by Carrie Adams

The mail we receive from athletes who come and run with us are often filled with inspired stories of how people are making positive changes to make their lives better, to be healthier, and to lead active lives.  One story came into HQ today and we had to share this amazing journey from unhealthy to Spartan glory.  Meet William Coleman.

DSCF0683 (2)My name is William Coleman. My sister (Juawana Hall) and I ran the Spartan Sprint this past Saturday in Charlotte. We had a great day. I live outside Washington DC in Virginia. She lives in Winston-Salem. Well, when I got home this evening she calls me and explains how she had been posting on the Spartan Facebook page about the race and how proud she was of me for doing it. Specifically that 2 years ago I weighed almost 500 pounds. Through diet and exercise I’ve dropped over 200 pounds and am in the best shape of my life.

My whole life I have struggled with my weight. I was the fat kid all through out my years in school. I attempted to play sports in high school, but was lazy. Had no motivation. I went for a sports physical in 10th grade to try out for the football team. I was told by the doctor who preformed the exam that at 305 pounds I was to heavy to participate.  At that point I gave up on school sports. I began a gym membership inJuly wedding (2) 11th grade, didn’t stick with it again. Over the next several years I tried everything out there. Weight loss pills, every gimmick diet. Counting points, no carbs, nothing worked.

Fast forward to February 2010. I had ballooned up to 478 lbs. I hadn’t developed diabetes or high blood pressure, but was on my way. I couldn’t go up a flight of stairs with out huffing and puffing like a freight train. I ate ungodly amounts of food. One meal would be 2 full size subs, an order of potatoes wedges with bacon and cheese and chicken wings. Or I would pick up an 8 piece family meal of fried chicken with large sides and 6 biscuits, eat every bit and fall asleep in a food coma, only to repeat at the next meal time. I was going to die.

It was time for a change. A friend of mine, who also happens to be my boss, had to lose weight for a trip his family was taking. He was a big guy too. His doctor had recommended a low carb diet to him. I watched his progress after two weeks he had dropped 20 lbs. It was structured and had no special items that required to be bought with a brand name on the front of the box. Just a plan and a list of how often and what to eat. I started the plan at the end of February. Over the next 6 moths I dropped 100lbs. With out exercise or training. I lowered my body weight by almost 20%. At this point I started my membership at my local Gold’s Gym in Manassas, Va. I then mixed in a sort of structured routine. Fast forward one year I dropped another 100 lbs. This past October I ran in the Virginia 2011 Warrior Dash, a fun race. I had a good time but I wanted a real challenge. Through some friends I found about the Spartan Races. They are what I was looking for. After this past weekend I have made it a personal 5 year goal to prepare for, compete in, and finish the Death Race.  I’m sore and can barley lift my right leg to a straight 90 degrees, but while my leg rests I have much more upper body to work on. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I was.

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