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From Fatigued to Finisher: An Inspiring Weight Loss Story by a Runner

You know what warms my heart and makes me smile? When someone shares how Joyful Miles has inspired them to live a healthier life, making all of our hard work worth it. Well, the following guest post by Joshua Bierwiler has given us a lifetime’s worth of warm fuzzies and smiles. Keep reading to learn more about Joshua’s incredible weight loss story about perseverance and the power of running. I hope it inspires you just as much as it has inspired me!

From Fatigued to Finisher: An Inspiring Weight Loss Story by a Runner

After making a few posts in the Joyful Miles Running Club’s Facebook group, I was asked by Laura if I would like to share my story. So here goes nothing.

Last June, I weighed 393 pounds.

I was on high blood pressure and cholesterol pills for ten years. I was depressed and hopeless. I was convinced I was only going to live another five to ten years despite only being thirty-seven at the time. After years of being pre-diabetic, I was diagnostic with Type 2 diabetes.

I had wanted to get weight loss surgery for a very long time but my insurance would not cover it. Once both my girls were in elementary school, I was able to take on a second job in the morning, (in addition to my six night a week evening job). I was able to qualify for a $20,000 loan to have the surgery … $493.00 a month for four years, OUCH!!

So last August 29th, I had the surgery.

All went well. I lost the first sixty or so pounds by just dieting. No exercise. Then nothing for a month. I start to freak out.

Why am I not losing any more?

DUH. No exercise. So I started walking, thirty to forty-five minutes a few times a week. Guess what, I started losing again! After a few months of walking, I thought what if I tried to run a bit? So I did.

All of 30-45 seconds. And I was totally gassed.

Something in me said what if I could become a runner? That would be crazy, right? Someone who was almost 400 lbs can’t run. So I started to track my runs on the Strava app and went longer distances. I got up to running a 10k in 1 hour and 36 minutes. (My current PR is 1:18:00.)

My family loves Disney and we’re seasonal pass holders, so I thought it would be fun to do a Disney race. I watched videos from Gerald at Rezruns and others. Then I came across Joyful Miles. I have really enjoyed watching all of their YouTube videos. They have kept me motivated to push myself to more running less walking. I am so happy to have found Joyful Miles YouTube and the Joyful Miles Running Club on Facebook. Both really push me to go out and get my miles in every day.

Now, I’m down to 213 pounds … 180 lost in less than eleven months. My goal is to lose another 40-50 lbs. I am off all medications and no longer have sleep apnea.

Also, it is a goal of mine to do my first half marathon within the next year. I am currently signed up for the Wine and Dine 10k in November and another local 10k two weeks later. Then Star Wars 5k and 10k next year.

I ran my first 5k race on July 4th and finished in 38 minutes and now, I’m addicted to running … and BLING!

He went from 393 pounds to being a 5k finisher. INCREDIBLE! #running #weightloss #inspiration Click To Tweet

Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story, Joshua, we appreciate it and we’ll be cheering for you during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend! You’ll be ready for that half marathon before you know it.

For our readers, we’d love to hear your inspiring stories! Use the contact form if you are interested in sharing. And as always, take care and have a joyful day!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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