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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

  • 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
  • Heck yeah! Like Mike, I lost 90 pounds through a comprehensive change in lifestyle ... eating better and moving A LOT more. I could not complete a 10 brisk walk without exhaustion. I am now counting down the days to my first marathons ... 44 days to Savannah Rock and Roll and 25 to Baltimore (which will be used as a training run for Savannah).

    I love my new life! I think I would like to keep it. - 9/21/2011 10:33:21 AM
  • I'm always impressed with individuals that were able to make such dramatic changes in their life. Its' one thing to have put on 100lb from your 20's to your 40's., bu it's another when you've always been overweight, never been a runner and now discover what it's like to be fit and healthy.

    My favorite, and also detested comment, is "you're too skinny". No... it's just that most Americans are too accustomed to seeing overweight and obese people all the time, that someone fit looks sickly to them. Maybe it;s also just a bit of guilt due to a certain amount of self examination.

    I've trimmed 40lbs to return to a former self. To reach that higher level of fitness that's escaped me the last 12 years. ti discover the untapped potential I had in me, but was being held back by poor eating habits and lack of motivation. Sprak has been a great tool to track my sucess. - 4/13/2011 12:20:17 PM
  • Thanks for the inspiration! I'm going to find a 5k and start training. - 4/11/2011 6:06:14 PM
  • SICKANDTIRED24
    That's fantastic! Anybody in the 60181/60126 area looking for somebody to walk with...then run? - 4/5/2011 4:33:07 PM
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