Weight Loss Success: Ken Carlyle Started Running And Lost 70 Pounds

01/09/2012 08:38 am ET

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Name: Ken Carlyle
Age: 45
Height: 5'6"
Before Weight: 208 pounds

How I Gained It: After I graduated from college, I went from 130 pounds to over 200, due to a sedentary life and a penchant for fine wines and foods, especially cheese. I had acid reflux, high blood pressure, I snored badly and had trouble sleeping. My weight gain made me depressed, which lead to more escapism through food.

Breaking Point: In the fall of 2008, I saw photos of myself taken at a football tailgate. I had known I was overweight, but these pictures finally bothered me enough to change. My New Year's resolution in 2009 was to lose weight.

How I Lost It: I went on a very restrictive diet. I cut back to 1,000 calories a day and I was miserable. I rode a stationary exercise bike in my home three days a week. I lost 25 pounds in nine months -- which was a great start -- but hardly where I wanted to be.

One of my employees was tired of hearing me complain about my weight-loss plateau and asked me to go for a run with him. "Yeah, right. Run? I've never run more than 20 feet in my life," I replied.

Six months later, in the spring of 2010, I finally went running for the first time. I made it a mile jogging, then walking, then jogging. I was tired and felt awful. But my friend said he'd see me in two days. And so it went, every other day he met me at seven in the morning for a jog. Within a couple of weeks, I made it two miles without stopping to walk. By the end of the summer I was going four miles.

My goal was to make it once around Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City before the end of the year. On December 31, 2010 we ran the 9.5-mile course at a pace of nine minutes per mile. In May of 2011, I completed the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon in just over two hours. My friend, who had finished long before me, came back to cross the finish line with me.

It took effort and discipline and the patience of my best friend, but I lost 70 pounds and finished a half marathon. Running has changed my life. The hardest part is getting started, but once you do, you'll never stop. Once I started running, I was able to eat healthy foods and three meals a day and I lost more weight. Now, I eat a balanced diet, with an abundance of fruit and vegetables and very little red meat or fried foods. I routinely get up and run four to six miles, three to four times a week. I love it. My friend had faith in me when I had lost faith in myself. He wouldn't let me quit. He wouldn't let me fail. I will be a runner until the day I die.

After Weight: 138 pounds

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