounds. Two weeks later, I decided to run one mile around the track. I ran it in 13:00—it was hard! At the beginning of 2009, I joined the gym again and got serious. My personal trainer encouraged me to sign up for a 5K race. The rest is history.

How do you keep your runs fun and interesting?
Participating in races helps me to keep things fun and interesting. I remember signing up for my first 5K race. Because I signed up three months beforehand, it kept me motivated to stick with my workouts. I also crank my favorite tunes on my iPod. My SparkFriends are great motivators, as well.

Were you intimidated to start running? How did you overcome that?
I remember when I first started going to the gym. As I walked on the treadmill and saw other people running I would say, "I could never do that." It was also scary when I first ran outside—people could see me and that was hard at first. My SparkFriends assured me that I could do it, though. The Rookie Runners SparkTeam has been such a help to me. I am so thankful for them and what they have taught me on this journey. Also, when I first started running my body began to change. Losing inches and pounds was my biggest motivation in the beginning.

Any tips for someone just beginning to run?
Make sure you have good pair of shoes. Go to a specialty store and get help from someone who knows how to properly fit running shoes. Also, make sure that you are hydrated. Drinking a lot of water will make your runs more enjoyable. Fuel your runs with good, clean eating as well.
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Member Comments

  • Glad to hear about how running worked for Mike. However, running is one of those things that if you are overweight and/or have any kind of joint issue or pain, you really need to go to a doctor (orthopedic or sports doctor if you are having pain) BEFORE you start. Both my orthopedic/sports doctor as well as my physical therapist indicated that my body was simply not "made" for running due to some structural issues that I never knew I had. They indicated that I could do not high impact aerobic activity--have to stick to the low due to the issues.

    Since these issues surfaced due to a bone contusion that progressed to a stress fracture due to my 3-4 hours of ballroom dancing a week (yes, some of the ballroom dances qualify as high impact), I will believe them about the running. :) - 7/10/2014 7:53:20 AM
  • MAPILIS1
    I just started running 1 km a day. Hopefully I'll increase the laps in few weeks, but losing weight is my goal. - 6/8/2014 1:19:20 PM
  • MAPILIS1
    I just started running 1 km a day. Hopefully I'll increase the laps in few weeks, but losing weight is my goal. - 6/8/2014 1:18:40 PM
  • Love it! Thanks for sharing! My favorite is The Color Run-it's not timed tho but we have a BLAST!!! It's one of the few that I pay for, other than that I have a lovely trail that I run my 5k's on. Congrats! - 5/23/2014 9:10:49 AM
  • GARYGS
    We must be mirrors.. I lost 110lbs over 1 year, by changing eating habits, and walking. Am in my 2nd year of 'maintenance', which is actually the most difficult. I walk daily and have healthy diet. Everything else fell into place, off blood pressure meds after 15 years, and blood sugar and cholesterol normal.. feel younger now than at 40. So, walk, run, or just do something that gets you away from table and off the couch. When I get stressed, I throw on my walking shoes instead of stuffing face! Walk it off. - 12/1/2013 8:44:24 PM
  • Thanks for sharing your story! Congratulations!! - 9/16/2013 9:58:31 AM
  • I'm starting the Couch to 5K program soon and this gives me some extra added motivation! - 5/19/2013 11:10:36 AM
  • That is awesome and you are an inspiration! I want to start running but have been a bit nervous about it, this makes me things I need to JUST DO IT! - 5/17/2013 9:08:25 AM
  • You look good. Keep the good work up. Woohoo - 5/7/2013 6:02:32 PM
  • Thank you for sharing your story! I have been slowly getting into running, and you have inspired me to start thinking about doing a 5K. Thank you! - 4/12/2013 8:38:34 AM
  • Thank you for sharing, Mike. You have been an inspiration to me - and continue to encourage me.
    barb - 2/20/2013 11:15:39 AM
  • Great story, I have followed some of your story. Keep up the good work. I met you just before the HTC. Keep up the inspiration. - 2/20/2013 11:04:26 AM
  • WOOHOOOOOO, MIKE !!!

    Congrats
    and
    THANKS for sharing
    You are encouraging
    to we couch potatoes !

    BLESSINGS ! - 2/7/2013 11:02:50 PM
  • thank you so much for sharing the story -- I have been so apprehensive about getting out and exercising in my neighborhood. This was JUST the nudge I needed. Mike -- you're a true inspiration. Thank you, thank you, thank you! - 11/13/2012 9:36:42 PM
  • What an inspiring story--you just did it, one step at a time! - 9/21/2011 11:41:38 AM
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