It’s been 48 weeks since I started my #bern200 journey. When I started I was determined to reach goals and break barriers my 400+ pound body would never accomplish. Over the past 11 months I’ve lost 150+ pounds and I feel like a new person! One thing that was always hard for me was standing up. I couldn’t stand on my feet for more than 5 minutes without breaking out in a sweat and experiencing back pain. Obviously any physical activity like jogging or running was just a pipe dream. However this Sunday I did the unthinkable; I ran a continuous mile in 8 minutes and 22 seconds, once again proving that setting a goal and working towards it every day makes the impossible a reality.

I played 4 years of varsity football in high school, so naturally I ran a lot for conditioning. I was 180 pounds soaking wet, and even though I trained to run long distances, I was a slow runner and my fastest mile time was 11 minutes 30 seconds. After graduating high school I stopped working out but kept the same eating habits, and over the following 7 years I more than doubled my weight and eventually tipped the scale at over 400 pounds. At this point normal physical activity like climbing a handful of stairs or even walking two blocks to the bus stop were excruciating. The weight was too much to bare, and my days of high school athletics seemed like they were a lifetime ago.

Losing weight for me was going to be about doing cardio as much as it was about changing my eating habits. When I started, I would be near death after only 20 minutes of time on the elliptical. But I was determined to get back into shape. Knowing that I used to run in the summer heat for football meant that I could at least get back to a respectable level of endurance. Before the end of 2013 I was doing at least an hour of cardio without much discomfort, but I avoided running because of the impact it would have on my knees that would lead to complications in my later years.

On New Years Eve, I set a goal for myself when it came to running. I wanted to be able to run consistently for one mile in under 9 minutes, because I felt like it was a realistic goal for myself based off of my weight loss progress. I attempted to run on the treadmill in the beginning of January, but I was exhausted after only 2 minutes of working out. I kept at it, and Sunday I went into the gym with all intentions on pushing myself to the limit. I set the treadmill at a speed of 7.1, which is a pace of 8 minutes and 22 seconds for a mile, and went at it. As hard as it was, I was determined, and at the end of the mile I yelled out in excitement! I reached my goal and done something I couldn’t even do when I was at my then physical peak in high school.

Now, I realize that running on a treadmill versus running outdoors on pavement is different. However, I’m also looking to lose 50 more pounds when it’s all said and done. Therefore, when I hit my weight goal, I know I’ll be able to run a mile in under 8 minutes outdoors, and I fully intend on pushing myself to the limit. What does this mean? It means that I have a lot more work to do, but as long as I put in the work, I will be able to achieve every goal set. I also signed up for a 5k race the first week of March, so that will be another milestone for myself!

This is another reminder that anybody can do anything they want to do, within reason. If there’s something that other human beings do on a daily basis, then you should know that it’s within reach for you. Remember that life is not a sprint, but a marathon, and that if you put your mind to it and work on your goals every day, you will reach them. I did, and I’m just as regular as everyone else.


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