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    Posted November 14, 2011 by
    Lexington, Kentucky
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    More from mdrucker

    My "Aha" Moment That Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mdrucker is training for his first full Ironman in three weeks. He says his weight loss has been an "incredible journey."
    - JacqueCNN, CNN iReport producer

    In Feb. of this year I woke up the day after the Super Bowl and I realized that I needed to change my life. I weighed 365 pounds, had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and was borderline diabetic.

    I grew up with Anita Mills (who is featured in your CNN Health story today) in a small town in Eastern Kentucky. We lost touch after high school but reconnected on Facebook. In January of this year Anita and I started talking about her amazing journey. Her inspiration coupled with my desire to make a change combined to create the perfect storm, my "Aha" moment.

    I followed part of Anita's plan and immediately cut out sugary soft drinks. I switched to diet soda but limited myself to one a day. I also determined that once the 24 pack ran out, I was going to be done with soda. I also decided to cut out all processed sugars and carbs to allow my body the time to process out the bad stuff that I had been putting in for so long. Instead of processed foods I started eating wholes fruits and vegetables. And it worked! I started losing weight.

    After a week I made some more changes. I cut out salad dressings and switched to raw almonds instead of roasted, salted. I had tried in the past to lost weight but I always tried to change everything at the same time and usually after 2-3 weeks I'd go back to my old ways. I found that with small changes that I was having more success sticking with them. I continued to lose more weight.

    In March I decided that I wanted to start exercising. So I started walking. Just a mile at first. I was very slow and it was diffcult for me. But I stuck to it. I walked at work on my lunch break. And over a few weeks I noticed that I lost more weight and felt much better than I had felt in a long time.

    In April I decided that I wanted to be a runner. I started using the Coach 2 5K app from Bluefin Software on my iPhone. I remember the first day like it was yesterady. I had to run 9 intervals of 60 seconds with 90 seconds of walk time in between. I thought that I was going to die. But I stuck with it and ran my 1st 5K on July 4th. Then I used Bridge 2 10K and trained for my 1st 10K which I completed on July 30th.

    I also started biking in June. I love to ride. I joined the local cycling club so I could have others to ride with. I was initimidated at first but the people in the club were so encouraging and I just loved it. I continued to lose more weight.

    After my 10K, I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon so I began training using another app from the same company. On October 23rd, I ran my fist half marathon in 2:42. I was thrilled. I have now moved on to marathon training and I plan to run my first marathon in Feb. 2012.

    I am now down over 100 poinds. I really owe so much to Anita for providing me the inspiration that led to my "Aha" moment. I am still on my journey and I hope to lose another 60 pounds but I know that I will make it. My ultimate goal is to be an Ironman. I plan to compete in my first one in August 2012 in Louisville. I can hardly wait.

    I think the best thing about this whole journey has been that it's given me the opportunity to inspire other people the same way that Anita inspired me. You've heard of the "Butterfly Effect"? I call this the "Anita Effect". Many lives wil be changed because of her hard work and effort and I am just so blessed to be able to "pay it forward".
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