Hi, my name is Willie and back in 2011 I weighed 492 pounds.
In January 2011, I weighed my heaviest at 492 pounds and my wife weighed her heaviest at 338 pounds. We decided to tackle our lifelong weight problem through proper nutrition and exercise. Less than two years later, I lost 300 pounds while my wife lost 200 pounds. We lost a combined total of 500 pounds. In February of 2013, Angela created the blog, We Beat Fat, which gives a more detailed insight into what we did and continue to do currently to live a healthier lifestyle.
In early 2013, Angela enticed me to start running with her and a local running club in town. I was hesitant at first because I was really not into running at all. I did a couple of 5K races up to that point but didn’t really enjoy it. I was doing runs to be the supportive husband because Angela enjoyed running. The social aspect of the running club was the selling point. It made me feel like I was part of a group and that I had friends that encouraged me to improve my runs.
I consistently vowed to never run anything more than a 5K race. I told Angela and members of the running group that I just wasn’t a runner. In April 2013, I signed up for the Austin 10/20, a ten mile race. I’m not really sure why I did it. Maybe, I just wanted to prove that I could run a long distance race. I finished that race in just over two hours. Fast forward to June 2013, Angela and I went to San Diego. She was going to run a half marathon there. I was just going to be supportive once again. When we got to the race expo in San Diego, I told I would run the half marathon, my first. I think I just got excited seeing all the people there to run a race that I felt like that I didn’t want to miss out on running my first half marathon in San Diego. I finished that race in just under three hours.
While in San Diego, I started searching for unique and adventurous restaurants that we couldn’t get back home in Texas. I always told Angela that I mostly ran so I could eat whatever I wanted (within reason). After San Diego, I took a break from running. The Texas heat in the summer is brutal enough so I took the summer off and started to get interested in cooking and food in general. When I was heavier, food was just there. I ate it if I was or wasn’t hungry. I just didn’t care and my weight reflected that. I took an online cooking class and learned as much as I could about cooking. I did a little bit of cooking for a little while but lost interest quickly. I was afraid of failing when it came to cooking. I wanted everything to be perfect the first time around and when things didn’t go right I just thought I wasn’t good at it.
In September of 2013, Angela and I were invited on as guest on the Rachael Ray Show to be part of studio audience that lost over 100 pounds each. We were flown to New York for a day and also got to enjoy the city for 24 hours. You can read all the details about our New York City trip here.
I started running again in Fall 2013. This time, I was just running casually with the running group again. I think I missed running after taking such a long break from it. Soon after that, I started properly training for my next 3 half marathons. They were all in November 2013 and December 2013. While I was training for my half marathons, I started to get interested in cooking again. The trip to New York really jumpstarted by love of cooking again after being able to eat some amazing food from restaurants I thought I would never get a chance to dine at. I consumed as much information on food and cooking as possible. I took a Harvard online class on science and cooking. I downloaded several podcasts on food and cooking. I read magazines on cooking and tried several recipes that piqued my interest. I also read books on cooking, food and the science behind it.
So, that’s the story so far. I’m not only fueled by a love of food and cooking but also fueled by running.