by Tony Reyes, 

One morning I woke up, gasping for breath.  My CPAP must have slipped off my nose in the middle of the night and I had stopped breathing.  I was 23 years old, 400lbs with severe sleep apnea, and a strong history of heart disease in my immediate family.  I made up my mind that morning as I sat at the edge of my bed trying to catch my breath, crying at the realization that I had almost died.  Enough was enough, it was time to change.

I auditioned for the show The Biggest Loser.  After making it through several rounds of the casting process my spirits were so high that when I got cut I fell into a deep depression.  I didn’t think I had a way out.  I felt like my weight was literally crushing my chances at a normal life filled with activity, happiness, and potential.  I am stand-up comedian and it had gotten to the point that when I made fat jokes on stage and people laughed, I began to hate them for their laughter.  Why are they all laughing and not trying to help me?  Can’t they tell I hate this life and need support to change?

Thankfully, my fiancé saw through the facade   She made me understand that I didn’t need a TV show to change, that through diet and exercise I could save my own life.  So I signed up for the Malibu Spartan Sprint in the hopes of inspiring me to lose the weight.  And Inspire it did, I lost almost 100lbs by race day! Through getting a trainer and dedicating myself to myself, I was able to do it!  I also got a ton of support by starting my on weight loss page called “The Fat Man Diaries” where I answer questions, share workouts, and do weekly videos documenting my progress.

When I first signed up for the race I was scared.  I didn’t tell anyone about it because I wanted to be able to back out and quit like most of my other weight loss attempts.  I knew that elite athletes ran it and every video I watched I didn’t see anyone with my body type which made me nervous.  That is until I saw Chris Davis.  He had lost over 400lbs and was over 300lbs when he ran his first race so I thought, why not me?  That is why I’m writing this blog.  So that hopefully someone out there that is nervous to sign up or is unsure if you can finish, can read my story and hear me when I say that you can.  Nothing is impossible and that the hardest obstacle to conquer is your own fear.  I did it, Chris did it, YOU can also do it.

You’ll Know at the Finish Line

The first time I read those words I didn’t understand.  I figured it was some sort of cryptic marketing ploy, but I put my doubts aside and signed up.  Well I am here to tell you, it is no marketing ploy.  It’s not some goofy catch phrase that was thrown around a brainstorming session.  “You’ll Know at the Finish Line” is a promise.  A promise that if you work hard, dedicate yourself to your training, and give everything you have during the race, when you cross the finish line, you’ll understand that who you were at the beginning of the race and who you are at the finish are completely different people.  I know I am, don’t you want to be?

Are you ready for your Spartan story?  Sign up today. 

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by Michele McBride

Michele, left,  at 240 lbs

My name is Michele and I am a 41 yr old mom of 3 kids (2 boys and 1 girl ages 23, 18 and 7) and have been married for 24 years! When I was little I was always a skinny little thing, but when I hit 14 I gained some weight. Around age 15 almost 16 I decided to loose it and did! Man, it’s funny to see how boys who wouldn’t talk to you before but they sure wanted to talk to me then!

I got married at 17 to the greatest guy who loved me for me not my size! Well after two babies I had kept on the weight! After my 2nd I weighed 180 pounds. It was then when my darkest time entered. The weight continued to pile on and by the time I got pregnant with my 3rd in 2005 I weighed 240/245 lbs! It was the heaviest I had ever been and felt so depressed. The pregnancy was hard as I had many problems by the time I had her in December of 2005 I weighed 224!

It was then that I started watching The Biggest Loser! That inspired me big time! I first just changed little things – giving up soft drink except for one every now and again – but I knew I had to change, I’d developed Type II diabetes. Then I actually started eating right! I used to only eat supper and now I eat breakfast, lunch, snack, and supper! I also changed my white carbs to wheat and am making better food choices.

So I changed my eating but I knew I was still missing exercise! I admit I am lazy but I was wanting something different! I was

Michele (far right) back to 180 and counting

looking at all the Biggest Loser contestants and how they looked and looked like they felt and I wanted that. One day while searching a Biggest Loser event I stumbled across Spartan Race! Oh MY! It looked fun but I wondered if I could do it. My self-esteem had gone down as my weight went up! Even now I am not sure… but I WANT TO! My husband is very supportive and said of course you can do it honey!

I recently joined a gym and got a trainer and am preparing for my first race! I feel great now! I currently weigh 180 and have started noticing body changes. I am scared to death but I have to overcome some other fears during this Race! I have a bad fear of heights so that’s going to be hard! But I want this! I need this!! I want to be around for my little one to graduate and to one day have grandbabies to hug and run with! Plus, maybe finally I can out-kayak my brother! I love kayaking and my brother goes with me and we have so much fun but he can out paddle me! Well, watch out brother here I come! I am losing weight and inches but gaining so much more again! I have been inundated with support from Spartan Chicked Facebook page, so if you need the support they rock!

Are you a female Spartan looking for a cool crew of chicks to hang out with? Spartan Race has a Spartan Chicked closed network on FB that connects like-minded women to talk about training, nutrition, and staying healthy, strong and active. No boys allowed! Click HERE to request to join!

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