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Have you seen this latest and greatest You Tube sensation?  Meet Ben, who slimmed down from 360 pounds to 240 pounds in 21 months and fell in love with running.  He ran a 5K, a Half Marathon, a Marathon, and then…  Well, you should really just watch the video to find out!

 

I watched the video and sobbed hysterically.  Then I immediately e-mailed Ben to see if he’d like to be featured on Healthy Tipping Point as a success story.  Here he is!

 

1) In your video, you said you "got big" and then you "got sad."  What do you think were the triggers for becoming overweight in the first place? Was your family active?  Or did the weight and the emotional component of it just compound on itself? 

 

Oh, man, I don’t think there were any emotional triggers as much as it was just a situation where I love to eat awful (health-wise) foods. Growing up, we just always had food to snack on. Cereal, chips, Kool-Aid, etc… I’m the epitome of “couch-potato;” give me a chair and a T.V. with some cereal, and I’ll be a happy man. Constantly eating, and never moving is what did it to me. My family has a history of addiction and I got the food one. It’s still there, definitely, and I still battle with it every day. Luckily, now I’m moving a lot, so it’s not as bad. But it’s always there.

 

2) When you "got inspired" was there a particular trigger that you can recall?  A Healthy Tipping Point, if you will?

 

Yep. A few actually, and they all happened within a couple of months. I was dating a girl at the time, December, 2008, and one night she ran and jumped in my arms and did that cute, girl-thing where she wrapped her legs around my waist and went to latch her feet in the back to complete the embrace, but her feet couldn’t touch each other because I was so big. It was awkward and embarrassing. It still sucks to think about. And then a couple weeks later, I was at my grandmother’s house — she’s always been a huge proponent of me getting my life together. She would always talk to me about my health, and offer me tips for weight-loss that I appreciated, but never utilized — and this particular time, Christmas of that year, I realized I was unhappy with my life, and just being there being with her, I realized it was the time to do something about it. So I started my blog, BenDoesLife, wrote the address on the card, and gave it to her as a Christmas gift. She got me a shirt, which was two sizes too small. I told her rather than take it back, I was going to work on fitting in it. And eventually I did.

Got it.   And beat my goal by 2:27. Broke an hour. Pretty incredible feeling. I felt good pretty much the entire race. Miles one and six were kind of tough but I was in a nice groove the rest of the way. My 59:53 time was good enough for third in my age group. I didn’t even think about waiting around for an award because I assumed I was not getting one. Eric picked it up for me though.   Jed finished in 54 something and Eric finished in 48 something - first in our age group.   Satisfying run.

3) Why running? I’m sure it was incredibly hard at first.  Why were you drawn to running?  Did someone help you get into it? 

 

This, I can blame on my brother, Jed. As I was driving home from Meemaw’s house that year, I called him and said, “Dude… I have to get my life together.” A few minutes later, while still on the phone, he said, “I just signed us up for a 5K.” I figured he meant a 5K that would take place in two or three months. Nope. It was 17 days away. But a few days after the phone call, I jogged for 8 minutes without stopping. It was hard, but I did it. Then a few days later I jogged a mile without stopping (12 minutes, 40 seconds) and then, we finished that 5K. It was slow, but we did it. Crossing that line was the proudest moment of my life at that time and I was hooked. I was hooked to improving myself and my times, I was hooked to the race atmosphere, and I was hooked to the feeling it gave you when you finished. It’s just the right discipline for me. I’ve been doing it for 21 months now, and it’s still awesome every time.

 

4) Why racing?  When you ran your first 5K, did you EVER think "Maybe one day I’ll do a marathon and an Ironman"?  When and why did those things become possibilities? What do you love most about racing?

Racing was a perfect fit for my personality. I love statistics, and I love seeing exactly how far I can push my body. That’s the thing about racing at this level. You’re not racing the other people unless you’re running 5-minute-miles, which obviously most of us will never be able to do; you’re racing yourself.

 

Prior to the moment I decided to change my life, marathons were in my head as “Wow. I can’t believe people can do that,” but never as something I thought I could do myself. I was clueless to the whole world of marathons. I didn’t know there were specific training plans for everyone to look to. I just thought there was a select few people in the world that could do them, and no one else could. Like contortionists, I guess. You either have it or you don’t. But once we started researching them, they slowly became a dream for us. Until one day, we decided to sign up.

 

I didn’t even know Ironmans existed until about six months into my “doing life.” Jed and I were doing our first triathlon, and the announcer came over the intercom to let us know there were a few dozen people that were competing that had done a half-ironman the day before. As we were clapping politely, I asked him what a half-ironman was. He told me the distances. Then I calculated that a full would be double that. I was stunned. I couldn’t fathom it. I wrote it off as something I would never be able to do. Then a few months later, after we finished our first marathon, I began to get curious. We researched it and signed up in February of this year.

 

5) What’s been your proudest moment?  When did you think, "OK, I’ve changed my life"?

 

By far it’s the moment we crossed the finish line at Ironman Louisville. Yes, finishing the first marathon was huge and emotional, but the thing about training for a marathon is, most of the training plans call for a 20-miler, which ours did, so we kind of already knew we were going to be able to finish the marathon, it was just a matter of doing it. But Ironman is a different beast. Our biggest training day was a 75 mile bike ride followed by a six-mile run, which isn’t anywhere near an Ironman, so it was still iffy on whether or not we had it in us to actually complete the Ironman. But, man, finishing that damn race, crossing that line together, Jed, my dad, and me. It was incredible. Really incredible. The emotional highs and lows you go through in the six months of training and the 17 hours on the course, it really makes the finish worth it. And it was.

6) Who’s the lucky lady? :)  Is she into running, too?

 

The lady is April. She’s way out of my league and yes, she runs. She’s been running for about nine years. We’re all training for the Las Vegas Marathon in December. It will be her first.

 

7) How was your eating before you lost weight and what’s your diet like now?

 

Diet is my downfall. I really have no rhyme or reason to my eating. I’ll have streaks of good and streaks of bad. Good months, bad months. I try to be reasonable, and sometimes I fail, but I’m not nearly as bad as I was in before I started this. It’s very much a work-in-progress.

 

8) How has your mental state changed?

 

It’s drastic. The two years before I started, I was locking myself in my room and playing computer games for 12-15 hours a day. It was a really dark time in my life. I would have fake happiness when I would be with my then-girlfriend or my friends, but I was constantly depressed, and it all had to do with my health. I couldn’t fit in movie chairs, or airplane chairs. I broke wooden chairs. I was always tired and out of breath. It all starts to take a mental toll. Now, I’m happy. There’s really no other way to describe it. I enjoy life. I enjoy going out. It’s incredible.

 

9) How long did it take you to lose 120 pounds and can you give me a breakdown of how long it took you to get up to 5k, Half Mary, Mary and Ironman distances? 

 

I went from 360 to 220 in 11 months. So 140 pounds in 11 months. Since then, I’ve gained 20 pounds (a mix of muscle gained from Ironman training, and fat gained through some bad food choices.) So 120 pounds in 21 months. I’m on my way back down to 220, though, through better eating and marathon training.

 

As far as running, it went a lot quicker than I thought it would 5K took 17 days. Half Marathon was 6 months in. Marathon was 10 months. Ironman was 20 months. I’m not sure a doctor or sport’s physiologist would sign off on going that far that quickly, but it worked for us.

 

10) Do you still struggle with negative behaviors?  Which and why?  What would you say to someone who is in your situation a year ago?

 

I’ll have small bouts with sadness. If I have a bad week food-wise, I’ll start doubting myself and getting sad, but I recognize it and I fix it. That’s where I’ve changed. I’ve trained myself to recognize bad behavior and find means to work through it.

 

As far as someone is struggling, here’s the thing, just find a spark. Fall in love. Start a blog. Do something drastic. But do something. Don’t go in half-heartedly and tell yourself you’re going to try to be healthy. And the big thing, I’ve found, is TELL SOMEONE. Tell everyone if you have to. The natural thing might be to be too embarrassed to tell people, like they’ll know you’re overweight or something, but that’s the thing… they already know you’re overweight, and they will be thrilled when you tell them you’re changing your life. I promise. Oh, and take lots of pictures. You may hate them now, but they’ll be awesome in a few months.

 

Read Ben’s blog.

{ 134 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Jen September 20, 2010, 1:16 pm

    Wow! That dude is awesome! He did the Louisville Ironman? 93 degrees! I heard 800 people dropped out of that IM. Ben should go on the road and give Inspirational speeches! Incredible story…thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 20, 2010, 1:20 pm

    Oohh I watched his video the other day – he’s amazing! And I gotta say…he’s super cute :P

    Reply
  • Heather (Heather's Dish) September 20, 2010, 1:21 pm

    WOW. Ben, this is an amazing story and i’m so thankful that you shared! it’s hard to think that there are guys out there that go through the same emotions associated with excess weight, but i think you’re empowering so many others (men and women) to really put themselves out there and get healthy! congratulations!

    Reply
  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine September 20, 2010, 1:27 pm

    So inspirational!! I watched the video when you first tweeted it and LOVED it- Ben seems like a realistic, down to earth guy who realizes how important hard work is. Congratulations to him on coming to far, and espescially for completing that ironman!!

    Reply
  • Kelly September 20, 2010, 1:27 pm

    All I can say to that is WOW! Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing it on your blog.

    Reply
  • Kristine September 20, 2010, 1:27 pm

    I love Ben! That video is amazing. Thanks for doing that interview. I literally watch that movie every day to get inspired!!

    Reply
  • Little Bookworm September 20, 2010, 1:27 pm

    Amazing, thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin September 20, 2010, 1:29 pm

    Wow what an amazing story!! Thanks for sharing. It really is amazing what our bodies can do!

    Reply
  • Jess @ atasteofconfidence September 20, 2010, 1:30 pm

    This is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
  • Christine September 20, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Amazing story! Makes you realize how much it is YOUR CHOICE to take control of your life. If you WANT TO, you CAN.

    Reply
  • Erin September 20, 2010, 1:34 pm

    Ben! What an inspiration. You make me want to get out there and keep on running too.

    Caitlin – My boyfriend passed Ben’s video on last night to me as a ‘you need to watch this’. thanks so much for following up with him. Love it!

    Reply
  • Leanne @ Radiant, Balanced & Fit September 20, 2010, 1:36 pm

    Wow Ben! That’s phenomenal! You have really shown that anything is possible!

    Reply
  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. September 20, 2010, 1:38 pm

    I definitely should not have watched the video at work! Definitely shed some tears! Thanks Ben, for being an inspiration! Congrats on how far you’ve come!

    Reply
  • Michele September 20, 2010, 1:39 pm

    That really is incredible! Thank you for sharing his story. His advice to just do something to get started is so true and applies in health-related efforts as well as in other life areas.

    Reply
  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black September 20, 2010, 1:40 pm

    Great story- thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Katy T September 20, 2010, 1:40 pm

    The video made me cry too! Congrats Ben!

    Reply
  • Maureen September 20, 2010, 1:42 pm

    WOW what an amazing story! And what an inspiration. I especially liked how he said….”As far as someone is struggling, here’s the thing, just find a spark. Fall in love. Start a blog. Do something drastic. But do something.”

    Reply
  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 20, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Passing this on to my husband. Thanks.

    Reply
  • Kayla September 20, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing, Caitlin. Way to go, Ben. You are an inspiration for sure!

    Reply
  • Christine September 20, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Oh, I tried not to cry :) What an inspiration! Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!

    Reply
  • Cat September 20, 2010, 1:44 pm

    OMG, totally set me off in tears in too! Thanks for posting Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Lisa September 20, 2010, 1:47 pm

    What an AWESOME story! Thank you for sharing. I love happy endings. :)

    Reply
  • Kristy @ Kristyruns.com September 20, 2010, 1:52 pm

    When my husband and I watched this video the other night, I got chills. Thanks for featuring Ben! Great story and so inspirational. Keep it up Ben! :)

    Reply
  • Lacey September 20, 2010, 1:55 pm

    WOW. i’m so glad i read this. i loved your interview with Ben. really great question/answer session- i feel like i really got to know him and he’s so relatable and good at telling his story. plus- WOW what a feat to do what he has done and continues to do.

    Reply
  • Jocelyn @ EnthusiasticRunner September 20, 2010, 1:57 pm

    WOW. just WOW. I really like hearing about a healthy lifestyle from a guy’s perspective.

    Reply
  • Ana September 20, 2010, 2:01 pm

    those race finishes made me sob like a baby in my office. congrats ben on choosing strength and choosing happiness!

    Reply
  • Alison September 20, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing. Great post.

    Reply
  • Dori September 20, 2010, 2:03 pm

    I saw Ben’s video on Facebook and loved it. His story is incredible and he is an inspiration. I’m glad you contacted him!

    Reply
  • Kelly September 20, 2010, 2:04 pm

    Wow, that video almost made me cry! So inspiring, he’s awesome!

    Reply
  • Mel September 20, 2010, 2:07 pm

    Wow, great video & interview! Thanks for sharing it, gave me a good kick in the butt to get after my training!

    Reply
  • Nicole September 20, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Thank you SO much for sharing Ben’s story!! (I, too, was a weepy mess after watching that video!! It was SO moving!!)

    Reply
  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) September 20, 2010, 2:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing…this is amazing! I just wish I hadn’t watched the video on my lunch break because now I have to go back to my desk with “I’ve just been sobbing” eyes. :) xo

    Reply
  • Evan Thomas September 20, 2010, 2:17 pm

    So. Awesome. And of course any time I have a chance to practice my Coldplay I love it

    Reply
  • Amanda September 20, 2010, 2:17 pm

    Love his story!! I’ve lost over 100lbs and also found a love for running too.

    Reply
  • Reenie September 20, 2010, 2:20 pm

    WOW!!! Way to go BEN!!! :)

    Reply
  • Mary September 20, 2010, 2:21 pm

    What an awesome story and amazing dude! Congrats Ben you’re awesome! :D

    Reply
  • yummiee cupcake September 20, 2010, 2:25 pm

    i’m very speechless.

    i love the way he made his video. his simple words say it all.

    Reply
  • Katie September 20, 2010, 2:29 pm

    Wow…I cried watching that video too. As someone who has lost 50 pounds, that video hit me deep. For me, it’s all about striving for a better life…striving to be the best you can be. His video was so raw and vulnerable..his story was motivating, yet not intimidating. He was a normal guy who achieved the seemingly impossible. Great story!

    Reply
  • Babycakes September 20, 2010, 2:34 pm

    words cannot describe how much I love this guy! He is the epitome of inspiration! And he’s cute too! :)

    Reply
  • Madison September 20, 2010, 2:43 pm

    Wow, what an amazing mental and physical transformation. Amazing job Ben!

    Reply
  • Julie September 20, 2010, 2:43 pm

    Incredible! Seeing his recent pics, you’d never know he ever had a problem. Definitely an amazing story, great outlook, and yes, we’re all a “work in progress!”

    Gonna think about this vid the next time I’m uninspired to go out and do something.

    Reply
  • caronae September 20, 2010, 2:44 pm

    I saw the video the other day and this interview is just pure awesome. Way to go Ben! I love how honest he is about the whole journey. Keep it up! :)

    Reply
  • Maria September 20, 2010, 2:44 pm

    On Saturday, I was prepping for my first race ever, a 5K. I was scared, I admit, but then I watched this video at 5am. I cried and I smiled and I knew that no matter what happened during my race, I was capable. Ben, you amaze me and whenever I felt like giving up in my race, I thought about you.

    And I also won 2nd place in my age division. Yes, a little inspiration goes a long way…

    Reply
  • Kimberly September 20, 2010, 2:50 pm

    Such an amazing story but what I really appreciated was the Q&A and his willingness to say that it’s not just “I’m thin so I’m happy.” You can’t magically erase the mindset one develops when obese with just weight loss (I also lost 120 pounds). It’s work, and it’s good to see that he’s still working.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 20, 2010, 10:10 pm

      agree!

      Reply
  • elaine! September 20, 2010, 2:50 pm

    Way to go, Ben! And awesome interview questions, Caitlin. I saw the video last week and I cried too, lol. Damn Coldplay song put it over the edge. ;)

    I love the last paragraph of your interview… about doing something drastic, and not telling yourself that you’re going to try. That’s totally my weak spot, too. Why TRY when you can DO?

    Reply
  • Ashley September 20, 2010, 2:51 pm

    I watched the video when you posted it and was completely blown away. Chills. Ben’s answers to your questions were amazing to read. What a story and now he will be changing + inspiring other peoples’ lives forever. If that isn’t something to keep the spark going, I don’t know what is! Thanks for finding this Caitlin!!

    Reply
  • Charlie September 20, 2010, 2:58 pm

    I watched the video when you posted it and I was crying. This is the kind of story that shows that nothing is impossible. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  • Liz September 20, 2010, 3:19 pm

    That is so inspiring – I want to go sign up for an ironman right now!

    Reply
  • Angela September 20, 2010, 3:20 pm

    He’s incredible, so motivational and so honest. I hadn’t watched the video until you posted it here so thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  • Janene Giuseffi September 20, 2010, 3:22 pm

    I also watched this video yesterday, and was trying to hold back the sobs since I was watching it with my fiance. Haha, i was unsuccessful in that attempt, but thanks Caitlin and Ben for this awesome post! So incredibly inspiring, honest, and just plain fantastic!

    Reply
  • Janene Giuseffi September 20, 2010, 3:23 pm

    ps- Ben did a fantastic job making the video! The way the storyline matched the song lyrics was incredible!

    Reply
  • Gwen September 20, 2010, 3:35 pm

    SO awesome! I totally just sent this to my fiance. I know he can do it too!

    Reply
  • Paula September 20, 2010, 3:40 pm

    Wow! So inspiring. Thank you for sharing, Ben.

    Reply
  • Amber K September 20, 2010, 3:42 pm

    That is so amazing! I totally think of myself as a work in progress as well.

    He is a total inspiration. :)

    Reply
  • Kelly September 20, 2010, 3:45 pm

    I LOVED the video. I loved it so much I checked out his site. He’s not perfect, seems like a man’s man, isn’t afraid to be real. He’s the “everyman” turned ironman. So many people think they can’t well here’s proof they can.

    Reply
  • Sarah September 20, 2010, 4:05 pm

    Ben, you are totally inspirational!!! I have also made some changes in my life to become healthier (in my case, gaining weight and exercising less!) and I know what you feel about life being completely different. It’s hard to fathom how I was able to keep existing as the person I used to be. Life is different–more colorful, more wonderful now–and I feel grateful to be alive every single day. I loved reading this story, and I agree that social support is a huge factor in successful lifestyle change! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your transformation!!!

    Reply
  • Jeanna September 20, 2010, 4:09 pm

    I am a crying mess!! GO BEN!

    Reply
  • Kathleen September 20, 2010, 4:41 pm

    Ran across Ben’s video last week. Incredibly inspiring, I did 8 miles the next morning. I had Ben and his incredible story on my mind as I cranked through the mileage. Go Ben go!

    Reply
  • ashleigh September 20, 2010, 4:44 pm

    This is SO inspiring! An every day person who lost 120 pounds through hard work! I need to watch the video when I get home. Go Ben!

    Reply
  • pam September 20, 2010, 4:54 pm

    very very inspirational. Tell Ben to keep up the good work.

    Reply
  • Emmanuelle September 20, 2010, 4:56 pm

    *trying not to cry trying not to cry trying not to cry*
    WOW!

    Reply
  • Maran September 20, 2010, 4:58 pm

    W-O-W! So inspirational. I have spent years trying to get up the nerve to try and run a 5k. I suffered from asthma as a kid and everytime I have tried I just never have pushed myself past that uncomfortable first minutes. Ben is a great role model. He may have convinced me to lace up!

    Reply
  • Lizzy September 20, 2010, 4:59 pm

    this was amazing. def something i needed to read right about now! keep up the good work ben! :)

    Reply
  • Camille September 20, 2010, 5:03 pm

    That was absolutely beautiful.
    I started tearing up a bit too

    Reply
  • Erinn September 20, 2010, 5:05 pm

    AWESOME!

    Reply
  • Paige @Running Around Normal September 20, 2010, 5:06 pm

    Ben, you’re awesome!! What an incredible story and moving video.

    Reply
  • Kristina @ spabettie September 20, 2010, 5:08 pm

    Ben’s journey is incredibly awesome (epic, if you will!) You tweeted that video last week and I watched it, also crying!! It is very moving and always wonderful to see big positive life changes.

    Very inspirational!

    Reply
  • Nikki @ Balance and Moderation September 20, 2010, 5:08 pm

    Very inspirational! What a great video – I want to go out and RUN!

    Reply
  • Shannon, Tropical Eats September 20, 2010, 5:11 pm

    I just teared up like crazy. This is so powerful. Ben, you and your whole fam are just awesome. Great work!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Ellen @FirednFabulous September 20, 2010, 5:20 pm

    WHAT an inspiring story!!! Seriously. I am going to send this to my boyfriend. He’s only about 15 pounds overweight for his height, but he really doesn’t have very healthy habits, and it’s something that I really worry about for him later in life. I’ve seen him find a spark with running, but he never sticks to it. Maybe this story will help…thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Catie September 20, 2010, 5:22 pm

    I watched this video when you posted it on Twitter! I showed it to my boyfriend who is a runner and lost about 60 lbs this year. We both were amazed! And I am so glad to see you had an interview with him!

    Reply
  • Sarah September 20, 2010, 5:34 pm

    I made the mistake of watching this at work and now need some time to depuff my face and adjust my makeup. Such an amazing story.

    Reply
  • kate September 20, 2010, 5:39 pm

    Way to go Ben! Awesome interview!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston September 20, 2010, 5:39 pm

    Amazing.. had chills the whole time watching the video. Great interview Caitlin. You are so inspiring Ben!

    Reply
  • MoniMeals September 20, 2010, 5:49 pm

    Simply AMAZING! Tissue please. :)
    Another reason why my job is so rewarding to me, I love watching people change their bodies but more importantly their minds. Awesome post! BEN YOU RULE.

    Reply
  • Whitney September 20, 2010, 5:52 pm

    Really awesome video…so inspiring! Congrats Ben on your huge accomplishment!

    Reply
  • maria @ Chasing the Now September 20, 2010, 5:58 pm

    How inspiring. I started to choke up as he finished the marathon! :)

    Reply
  • Kathryn September 20, 2010, 6:16 pm

    Woah, hotty hot hot hot! That is really all I have to say. :)

    Reply
  • Lizzy September 20, 2010, 6:28 pm

    To ben and Caitlin——Thank you to ben for inspiring us all with your amazing story and for being as strong as you are..and to Caitlin for always being an inspiration to your readers. I want the both of you to know that after i read this post i changed into my running clothes, and set out for my planned 5 miles for the day. My marathon never seemed so do able until today! Thank you for inspiring me! :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 20, 2010, 10:12 pm

      thanks girl :) rock out that run!

      Reply
  • Cynthia (It All Changes) September 20, 2010, 7:14 pm

    Wow so inspiring. Ben thank you for sharing your story and Caitlin thank you for sharing Ben with us. That little spark helped create a whole new life. Congrats!

    Reply
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 20, 2010, 7:19 pm

    What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks September 20, 2010, 7:20 pm

    He is amazing. He really is.

    Losing weight and getting healthy can be so difficult and I find it utterly mind blowing that he was able to do a 5K so soon. I’ve lost over 70 lbs and have been working on getting healthy for 3 years, and I am just NOW getting capable of doing 5Ks. He is my new hero! <3 :D

    Reply
  • Mama Pea September 20, 2010, 7:24 pm

    You are very inspiring! I don’t want to take away from your story at all, because it is truly amazing.

    I would just encourage you to find a way to put those food addiction issues behind you, through counseling, support groups or the like. I know for me, running was my “therapy” in ways and then when I was injured and couldn’t run as much as I would like, it meant I had to find new ways to deal with life’s stresses.

    You’ve show your commitment to running, your determination, your hard work and your courage. I think you deserve to be truly free and apply that same mindset to breaking free of any food addiction.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!

    Reply
  • Cate September 20, 2010, 7:49 pm

    Woah! That is such an amazing and inspirational story! Thank you and Ben for sharing this. :)

    Reply
  • Jillian@ ReshapeYour Life September 20, 2010, 7:58 pm

    I love this. Ben is such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this. Stories like this really give me the courage to keep running and pushing myself.

    And WOW! How cute it he?!

    Reply
  • rebecca lustig September 20, 2010, 8:08 pm

    WOW. i’m in awe and admiration. way to go ben! and caitlin for contacting him ;)

    have a great night!
    bec xo

    Reply
  • Val @ Balancing Val September 20, 2010, 8:36 pm

    I don’t want to be the millionth wow, but WOW! This video had me watery eyed from happiness. Awesome job Ben, very inspiring!

    Reply
  • Janna@Janna's Keeping it Real! September 20, 2010, 8:47 pm

    Oh Ben! Such an inspiration! My mom sent me the video last week, and we just fell in love with his blog! He is so funny, and so honest! I’m so glad you featured him, so others could read/watch his inspiring story!

    Love it!

    Reply
  • Kelly September 20, 2010, 8:53 pm

    WOW — that’s awesome and very inspirational!

    One thing I am wondering, is how he lost 140lbs in 11 months? That number seems insane!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 20, 2010, 10:14 pm

      :) i guess running a marathon and an ironman will do that to you!

      Reply
  • Shirley September 20, 2010, 8:55 pm

    Caitlin, thank you so so much for posting this video. Thanks, Ben, for being such an inspiration and for sharing your journey with us.

    Reply
  • Lorinda September 20, 2010, 9:06 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing Ben and Caitlin. I’m simply blown away. And have to get off my couch now!

    Reply
  • Laura (Starloz) September 20, 2010, 9:12 pm

    such an incredible story

    Reply
  • Laurie September 20, 2010, 9:20 pm

    No kidding, tears. Ben, you really were adorable pounds ago, definitely hot now! So so inspirational….I feel like putting on my running shoes.

    Reply
  • Kelly H. (Running Phoodie) September 20, 2010, 9:26 pm

    Okay, SOBBING! What an amazing video. Darn that he has a girlfriend because Ben is HOT and I want him for myself;)

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  • amyjogo September 20, 2010, 10:10 pm

    I need to lose double what Ben has lost. It’s great for someone like myself to read morbidly obese people can make such drastic changes without fad diets or drastic surgery. I appreciate this post so much. So much.

    Thank you :)

    Reply
  • chandra September 20, 2010, 10:28 pm

    “… but best of all I can call myself happy.” LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing this – very amazing and inspirational.

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  • Jenny @ JennyLikesToRun, green tea and yoga, not alcohol and parties September 21, 2010, 12:26 am

    That is amazing!!!! He should be a motivational speaker :D

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  • Hayley September 21, 2010, 1:45 am

    Thank you soooo much for sharing your inspiring story. I haven’t gone for a run in two weeks (busy schedule and sheer excuses), so reading your story, and watching the video was just the motivation I needed. When I started to get tired, I would think of you and how you started running being a larger guy, and it was all the motivation I needed. Thank you again, I look forward to reading your blog.

    Reply
  • Marie-Sophie September 21, 2010, 2:04 am

    Yeah, so I also had to cry … but it was just too touching! Made my day, I feel so happy watching other people find their happiness again!
    This is going to inspire me throughout the entire day! Thanks, Caitlin and thanks, Ben! You go, boy!!!

    Reply
  • Marika September 21, 2010, 3:24 am

    What a great interview with an inspiring guy! I’m dying to watch the video but I have to wait until I get home from work!

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  • Wei-Wei September 21, 2010, 4:20 am

    Amazing! That’s just the best story ever… and I bet it could inspire the rest of America, too! ;)

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  • Julia @ Brit Bride September 21, 2010, 5:38 am

    Fabulous post – way to go Ben!

    I TOTALLY agree about telling someone and taking lots of pictures! I will be checking out Ben’s blog!

    I am currently calling for submissions on my blog for your own inspirational stories.

    Julia
    http://www.britbride.com

    Reply
  • Kristy September 21, 2010, 7:50 am

    And this is why the blog world is Ah-mazing!

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  • kim September 21, 2010, 8:06 am

    WOW! Caitlin and Ben you guys are such an inspiration! I totally cried my eyes out after seeing that video! Thanks for making my day! Love this blog!

    Reply
  • Di September 21, 2010, 8:12 am

    What a great story! Congrats to Ben! :)

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  • Jenn September 21, 2010, 8:21 am

    What an inspiration! You are awesome Ben! :)

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  • amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler September 21, 2010, 10:23 am

    Wow! What a great video. I choked up toward the end. Congrats to Ben on making wonderful changes! I’m so glad he’s happy now.

    Reply
  • Sarah September 21, 2010, 12:17 pm

    I watched this yesterday, thinking I wouldn’t cry and cried my eyes out anyway. It really inspired me to get out of bed this morning at 6 am and run the fastest 3 miles I’ve ever run without taking one walking break :) It felt amazing! Thanks Caitlin and Ben!

    Reply
  • Nikka B September 21, 2010, 7:18 pm

    Great story, great video, great guy!
    Thanks for sharing, and I should have refrained from watching before I have to leave for school, I look like a mess! But is was worth it!!!

    Reply
  • CarrieBeth James September 22, 2010, 10:36 am

    oh my goodness! i know Ben! i was in a food writing class with ben in college and he interviewed me for the school newspaper about my health choices since i was a healthy eater and runner. he had already started his journey of losing weight and it was really neat because our class got to see some of the change and progress! then, a few months later, we ran into each other at a 5k. way to go ben!!!

    Reply
  • Pamela September 26, 2010, 8:25 am

    This story has been a big inspiration to me. Praise God for people like Ben who has lived it and can help others with their struggles. God bless him.

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  • Jean September 26, 2010, 10:59 am

    I am so proud of your accomplishment. It gives this 70 yr old ‘young’ lady hope. I did my first 7k walk yesterday when I couldn’t even walk 5 minutes on pavement without pain 2 months ago. Spark has also helped me as it is helping you.
    Way to Go!

    Reply
  • Kristi September 26, 2010, 12:24 pm

    Awesome video and story

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  • sugarsmom2 September 26, 2010, 3:54 pm

    what a journey . you are amazing . I hope that you have cont. good luck from this time forward .

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  • Carolyn September 26, 2010, 7:59 pm

    You are a true inspiration. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story.

    Here’s to you

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  • Sara September 26, 2010, 9:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration with others Ben! Many people are in the same situation, and maybe you can be the one who truly makes a difference in their lives. Keep up the great work, and good luck!

    Reply
  • Cheryl September 27, 2010, 12:14 am

    Ben,

    What an inspiration you are, keep it up!!

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  • Helen September 28, 2010, 1:09 am

    Inspiring, to say the least! Good for you! :)

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  • Brandy September 28, 2010, 12:16 pm

    Congratulations!!!It is such an accomplishment and you are such an inspiration.

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  • HKSurviving September 28, 2010, 12:17 pm

    What’s really cool, is how many people are now going to be INSPIRED by Ben, and duplicate his journey to health! Thanks for sharing his story!

    Reply
  • Mary Martha September 29, 2010, 6:34 pm

    Ben is my great nephew and he is indeed awesome! I am so proud of you!!! Love and kisses!

    Reply
  • Sean @ Learn Fitness September 30, 2010, 11:24 am

    This posting and video he made are awesome! They inspired me to finally signup for an Ironman 70.3 I’d been putting off. No time like the present to break down some barriers and take it to the next level.

    Reply
  • Marissa C January 15, 2011, 12:20 am

    This video inspired me so much back in September when I saw it linked on wimp.com–I came back to look at it again here tonight!

    Reply
  • Natalie April 8, 2011, 2:35 am

    Do you think me… A Chinese can achieved this seemingly impossible …

    Reply