Most Popular

A Running Guide for the Overweight Runner

There is a man that runs around my town all of the time carrying himself with no evidence of being tired. You may see him out at the park r...


The Plan. Pushing Limits. 5k race. Pictures!

I've been away the last week, actually two out of the last three I've been away from home working at a camp. It's been a lot of fun, but I'm glad to be at home. It's been fun to hang with my wife and get some much needed sleep (I slept until 11am today). I have included a before picture that I took some time late last year and also a picture that I took this past week at camp. I enjoy seeing the differences.


I was hoping to come home and find that I had reached the 180s, but it has yet to happen. I knew a time would come that this would happen - that I'd reach a point where I'd need to change my routine in order continue with a healthy weight loss.

I've hit that point.

I have a really normal routine that works well. I eat at the same time each day (usually) and run about the same time as well. I'm going to change a few things up though. This is my plan to approach the dreaded plateau.

I don't believe in plateaus - only action.

I have used the mindset and lifestyle of moderation the entire time and have lost a total of 65 lbs. This seems to be the amount that I have held too. I remember in high school weighing 190 lbs and thinking that it was a healthy weight for me to be at. At the time - maybe that was right, but now that I am older and don't lift weights like I did then -- 190 is not ideal for me. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that I've been able to hit this weight, but it's not my stopping point. My plan is to reach 170 lbs for me to be a lean, comfortable, solid machine.

As I said, I use moderation to be successful and I will not stop using that, but I will use a narrower gate on what is eaten and more moderation on what may be preventing the last 20 from falling. I won't lie, I allow sugar into my diet (and by 'diet' I mean my daily intake) in a few different forms. I put agave nectar in my coffee, I drink one 12 oz Sprite a day, and usually one other form throughout the day. It's worked and I don't feel deprived. I want to find that balance with smaller portions of the sugar - and so I will.


Since our recent move, I've had a hard time with the running. I continue to run and enjoy the running, but find that since going full time at the church - I have had less time to run and more work. Go figure that I'd stop working two jobs and work only one that I'd have more work.

I am using the Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training for Intermediate level. Why I chose the Intermediate level is because of all the running that I've done this year. It's average run is 3 miles and that's what I do for my easy that's why I chose that level. Tomorrow is suppose to be a 6 mile run, but I have a 5k to run so the 6m will not get done. I will attempt to work that in somehow throughout the next week.

Hal's program calls for strength training days - I plan to use the p90x during those days. To be honest, I miss doing the p90x on a daily basis so much that I just might modify Hal's program to fit more of that in it. I feel that when I was doing both the running, and the p90x regularly - I felt and did my best.

I have said all of that just to lay out a plan before you to keep me accountable. That's what this site is for right - to encourage and keep accountable.

My Plan for the Last Twenty.

- Cut out the 12 oz Sprite per day. (40 grams of sugar)
- Increase raw green veggies
- Modify Hal's running schedule to include more Strength Training
- Cut cheese (<--Ha. funny huh? - but really, I need to lower the amount of cheese I eat.) These are simple, doable, attainable goals that I will utilize in order to get rid of the last twenty. My mind is set. This is where positive reinforcement takes place. In our old house, I posted notes to myself in front of our treadmill (before outdoor running became my love) that said this.

"Discipline Pushes Limits" "I am the Machine"
"Set Your Mind"

This is where I am.

What is your motto? What do you tell yourself to keep yourself going?


GUEST POST: [Kyle Gershman, GB&B] "Freedom...Worth Fighting For?"

Freedom...Worth Fighting For?

Many thanks for Seth for allowing me to guest post in his absence. Seth has been a great source of inspiration for me in my journey to getting healthy. He is a near unstoppable source of energy and has succeeded in areas that I'm still struggling, e.g. dreaded strength training, so I continue to follow and learn by his example.

While my history of getting fit has included the usual great successes followed by huge setbacks, my latest run at getting fit started last November around 236 pounds. 70 pounds later, I maintain my current 165 pound weight through mostly running and focus on making more good food choices than bad...I still strive to improve on strength training and overall body composition. I graduated C25K in late March and have recently rocked my longest run yet of 7 miles.

And if any of you have followed my blog Getting Better and Better, have received comments from me, I mention Freedom quite a bit. It was the subject one of one of my early blog posts. It was the base of my index card submission to Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit's W.I.D.T.H. series

Before going on, let's take a look at the more relevant definitions from

free·dom  [free-duhm]

1.the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.

I want the freedom to be able to do any physical activity I choose to do. I need a physically fit body to carry out that freedom, though. Sure, I've done many physical activities while being less fit than I am not, but they never truly felt free. There were always strings attached. I couldn't go as far, as fast, or for as long as I wanted to. I was always restrained by my lack of physical fitness. I have friends who are very fit and very adventurous. It really irked me to have to awkwardly turn down or suggest alternative adventures that I felt I was more capable of enjoying.

At the urging of one of our fit friends, last October before I started my latest bid for physical fitness, my wife and I went to Yosemite National Park and hiked the Glacier Point Trail. Here is my video review. It was a very hard experience for me. I was probably around 240 pounds at that time and already an experienced hiker, but it was a struggle. Did I complete the hike? Sure, but I was practically immobile that evening and for the next two days. I gave away my freedom of doing anything else for the next few days just to get that one hike in. There were other activities at Yosemite we wanted to do, but we lost our freedom to do so. If you watch the video, you'll hear me breathing heavily at certain points. Again, I could "do" the hike, but I had a really tough time enjoying it as much as I could have. I wasn't really free to take in all the experiences of the hike as I was more concerned about my health and capabilities throughout the hike.

2.exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

While I'm fortunate to be under a group healthcare plan, I don't know that I feel any freedoms (just yet) to go out and seek my own healthcare coverage. My BMI, waist to hip ratio, etc. all would have put me in a high risk class and may have made coverage prohibitively expensive. There were definitely times I'd like to have left the comforts of company employment and provided group coverage, but I never felt free to do so. I don't want to be restricted by regulations or other parties to determine what kind of coverage I deserve and at what price.

I don't want an airline to tell me I can't fly.

I don't want an amusement park to keep me from riding the rides.

3.the power to determine action without restraint.

This is the freedom of choice...the POWER to determine my actions instead of actions being selected for me.

My wife and I decided to try rock climbing. This would not have been a consideration before. While we had some reasonable choice in taking on certain activities like hiking, cycling, walking, etc. because we had some control over distance, time, terrain, etc., there are some actions that I don't think I had the power to choose.

I'm sure there are some hefty rock climbers out there...I'm sure that the ropes, harnesses, gear, etc. are likely designed to work with people who are much larger than I was; however I never even considered it. I assumed (and I still think rightly so) that climbing rocks on ropes where you are dependent on others for your safety simply was limited to a more fit participant.

Getting down to a healthy weight gave me gave me the freedom of choice.

Perhaps there are other freedoms you would like. Would you like to be free of fear? The fear of what the doctor might say next? too. I've lived much of my life in fear instead of living it. Getting healthy removes many of those fears. Sure, bad things can still happen, but when you KNOW you aren't healthy, you KNOW that there are higher risks and it raises the fears of something bad happening.

Like our forefathers and their question for freedom, it is something we all is something worth fighting for.

What does freedom look and feel like to you? What are you prepared to do?


Flirting with the 180's. Half Update. Recent Pictures.

Half Training.

I will give you continuous update as to how the training is going since that is the focus that I have right now for my running. The runs, that sounds running has been going pretty smooth this week and have been pretty enjoyable. I try so hard to be friendly to everyone that I see or come across and about half of the time I get some type of response. I wave at everyone and about half of the time get the wave or nod back. I encourage others that I see running/walking to 'keep it up' or 'looking good' and that has gotten positive response. I don't think they are quite use to that. I asked one guy if he wanted to run with me. He denied, but said that he had already done several trips around the lake already.

I will be running here after a little while, but first comes some basketball at the park. I will be going there alone in hopes to find some people playing. We'll see how that turns out!

Flirting with the 180's.

I have been flirting here for a little while with the 180's, but have yet to see it show up on the scale. It'll happen soon - I feel it. I'm ready for it too. The 190's have been good to me, but the 180's are shaping up to be pretty solid. I'm excited for them.

It has been a while since I have uploaded a recent picture of me - so here you go. I took the before picture with my friend Clarence at a college graduation. It was taken last year.

The Now picture was taken today. I finally broke down and got a couple new shirts and a pair of shorts that actually fit. (These are not them, but I wasn't sure what size I would need for shorts - 34's fit pretty comfortable -- WOW!) I will try to get another post up what I look like in my older, larger clothes.

Enjoy the pictures and I hope you have an awesome rest of the day!



What is one fitness/weight loss goal that you would like to meet or hit in the near future?


Friday Shout Outs. Half Marathon Training. 5k Race Set-up.

Dial-Up = Tough Time reading Blogs

I have still yet to receive internet at the church. I do have it in the form of tethering from my Blackberry, but it is slow like dial up. I do have internet at home, but by the time I get home - it seems like my *to do list grew each block I traveled. Whether it is mowing (which has been a lot lately - I mow about 5-6 acres each week) or something simple as spending time with my wife, I have become very busy. It will calm down though after next week. This upcoming week I will be M.I.A. again. I do have a guest post set to post, but would love to have some more!

Any takers?!

Today, I wanted to do a few shout-outs. There have been so many people come and go already this year on the weight loss/fitness blogosphere that I wanted to give a few kudos' to some of those that have stayed and worked through the struggles and successes. I might also tell some of what they have accomplished. If you already follow or know of these people - go tell them that you appreciate and support them. If you don't follow or know them - go introduce yourself and give them some encouragement.

Four Solid Bloggers.

Half of Jess - This girl has gone from not being able to run one mile -- to running a Half Marathon is just under 5 months!!! Can you believe that? She's also done that bare foot, almost.

KatDoesDiets - This girl is knows how to get things done! She's taken a different route with her blog right now and would definitely take the love that you have to give.

Tara @ 263 and counting- She's recently been wearing her sock monkey gingerbread house pajamas all over the place. Why you may ask? Because she can! She couldn't even button the shirt earlier this year...go check and support her!

Kyle @ Getting Better and Better – So, Kyle took a vacation to go home to see family. His vacation consisted of TWO races! This guy is determined and his blog is always fun to read! Look forward to a guest post by him midway through next week on Fit With a Purpose!!!

Obviously, these are not all of the people that have stuck around or have played an important part in my success, but if I put everyone up in one post – I wouldn’t have a post for the next shout out post

Half Marathon.

It is official. I have started training for a Half-Marathon! I can’t seem to find one near me that is roughly 12-13 weeks away though. There is one in Columbia, MO, but it is not until the 2nd of October – that is the one I am shooting for. I hope that I find one sooner than that though. That is several weeks after the 12 week program is over. I am serious about this too – so serious that I have in fact, created a Facebook group called, “Half Marathon Training”. You are welcome to join it and track your own running, create a running team to track each others, and/or just interact with other runners. Click here for the page to join!

I am currently on day 5 of Hal Higdon’s 12 week plan. So far, it’s been pretty easy. I am doing the intermediate level and the longest run for week 1 is only 5 miles. I’m getting pretty excited about this program in that I’ve seen other people do it and work for them.

Currently, I do believe that MizFit is following the program too. Any other people doing this and how is it working for you?!

Side note:
Have you checked my miles tracker lately? I’ve traveled over 400+ miles so far this year! I am very proud of that. I am behind my goal pace by like 40 miles (darn you broken ankle), but I am very happy that I have less than 600 miles to go to meet that 1010 in 2010 goal I had originally set.

5k Hosting Information?

This may not relate to you or maybe it does, I don’t know. I am thinking of hosting a 5k sometime, but need LOTS of information on how to go about it. I would love to have any help on it that you could give – opinions, suggestions, wants, needs, things you would like if you were running, things you dislike at other 5k events, statements, and/or whatever you have to give would be awesome!

Why have you or why haven’t you chosen to follow your dreams?!


Dreams. Aspirations. Pursuit. Because of you...

"So what do you do?"

"I'm a teacher and a preacher. It's fun."

"That's good. If you had the opportunity - what would you be doing; what is your dream?"


"Why don't you pursue it?"


This is a recent conversation that I had with someone. I left the conversation inspired to dream bigger and have much more enthusiasm for what the future may hold.

I usually have a pretty good grasp on what is taking place and hold a positive mindset for the future, but I will admit that sometimes I tend to view my dreams and aspirations as just that and not go for them for whatever reason.

I hate to admit that, but it's the truth.

In a part of my past, (what seems like a life time ago), I was told by a mutual friend of me and a girlfriend - that my girlfriend had labeled me as someone who just 'talks big but will never amount'.

That hurt.

I think I allowed that person to bring me down. It was by my own doing.

It is no more.

I surround myself with positive people. These people are ones that encourage me to pursue my dreams and aspirations. They make me better.

So, this is where I am at.

I have big goals and big dreams. I am in constant pursuit of those goals and dreams.

What does this have to do with Fit With A Purpose, fitness, and weight loss?

It has everything to do with you. You help push, encourage, and keep me founded on what it is I am trying to do.

We (you and me) are building Fit With a Purpose to be a community of encouragement, fierceness, and a logical path to success. When starting this site, it was an half-hearted attempt to simply keep track of a couple miles.

It has transformed though - because of you.

I have dreams -- BIG dreams -- because of your support and encouragement.

I have aspirations -- BIG aspirations -- because of your dedication and devotion.

I have success -- BIG success -- because of watching you succeed and push forward.

At some point - I will tell you what those big dreams are...but for now - you will just have to believe me that right now - I am living my life to do the most that I can.

I am not going to let this point in my life (where I am at right now) to be just a waiting room for the "Big Dreams", but to let this time transform into the Big Dreams.

We are not successful by accident.

We push. We strive We struggle We overcome. We drive. We run. We walk. We work. We swim. We lift. We move. We eat. We act. We dream. We aspire. We live. We laugh.

...and the best part is

...we are doing all of those things

...with purpose.


Moderation. Vacation Tips. Camp Recap.


So how do you go on vacation and not come back weighing more than when you left?



You've seen it all over the fitness/weight-loss blogosphere and you'll see it here too - moderation is key to a successful, long term victory over excessive weight.

Let's think about it.

Moderation is simply taking control over how much that you put in to your body.

As you know, I spent the last week at a camp and unlike most camps - this camp has some really good food. Let's see, some of what we ate was...

turkey and stuffing. beef brisket. pizza. chili. hamburgers.

Those things are completely different then my usual diet and I did feel the affects of them throughout the week, but yet I come home today weighing the same amount of weight as when I left.

It is because I practiced moderation.

Because I was a part of the staff -they wanted to heap the food onto my plate. I was able to say "not that much", "just a little", and/or "no thank you".

Moderation allowed me to enjoy the foods that I don't typically eat and not feel guilty about eating it.

Would I suggest that you eat that way all of the time?

Not at all.

I have another week of camp coming up and I would really like to lose that last 20 pounds. Eating foods that are processed, unhealthy, and not full of the vitamins and nutrients I need will not get me to where I want to be. I will be taking some of my own food with me next time so that I can have more control (other than just saying no or going hungry) of what I get to eat.

Another thing that helped me while I was at camp was the physical exercise that I got.

Monday we played soccer (won), Tuesday was Ultimate Frisbee (won), Wednesday was a 3 on 3 basketball tourney (2nd place), and Thursday was 6 on 6 volleyball tourney (lost). There were also multiple times that the campers were playing Knock-Out. Knock-Out is where everyone is in a line behind the free throw line (basketball) and shoot one after another trying to make the shot before the next one does. The whole point is to eliminate everyone else until you are the winner.

So, I tell you all of this to give you some tips on what to do when you are on vacation, away with work, and/or away from home.

Tips for when you are away.

1. Learn to say "No", "not that much", or "just a little".

2. Take action. Be active in order to balance the abnormal intake.

3. Enjoy what you do get to eat. Don't feel guilty about eating something that you don't normally.

4. Know when the vacation, trip, and/or hiatus is over. You have to set your limits when things are out of your hands and it requires follow through.

I've had a good week, but am really happy to be home. I've missed blogging and have no idea as of right now what the google reader has to say. I am pretty far behind on all of your blogs and hope that you take no offense at that.

You will be seeing me much more this week as I will be home for the full week.

What tip do you have to offer for when someone is on vacation?


Driven. Runner Insecurities. Open Ended post.


What drives you?

I do a lot of thinking while running and I do believe that it is the best time for me to think. I think about a lot of things.

I think of…

…things I need to do during the day.
…things that I see while running.
…things that I struggle with.
…things that I am striving for.
…my wife.
…my job and ministry.
…my life as a whole.
…things that I can do to be better.
…things that I can do to do better.
…things that I can do to become who I am meant to be.
…who I am meant to be.

There is a lot that goes on in a runner’s mind.

Whoever said running is easy is not a runner. Yes, the physical aspects of running may be easy, but as I’ve told you before – running is more mental than anything.

I question myself when running.

Can I really make it that far?
Why did I take this road – that’s another half mile now?!
Should I stop and walk?
Does my ankle really hurt or is that the easy way out?
Are you really cut out for a half-marathon?

This is just some of it. All runners may not question themselves, but I will tell you that people who have lost a significant amount of weight do have the questions.

With former overweight people - there is so much more attached to the running than just the running.

At the end of the day though, when all has been said and done – after the 1 min run, 2 min run, 5 min run, 20 min run, 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or marathon has been ran – the question still remains…what drives you to do what you do?

I've written several times about what Fit With a Purpose means to me and why I do what I do...

...but the question is still for you to answer.


What are you driven by?


Internet. Running Tips For New Places. Weird Workouts.


We have internet finally at our house which means that I will be more up-to-date, for the next couple of days.

It’s kind of funny that as soon as I get the internet – I will be away working at a camp for five days. I will have my laptop and my phone (which serves as a modem) so I may be able to get online for a little bit.

This upcoming week will be crazy full of activity. If you have never been to camp or ever worked at a camp – let me tell you that you are always active when there. The afternoons are my favorite time because we get to go out and just play sports.

It’s going to be so hot. :)

Tips for Running in new places.

After we got all moved in – I got to go for some nice runs. It’s always neat to run in new places. Everything is new to you and makes for quality runs. While they are quality runs – running only makes sense when you are able to have fun and enjoy the runs.

I made a mental list while running of things that you should do when you decide to run in a new place.

1. Become familiar with the area. Just because you are new doesn’t mean to know nothing about the place.

2. Know your route. I’ve talked about it before here about mapping your route before you run. This way you will not be caught off guard with longer distances and times.

3. Wear an identity of some kind so that you will be known. In the event that you may need an identity card – you’ll have it and others can find it.

4. Wave and acknowledge the people that you pass and see. While this may have some benefits as for safety purposes – this is just being nice and friendly.

5. Wear reflective bits and pieces. This is general knowledge. If you think about it – you may be running in an area that doesn’t get a lot of runners and people aren’t watching for them. Running safe is smart running.

6. Don’t run at night. While running at night may be something you do in the comfortable environment of home and community – it is not a good idea to run at night in a new area, environment, and route.

7. Have fun.

Enjoy yourselves and remind yourself that what you are doing now -- is helping your future!

Guest Posters.

If you emailed me to let me know that you would like to guest post while I am gone – please let me know what you have planned to do. We will work the specifics out by email.

If you would like to guest post still here at Fit With A Purpose, let me know – I still have some room if you would like too. I am looking for quality posts to give to my readers!

Do you have something that you want to talk about and want your blog to get some more traffic – guest post here!

Email me at styler [at] cccb [dot] edu.

What has been the weirdest thing that has happened to you while working out?!