The recidivism rate in weight loss is nearly 100%. That means if 10 people lose weight nearly all of them will gain it all back. Frequently people will experience a weight loss epiphany and will go on some kind of workout and diet regimen. That person will lose lots of weight, look and feel great. However most people tend to slip back into their old habits of eating too much and exercising too little. After weeks or months the weight slowly creeps back on. The formerly heavy person is overweight again. This is not conjecture on my point. My statement is based on statistical fact. You can get the weight off, but can you keep it off…forever?
I know two people who have beaten the statistical odds, have lost lots of weight and kept it off. When you look at the before and after pictures of these men ask yourself; would they even be alive today if they had not changed their health and fitness lifestyles? Both of these guys will be competing on September 28′th in a Spartan Race in Philadelphia. If you don’t know what a Spartan Race is…you should. Click here. Both Jeremy and Gus are avid fitness enthusiasts and recently competed in the N.J. State Triathlon. Competing in a Spartan Race is no joke. Spartan Races contacted this blog and offered two free passes to two of our readers to compete in the Philadelphia Spartan Race. I ran an essay contest to determine who would win the free passes. Out of the dozens of readers that submitted essays I thought that Jeremy and Gus had the most compelling stories. Please take 10 minutes and read the essays, they are very compelling, motivating and inspirational. I wish both Gus and Jeremy good luck in your upcoming Spartan Race…AROOOOOOOOOOOO!
This is Jeremy’s essay:
July 31, 2013
I’m not just an athlete…I’m a WARRIOR ATHLETE!!!
When I was a chubby kid growing up and came to learn that without the motivation and drive to make a change, there can be no such change. Once I came to this realization I started eating better and became very active. From the time I set out on this mission of feeling and being healthy, I have since become a strong, enthusiastic and capable athlete. I am always looking for new opportunities to challenge myself whenever possible.
I am not the kind of person that merely completes his workout and then calls it a day; I LIVE a very healthy lifestyle. My motivation and determination extend farther than just the gym. I work very hard to maintain this lifestyle and refuse to let anything stand in the way of my health and well-being. I watch what I eat and workout religiously on my quest towards ultimate fitness. I try to motivate and inspire others as best I can to try to promote healthy living through eating right and intense training.
I am always looking for the next thing that will challenge me and I believe that the Spartan Race is just the challenge I have been looking for. It is one of the most intense training exercises available and completing the Spartan Race would be a great experience for me to really push myself. It will solidify the fact that I have been training hard and prove to me that I am ready for the next level.
I know that if given this opportunity, I will not disappoint. I enjoy being challenged, no matter how difficult something may be. I am truly a fighter and I am confident that I will fight the entire time to complete this course, and complete it with valor. I will prove to myself and to everyone, that I have the determination, strength, and fierceness that it takes to complete this intense athletic course.
Here is Gus’s essay:
Am I a Spartan?
As the son of Zeus sits on my shoulder reminding me that Spartans are decedents of him….Hercules, I need to compete in this race because I am a Spartan. What does that really mean?
Spartans were always up for a challenge. No obstacle too big. Remember the movie 300? As a Greek, in my mind I am a Spartan and no obstacle is too big, but one obstacle was almost too big for even the strongest of Spartans. WEIGHT LOSS!!!!
April of 2008 was my turning point. I was blessed with two wonderful children, who at that point were 3 and 1. Kids that young only want to do one thing: play, play, play and play. What dad in their right mind wouldn’t want to do that? This guy! At a weight of 356 lbs, it was difficult to move around, get on the floor, get up from the floor, and breathe to follow my kids around and do the simplest of things….PLAY! I did what every good dad would do, go to my doctor and ask for help. Yes he did tell me I was overweight, and all my levels were elevated, DUHHH. He didn’t give me a miracle diet plan and exercise routine, he gave my advice. He said, “If you don’t start to exercise, eat right and lose weight, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE YOUNG.” Well that was the brick to my head that woke me up.
I am a food addict. Food is legal to buy, it taste good, it’s comforting, it doesn’t talk back or judge you, and I can get it anywhere and everywhere. That was my toughest obstacle. How to avoid something that was all around me? It was easy, living past my 30’s and 40’s to watch and enjoy my 3 and 1 year old grow up.
The weight loss wasn’t easy. I did think about the pills. Pills wouldn’t be a 6 billion dollar industry if they actually worked. I had to do it the right way. Eat right and exercise. Well exercise is boring. The gym isn’t fun. What can a person do to stay active? The answer was a 3some. No, no not the one that is every guy’s dream, but a TRIATHLON (swim, bike, run). A total body workout all rolled up in one. So my journey began. I signed up for one in April and I had six months to train until my first Sprint Triathlon. With the support of my family and friends, and more importantly, I was able to take my kids with me for my bike rides and swimming and spend time with them, I completed my first Sprint Triathlon Sept 2008.
Total weight loss in six months: 70 lbs.
Total weight loss since April 2008: 125 lbs. Was it easy? No, but it was there for me to lose.
To this day, five years later, I still do Triathlons to stay in shape, but I also added a new twist to my workouts. I spend 3-4 days a week being mentored in fitness by Jim Wing. We put the class in fitness class.
The Spartan Race will be another challenge that I will look to accomplish. Through weight loss, training and just trying to live right, on September 29 I will wear with pride a finisher metal and tee shirt from the SPARTANS!!!!
Here are their pre and post weight loss photos: