Fitness Articles

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

A Health Scare Inspired MKKAYA to Start Losing Weight

1KSHARES
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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

  • This is exactly what I needed today. I started the couch to 5k program this morning, it was quite hard, but I know it will be worth it.

    Thank you :) - 5/29/2016 4:02:58 PM
  • Great article!
    I was physically disabled from age 12-22, but, after I went into remission, I picked up running as a couple of my colleagues were into it (and it had a pretty low startup cost, as a single mum back then, I didn't have resources to spare on myself). After I remarried at 26, I was experienced enough to get a lot of contract work to help catch me up financially, and just worked too darned much after my second son was born at age 28. After finally completing my bachelor's at age 31, I was able to get a better job and cut back on my freelancing... but, we'd moved to the suburbs for better schools and I was spending too much time in the car commuting and working overtime.
    In December of 2014, I flew to a conference and had to get a seat-belt extender.

    I decided I'd had enough of scheduling time for everything but me and started getting up at 5am so I could have an hour to walk, then jog, every morning and shower before work. While that had me falling asleep after dinner every night, at least I'd finally carved out a routine that no one would interrupt (because they were all still asleep).

    After about a year (no change in eating habits, I've always done pretty well there), I had lost ~26lbs. I'm back up to running in intervals now. Though I'm land-locked in the burbs and have to use a treadmill that crashes after 30 minutes of use... so, I break up my workouts.

    No more commute for me, since I just got a new job, and doc finally adjusted my thyroid meds. Wish me luck as I get back to my running speed from over a decade ago. (no marathons, people and noise overwhelm me.)

    Appreciate all of the tools from SparkPeople and the positivity of the community. Everyone here rocks. - 5/29/2016 3:13:39 PM
  • Hi, I'm Adellita 782 I had been part of sparkpeople since 2006 and I lost also some pounds. I lost 70 pounds, with different types of diets and I danced and walked. - 3/21/2016 10:27:52 PM
  • Hi, i used to be part of sparkpeople. I had been since 2006. Since then I had lost also pounds. It took me 10 years to loose 70 pounds. I got to this first goal of 170 pounds. I did all sorts of diets and I also danced. - 3/21/2016 10:25:51 PM
  • No running here, especially outdoors. Different standards for women - we're more likely to be made fun of if we run in public. I have a gym membership and don't go for that reason. My exercise, what little I'm motivated to do, is behind closed doors, where I will offend no one. - 3/21/2016 9:31:32 AM
  • Thank you for sharing your story. It is very inspirational. I only wish I could run again. My knees are super worn out and I can only walk. But I have set a streak to walk 10,000+ steps every day! Today is Day 10.

    SparkCheers, You look buff!

    Nola - 1/12/2016 12:59:46 PM
  • This story is truly inspirational. I used to never run because I was told once that I "run funny" and it forever made me feel self conscious. Now at almost 60 I finally am brave enough to do it no matter what I look like. And I am losing weight. I don't run 5k's ... just run at the park while my grandson rides his bike... for me, that works. Thanks for a great story. - 12/12/2015 9:47:08 PM
  • 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

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