Brian Blevins was over 400 pounds and at risk for high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors when he knew he had to make a change. Since his journey began in 2010, he has lost 130 pounds, run a half marathon (and is considering running a full marathon), and feels better than ever. Read this inspirational Q&A from May 2011 to find out how Brian changed his lifestyle and became a Heart-Healthy Firefighter.
Briefly describe your lifestyle before becoming Heart-Healthy.
My lifestyle prior to starting my journey of healthy living was similar to letting a kid loose in a candy store. I would generally start my day with the fast food breakfast that was closest to work. Healthy was always on my mind but it was easier to grab a couple burgers and fries than it was to take the time to eat healthy. I would always attempt to start exercising, but that like everything else you soon become victim to the “I will start my diet on Monday,” and that came and went. I never thought of myself as unhealthy, but I got to the point that I knew I was on a collision course with very poor health.
Describe the reasons behind making these changes.
First and for most I tipped the scale at over 400 lbs. If that is not enough, I was borderline with having high blood pressure. The doctor wanted to put me on medications, and I was having shortness of breath with doing just the simplest of tasks. Not to mention I simply was at a low point in my life, and was beginning to get depressed thinking of how things were going. I simply didn't like what I was doing with my life style and knew it was time to make a change.
What were the results?
I am proud to announce that my results have been most rewarding. Since I decided to make the change back in February of 2010 I have lost 130 lbs. I feel amazing and know that I will never allow myself to go back to living unhealthy.
How do you maintain your healthy lifestyle?
I continue to make everyday a part of my journey. I workout nearly every day and eat healthy every day. I am still not to my goal weight, so I continue to work hard to get where I want to be. I have started taking online courses to get certified as a personal trainer and pass my knowledge and my story along to anyone that wants to listen. I am currently looking into starting my own fitness consulting network and strive to make fitness a fun and exciting journey.
What is the most significant thing that has happened or that you have noticed since you’ve become heart-healthy?
Since starting my weight loss journey I have discovered that there is nothing you can put in front of me that I will turn down the opportunity to do. I have fallen in love with running and setting new goals and challenges for myself. Last August I completed my first 5k; later in the same month I completed my first 10k, then in November I completed a second 5k. I noticed that my times were faster and I was loving running more and more. In January, I made it official that I was going to run a half marathon.... the training began! I am proud to say that as of May 15th I not only started but I finished my very first half marathon! What an accomplishment, I mean seriously.... I FINISHED A HALF MARATHON! Now I am setting my goals on finishing a second half sometime this fall, and perhaps a full Marathon within the next year. Only the sky is the limit from here; I will continue on this journey forever. Life is a journey – you have to have the will to discover your true potential.