I ran, jogged and walked 769 miles to drop my weight from “Obese” to “Healthy” or “Normal.” I dropped 46 lbs so far from 220 lbs to 174 lbs. At 5’10”, 220 lbs is considered obese, and the max end of my normal or healthy weight range is 174 lbs. Losing this weight took about 7 months (August – February) of running 5-6 days per week. In total, I worked out 142 days at an average distance of 5.42 miles/workout in order to get where I am. Here are a few Google Maps visuals for comparison on just how far I had to go to lose that weight…
Estimating 2,000 steps per mile, I have run approximately 1,538,000 steps, and God has literally been there every step of the way. God is also the reason for this journey on which I have embarked. I will admit that the vain side of me did this because I did not like the way I looked in the mirror, but it is much deeper than a superficial desire to get in shape.
It took much more than the mirror to motivate me to run in negative windchills, rain storms, and record setting snow storms. The weather has been so bad this winter that I now have to get up at 6:00 am to run on the treadmill in my garage. I have survived not only the weather, but also my first dog attack, debilitating shin splints, back spasms that had me unable to stand up for 2 days, and countless temptations to quit. There are 3 important reasons beyond my physical appearance that I have endured all of this, and they both are all about my relationship with God.
THE REAL REASON I RUN
1) I felt convicted by scriptures like 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” This comes at the end of a passage about being sexually pure, but I believe that we are to honor God with our bodies in all circumstances. For a long time, I have not honored God with the way I treated my own body. I gave in too much and too often to my gluttonous desires, and I just let my body go.
2) I believe that when we are given a talent or ability, we are to use that gift to glorify God. I come from a family of runners. My dad was a great runner before health issues nearly crippled him for life. My brother was an all-conference college track and cross country runner for Murray State University. One of my sisters was a college cheerleader for University of Memphis, and she runs regularly now. My other sister played lacrosse for Auburn University, and she is also an excellent runner. She runs outstanding times for half marathon races, and she even completed her first marathon. While I did not do any college sports like my siblings, running has always been in my blood. God blessed me with a good balance of speed and endurance, and I feel that over the years I have squandered that ability. I feel called to take that gift of running and start using it again, but this time in a way that is all about honoring God.
3) My kids have started playing sports, and they are very active and energetic (like any young kids). I feel a deep conviction to be the best father I can possibly be to my own children. I also feel strongly that I should be around to be a good grandfather one day. The path of laziness and obesity not only set a terrible example for my own kids, but it also would have led to major health issues and probably an early death down the road. As I seek to raise my kids in the ways of the Lord, I see how important it is for me to be involved in my kids’ sports teams, to actively play with my kids, and to live a healthy life that will allow me to be active for a very long time in my children’s and eventual grand-children’s lives. This all goes back to leading my family and discipling my children. I truly want to leave a legacy worth following for generations to come.
That is why I run… and run… and run. Reaching mileage, speed and weight loss goals is great because it gives me opportunities to share how God is working in my life. When I work hard for something, I enjoy seeing results, but these results are evidence of more than just my own efforts. These goals and achievements are all about glorifying God, depending on Him daily and living a life that sets a Godly example for my own family.