Running from obesity

Are you as amazed at the human body as I am?

How is it that a person can go from 160 lbs to 278 lbs and survive.  The amount of adjustment to the structure of the body during that time must be amazing.  I’ve been told, it takes one mile of arteries and vessels to handle one lb of fat.  Think of that infrastructure that God put into place to help us when we become obese.  Not that obesity is  a good thing, but even though I had gained over 100 lbs after college, I was still able to work, walk, sleep, eat and do everyday tasks.  Crazy.

Now, I am just as amazed about how the human body can go from 278 lbs to 178 lbs and totally adjust.  Where did all that fat go?  Where did that infrastructure go?  Where did the extra arteries and veins and… everything that had be be made to contain all that weight go?  I’m sure scientists know and I am sure many of you smart runners know.  I don’t know, but I am thankful that my body was created to adapt.

Another question.  How can a human body go from 278 lbs to running a marathon in just over 2 years.  I am not writing this post to get positive feedback.  I was just thinking of these things yesterday as I was running my 5 mile route.  I have not been running even 2 years yet and have already run almost 2,500 miles.  My weight is up a little from the 178 which was my lowest.  I now am in the upper 180’s, but I’ll get back down there one day.

I guess I am a bit philosophical today.

I am amazed that I have been given the gift of a second chance.  I remember praying years ago that if I could just get my weight under control and get a good job, I would have accomplished more than I ever thought I could.  Now I am a vice president of an awesome non-profit, my weight is in a good place and I am back to running 30+ miles a week.  In fact yesterday my hip had no pain until that last 1.5 miles of my run.  That was HUGE for me.  Running without pain.  Is it possible?

I replied to a comment from Pandora Viltis from my post on Friday when she asked how I could keep running without experiencing much of a “runner’s high”.  My reply was an eye opener to me.  I said, “I run to keep ahead of obesity”.  That is true for me.  That motivates me.  That keeps me going when I hurt and when I am in such pain I have to walk rather than run.  That gets me out 6 days a week, by myself, alone and sometimes wanting to do anything else other than run.  I never want to get back to where I was.  I have been given a gift, an answered prayer, and I do not ever want to lose what I have been given.  It means too much to me.

So I run.  If it rains, I run.  If it snows, I run.  If it is 100+ outside I run.  If it is 10+ outside I run.

Maybe running from obesity isn’t everyones reason for running.  Maybe I should have a better reason.  But for me, that is my reason.

I never want to go back. I cannot go back.  By the grace of God, I will never go back.

Tom

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18 thoughts on “Running from obesity

  1. One of the guys I train ran off 115 pounds in one year. Went from never running a day in his life to running his first marathon in 9 months. The following year he ran 4-5 halfs and the Chicago Marathon. For all those people who say – I can’t run – I point to him and say – Really?? The only thing that limits us is us, not our bodies. You are a testament to that.

    I think one of the greatest reasons to run is to stay ahead of the scale. It means you are running for health. What greater reason is there to run than that???

    Keep up the hard work, Tom. You motivate me daily to get out there and grind thru my runs. And one day, you will run Boston. I know it.

    • Wow, that is amazing. I am still in awe how the body can adapt (good or bad). I have a guy I follow who wrote a book that could be my biography (http://bhmatson.com/about/). I love reading these blogs and hearing these stories about runners and what motivates them… And thank you – your comment means a lot to me!

  2. Sounds like a good reason to run – to be fit and healthy. I often wonder about the skeletons of overweight people…how do their frames cope with all that extra padding I wonder. I didn’t know about the blood vessels… fascinating! And you’ve done a great job to come so far, nothing wrong with leaning on the fence and being encouraged by the journey so far.

  3. Tom, that reason is as valid as any other reason because it’s *your* reason to run, and that’s all that counts really.
    Your results from your reason are, however, extraordinary and you should be congratulated for your success. Keep on running. For whatever reason you want!

  4. I love this post, I too feel I was given a second chance with running and even the most off/bad run days, I am grateful. Keep doing what you do, you will make it to Boston and I might just have to make the trip to cheer you on! 🙂

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