From Overweight To Running The London Marathon; Lessons On Life...
By Tommy Newman, Legends Report Member
Two years ago I was clinically overweight, I had several failed diets behind me, and I said I couldn't run because my back hurt. I was a shy person and very much didn't want to be in the spotlight. But soon after starting life and business mentoring with one of the Legends Report founders, I received an opportunity from The Sun newspaper to get help from a personal trainer, nutritionist, and psychologist to lose weight. I ended up losing 2 stone and being featured in the national paper, having attended several photo shoots. It was so tempting to turn this opportunity down, to fall foul of being shy, to not risk failure, but with a new realisation of having the ability to choose the life I wanted, I knew I had to go for it.
"Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them."
- Jim Carrey
I achieved this weight loss not by doing a fad diet, but by making habitual changes. To eat better, to walk more, and aligning myself with one of the core principles that legends apply - Personal Leadership. This meant setting a very clear intention for myself. I had begun to visualise my life in 1, 10, 20 years time and knew I wanted to be fitter, healthier and live longer for my young children and eventually grandchildren.
"If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!"
- Richard Branson
Having progressed from walking 10,000 steps a day as part of my lifestyle change, to running an official 10k event, then running a half marathon in October 2016, I applied for and was given a charity place for the mental health charity Mind, for the London Marathon. Looking back, before I had lost weight I read an article by a Legends Report mentor about running a marathon; I knew (or so I thought) that was something I would never do. Ever! I didn't think I was capable of it. But I just kept hitting my next target, losing weight, completing the 10k, and then the half marathon.
Each step has seemed to be a stretching goal, but one that was within reach, however big the challenge. It was only once I had completed a half marathon that I thought a full marathon was possible.
Getting The Right Support
The first key factor in my journey from being overweight to running the marathon has been the personal and professional support which has brought guidance and accountability. From the team at The Sun, to a physio and my marathon advisor, it has helped tremendously to have experts give me plans to follow, to report back to, and to answer my questions along the way.
The second reason is continuous trial and improvement. I started running with the kit I had to hand, and I've developed various injuries before learning how to avoid them. I tried different headphone types, different energy gels that had different effects on my stomach. I even ended up creating holes in the pockets of all of my shorts from the weight of my phone! I even lost my phone and had it returned, eventually settling on getting a GPS watch. I've played around with the time of day I would run and where I run to fit the 3 runs a week in, which, as I draw closer to the marathon, takes up to 5 hours that I have needed to fit into my life around my business and family. A lot of these are small things that add up - but when we're starting out anything new, we're always going to make mistakes and get things 'wrong'. That's part of the learning curve.
"With self-discipline all things are possible."
- Theodore Roosevelt
Having a Compelling Reason - Or a Few...
It has taken a lot of self-discipline and belief in myself to train for 3 months through the winter. Getting out of bed at 7am on a cold morning to run for 2 hours, getting home in time to start the day with the family. To do that you need a purpose, and I've had multiple...To prove to myself that I can go beyond what I have previously thought possible, to keep my commitment to the charity that trusted in me to raise the required amount, my responsibility to those who are sponsoring me and showing my children the value of health, perseverance and hard work. Legends know that self-discipline and the right mindset is crucial in achieving goals:
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right."
- Henry Ford
And the effect of all of this on me? I've kept the 2 stone off, I've stood up in front of sizeable audiences to talk about my business. I've been asked to represent fatherhood on live mainstream TV (although it hasn't materialised yet). My back pain has almost gone (ironic that this was my excuse not to run before!), and I feel proud that I am leading my children by example; they will be one mile from the end to see me, and will be running the vitality 1 mile run with me in a month's time.
If you can help me reach my £2k sponsorship target and would like to read about why I'm running for Mind, to help combat stigma around mental health and save lives, then I would really appreciate you visiting my profile page here and sponsoring what you can.