08/29/2011 08:11 am ET | Updated Oct 26, 2011

Troy Lost 68 Pounds And Now Runs Ultra-Marathons

Name: Troy Ray Grimes
Age: 47
Height: 5'11"
Before Weight: 233 pounds

How I Gained It: At age 39, I was an overweight couch potato whose life was spinning
completely out of control. At the time, I was facing more than my fair share of “life’s curve balls." These included personal health issues, health issues/deaths of loved ones, losing my job, bad business deals, bankruptcy, home foreclosure…and the list goes on and on. Slowly but steadily, since college, I had been eating lots of fast food, drinking lots of beer and absolutely not exercising at all. But it was at this time that I learned to finally take control of my life instead of letting life control me.

Breaking Point: If there is one event that I can point to where I said, "that's it, it's time for a change," it's the following story: It all began because of a friendly game of touch football in the park. On one particular play, I was wide open, caught a pass, and simply needed to run about 30 yards to score a touchdown. Well, it did not work out that way. After a few steps, my legs simply quit working underneath my heavy body, and I fell face first to the ground (bouncing up and down a couple of times like a huge beach ball along the way).

It was then that my son walked over to me (while I was still lying on the ground) and simply said, "Dad, why don't you play on the other team now, and let Michael play on our team?" I had been traded by my own son!

This was my wake up call. I knew I had to do something to lose my excess weight and gain back my son's respect.

How I Lost It: First, I found Atkins. I bought the Atkins book, and began following the plan faithfully. What I noticed after starting Atkins (besides the pounds that immediately started melting off) was that I had more energy than ever before. I felt great. This prompted me to start a running program. I continued Atkins, and ran my first 5K a few months later. Six months in, I had reached my goal weight. Within a year, I had run my first marathon. Eight years later, I still maintain this weight by only eating "good" carbs.

And I am still running.

Over the last several years, I have completed 20 marathons and five ultra-marathons (50K races). These include running two marathons in two days in 2010 and running two 50Ks in two days in 2011. In addition, I have run countless unofficial half-marathons, full-marathons, and ultra-marathons. Over the last year and a half, I have completed over 80 runs of half-marathon length or greater. On September 17, 2011, I will be competing in the USATF 24-Hour Run National Championship in Cleveland with a goal of 100 miles. And by the way, my son is a little more proud of me now.

I wrote a book about my experiences called “Putting One Foot in Front of the Other," and in it I detail how I stayed sane during the toughest period of life, and created something good out of all the bad that came my way.

After Weight: 165

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