How Travis Has Changed His Life Perspective With Runtastic (and Lost 32kg)
In this story, Runtastic user Travis Shaw reveals how he turned things around and achieved a healthy life balance.
“The end of 2009 was the beginning of some very difficult years for me and my family. Not knowing at the time, but looking back 5 years later, I can see I was starting to develop some form of depression, in part due to some family tension. It was at this point I started to gain weight as I shifted into survival mode.
At the end of 2010, my youngest son Griffin was born. Shortly after he was born, my wife started to develop some serious postpartum depression and she tried to end her life on a couple occasions. During that time Griffin was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (Cancer) at only 15 months old. He battled cancer for almost a year before being deemed to be in remission. A short 6 months later he relapsed. I was devastated and completely heartbroken and I continued to gain weight. Griffin battled for another 7 months and, after removing half of his bladder, was deemed to be in remission again. I was so relieved and thought I was finally ok. But the stress of the previous 5 years had taken its toll and I hadn’t taken care of myself.
I was 30 kgs overweight, unhappy, and overwhelmed. This led to a difficult time between my wife and I and we ended up separating for 4 or 5 months. I ended up in the hospital for a week because I was getting to the point that I didn’t want to be on this earth any more. The hospital is where I really learned that I needed a healthy life balance. And that was the beginning of my ‘comeback.’ I started at 109 kgs.
One afternoon in August, I ended up hiking at a local ski resort to clear my head (my wife and I were still separated at the time). I have always loved nature and that seemed like a great place to go to think and clear my mind. I ended up running back from my hike, as far as I could anyway. I knew I needed some type of physical activity or exercise and I thought maybe running could be just that. I really had no idea how to get started running other than to just run. I started off really slow. I was the kind of person that would NEVER go to the gym and HATED having sore muscles. I couldn’t even run a mile when I first started. Once I got those first few runs in though my mindset changed. I wanted to run. It made me feel strong and I didn’t mind being a little sore because it showed I was doing something.
At this point, I figured I needed some kind of way to keep motivated and help guide me through this whole running/workout thing… not to mention my eating habits. After three years of hospital food and fast food, I knew I needed to change what I was eating too if I was going to do this right. The problem was I didn’t know where to start, so I did a little research online.
I personally found the whole Runtastic portfolio to have everything I needed. Through the apps and website I was able to track my progress on my push-ups, sit-ups, and runs and was able to change my diet to be more well-rounded. I started eating a lot more veggies, fruits and reduced my HUGE portion sizes. For me, being able to do all my workouts in my own home or neighborhood was key. Gyms are great for some people, but for me I find it is easier to do my workouts in a comfortable and convenient place. I found I was more likely to actually do them if I was somewhere I felt comfortable. I didn’t have the time to go to and didn’t feel comfortable at a gym. But, I wanted to keep moving forward and improve my mental and physical health, so I did it with Runtastic as my guide.
I ran my first half marathon in November of 2015, only 3 months after I started running for the first time in my life. By the end of 2016 I hope to have completed 5 more halfs and a Ragnar (an overnight team relay race on trails and roads). To this day I walk up a flight of stairs or chase after my three boys and think to myself, ‘It is AWESOME to not be out of breath! And I can’t believe I can run so far or so long.’ I have dropped about 32 kgs and have gone from a pant size 40 to a 36 and some pairs are even a size 34. Running has become a passion of mine: I want to do it, I need to do it, I love to do it. It is still weird hearing myself say that, but I am so grateful I can.
I still struggle at times, especially finding time to work out at home or get my running in because I am too tired. But, I am now running for my future, not away from my past. We all have struggles and some really, really difficult times at points in our lives. If you can take anything from my story, I hope it is inspiration to maintain a healthy life balance even during times of crisis. That is when you need it most!! Find the time for yourself to be healthy. If I had only understood that back then, I may have been able to LIVE those difficult years instead of just surviving them. After all, you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, right?
If I can do it, anybody can do it. I was at one of the lowest points in my life and I was not only able to drop the weight, but I was able to get my mind and body in a much better place. The work is worth it, and you are worth it, too.”