Ben's Story

My wife, Kari, and I started working towards healthier living in February (before it was cool). We removed carbs from our diet, reduced portions and cut our calories to about 1,000 a day. We also started exercising for 30 minutes a day using a DVD, 21 Day fix. Then, about a month ago we began to add the couch to 5K training program to our routine. I get up at 5:00 AM and run 3-4 miles before going to work, and then do the same thing in the evening, but with interval training. Right now, I am logging 25,000+ steps per day. I am the healthiest I've ever been.

 

There hasn't been anything easy about it but we are seeing huge results. So far, I have lost almost 75 pounds and Kari 40 pounds. I have lost about a foot around my waist. Maybe more! Last week, we put on our wedding clothes from 12 years ago and they were too big. On Saturday, June 10, we ran our first 5K! We crushed our goals for the 5K. Honestly I couldn’t be more proud of this accomplishment. We had three goals: To not go to the hospital, to finish, and to be finished in less than 55 minutes. Guess what?! I finished at about 38 minutes, and Kari beat me by 2 minutes!!!

 

Losing weight and getting more fit has obvious benefits. We are less tired, more energetic, happier, and so on. What has been surprising to me is how much it has helped our whole family in more areas than just our health. My relationship with Kari is stronger and healthier. We already had a great marriage, but this holistic health journey has helped us to become more goal-oriented. We encourage each other constantly. When we have set backs, we share them. We share our successes and accomplishments. Spiritually, on the surface, we listen to Christian music while we run. I am also much happier and capable of helping others when I am healthier. At a deeper level though, I find myself meditating and thinking about God when I run. Last week, I called my grandmother, a spiritual formation pastor from Delaware (my spiritual Sherpa if you will). The first thing she asked me was, "How have you seen God today?" I immediately responded without thinking. I told her that I saw a beautiful sunrise and two deer while jogging in the morning. So I think that was proof that the time running, meditating, and treating myself like I'm worth the effort is putting me in places to appreciate and see God. Our whole family is transforming, even the baby does yoga and burpees with us. Yeah God!