I’m writing a book and by the age of 10, I started putting on weight and eating a lot. That was around the time my mother and father had gotten divorced.
I started picking up weight over the years. I’d lose some but then it would come back with a vengeance. By the time I reached the age of 40, in 2010, I had gone to the cardiologist. He was doing his routine checkup and going over bloodwork. He said, ‘Well, you know you’re a diabetic?’
My father had a heart attack at the age of 46. By the time he was 50, he was gone. I’m hitting 40 and I’m like, ‘okay, heart disease runs in my family.’ I had to do something.
I’m very careful with my diet. Sometimes I go off the reservation and have sweets or whatever, but I follow a more paleo-style diet. For breakfast, I might have hard-boiled eggs with peanut butter. If I’m doing some heavy training, I have oatmeal with banana and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
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For lunch, I love chicken so I usually bake or I may grill it with some seasoning. I love broccoli and some brown rice, or yams. The same thing for dinner, I do drink quite a bit of water and a lot of Gatorade.
The marathon training helped because I was able to build a base. I had to get a swim coach and I went through Third Coast Training with coach John Shelby. He taught me the total immersion technique of swimming. If I hadn’t gone to that training, there’s no way I would’ve been able to do 2.4 miles.
The other thing was I learned how to ride the bike efficiently. I knew how to ride a bike, but when you’ve gone for that distance, it’s a little bit different.
I did more running because that’s what I really like to do. I put a lot of time into swimming and I think that’s how I got to that point. I finished the swimming in an hour and 51 minutes; I was ecstatic.
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I do rows and that helps me out with my swimming. Kettlebell swings also help me out with that. I’m really getting more into stretching now since I’ve been having problems with [my] IT [band](Illiotibial band syndrome) because at first I didn’t do much stretching. With running, I do a lot of hill work.
I encourage people to be consistent, find people that have lost weight and find out how they did it. Get a support group; sometimes you might not even need a coach.
I just wanted to add that, because of the weight loss, I have quite a bit of excess skin. At some point, I should have surgery to remove it. I still have not gotten to the point where I want to take my shirt off, but I will get there one day.