Name: Joel Almonte
Home: Brooklyn, New York
Starting weight: £ 425
End weight: £ 170
Running time: 8 years
I’ve struggled with the weight for most of my life. For most of my childhood, I was always a fat, stout kid, and I was bullied a lot, which made me believe that I wasn’t worth much. Those feelings continued for many years.
When I was in college in the early 2000s, I was a world heavyweight champion in the trendy diet. If it promises to lose weight, I’ll give it time of day. But I always respond by gaining weight again and more when I finish my diet.
For example, I followed the Atkins Diet right after it was being developed nationwide. By following the diet and exercising six days a week for 12 weeks, I lost 60 pounds, brought my weight down to 175. But those habits eventually disappeared and I was fast. gain more than 230 pounds over the next year and a half.
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After I lost weight with Atkins, I arrogantly thought that I could get back in shape better because I used to do it. I always say, “I’ll start tomorrow.”
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After graduating from college, I worked from home, and before I knew it, weighed at home, with a capacity of 350 pounds, read the error. I had to use the scale at the doctor’s office. I peaked at 425 pounds.
I love my friends to death, but nobody says anything as I continue to put heavy weight; I think they don’t want to hurt my feelings. Then, when people told me, my spirits went down. Depressed with my bad relationship with food, I moved home to Brooklyn in 2007 to seek help.
Before making any dietary changes, I ate things like McDonald’s breakfast with a few thousand calories six days a week. Dinner will include a two liter can of soda. I probably kept the Chinese food buffet near me for business. My Starbucks orders are two venti mocha frappuccino glasses a few times a week.
While I know this is not the most sane thing, I feel that it can stop – but you cannot stop it. You need to identify why you are relying on food for support instead of goals. I began to have a better relationship with myself and eventually understood that there was no quick fix. I had to take it once a day. In some cases, it is a one-time meal.
Over time, I was able to get my diet with protein, fresh fruits and vegetables. I will review the activities that I did that day and think about what I need to eat to maintain strength and energy. What are you charging for to help you get what you want?
In addition, I aim for consistency, imperfections. Some moments are considered personal failure, but I start to look at the whole. Over the past 15 days, how much better you were about your food and exercise?
By making these changes, I was able to lose 150 pounds in 2009. That’s when I realized I still needed to make other changes.
While reminiscing a day with a friend, we asked each other when was the last time either of you fell to the ground and did 10 push ups. Very modestly, we were only able to complete two very sloppy push-ups.
Next, I realized that my run must also be a hot mess. I waited until sunset so people couldn’t see me. It must have been a quarter of a mile before I was completely out of breath and disappointed to allow myself to get to this point. This is a common mindset for people facing any mental health problem.
But I was passing by someone sitting on a bench, who said to me, “well done,” which sounds great.
I take that as a personal challenge to be able to run again a mile without stopping – and I hit that goal in two weeks. I also tried going back to the gym, but that backfired, as I would say I didn’t go to the gym when I drove past. To run, I just have to pack up and go.
Sure, there was a lot of walking at first, but I went out of there. By 2011, I became a weekend jogging fighter. That’s when a friend said I probably couldn’t finish my home New York City Marathon. It makes no sense, but it sowed a seed.
It will take three years, but in 2014, I passed my first marathon finish line in New York.
Through running and changing my eating habits, my current weight is 170 pounds. I’m 42 years old, and I’m more agile, athletic, and stronger than ever. I have healthier relationships and am currently seriously considering getting an Ironman on my application in 2022.
For anyone looking to go on a similar journey, my advice is to create a plan and that plan should sometimes be for the next 24 hours only, not a week or month challenge.
Also, be your biggest cheerleader. People will support, love and encourage you, but if you’re not your biggest fan, go there. This is for you and your long term health. The people you see in those transformations may be you, but none of them happened in 12 weeks. Have a carrot at the end of the stick, and run until the whole world is your carrot. For me, my next race is the driving force to keep it going and to stay ahead of my health and training. I don’t need that much these days. Now, I expect races just to be around other runners.
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