Success Story: Joe Hilyar Says Yes to His Dreams
Trying to lose even the slightest weight can be difficult for anyone to accomplish. I know from my own experience.
In October 2011, I weighed nearly 330 lbs. I had been obese my whole life, and I needed to take action. Like many people, I had tried many diet plans and failed. My whole life, I had been worried about my health. Being overweight made me feel self-conscious about how I looked. I had low self-esteem, depression, no mental energy. And absolutely no self-confidence in myself.
My diabetes was out of control. My hemoglobin A1c was at 14%. My doctor told me that I would have a heart attack before I was 50 years old. Not to mention my cholesterol was through the roof. My knees would give out, and my ankles would hurt all the time. The only choice I had for buying clothes was the Big and Tall store. Movie seats, airplane tickets, plays, restaurants, the list goes on. I started to ask myself: “How can I lose weight?” I couldn’t put this off, it needed attention now!
I simpy began to eat healthy foods, closely watched my portions and snacking and got plenty of exercise. At this time, I did not have a smartphone. I literally drove my car around the block to find out how many miles the route was. Then every time I walked, I would map it on graph paper. I walked this route solid for a year, through the coldest winter months. I would get up in the morning, suit up and walk. Most of the time, I could not even stand on my feet in the morning because they hurt so bad. After a few miles, the pain would usually go away.
Here in Minnesota we have some of the most severe winters on Earth. I wore ski goggles so my skin wouldn’t freeze in the sometimes 40-60 degrees below wind chill. I purchased ice cleats and walked on solid-ice sidewalks. Most of my gear was found at local thrift stores. My gear consisted of Thinsulate boots, wool socks, polypropylene long underwear, German military mittens, wool scarf, pants and a very large blaze orange hunting jacket that I bought used.
I did this routine for about a year. I walked over 1,000 miles.
When the next winter season came around in 2012, I purchased my first smartphone. I found the Runtastic app and tried it out. After a few walks, I was convinced that being able to simply press the start button and record my walks was the answer to all my prayers. Now I could enter in my treadmill walks, go ice skating and basically do any form of exercise you can think of. And being able to get statistics, share my journey on Facebook and listen to my power song played a crucial role in getting motivated. It is very important to be able to reflect on your progress. When you see what you have accomplished, this gives you motivation. Now that I had Runtastic, I was set.
I never ran or jogged, I just walked an average of 3 mph. Since October 2012, when I added the Runtastic app to my phone, I have walked 3,210 miles in 1,138 hours and I have burned off 591,591 calories. Throughout my entire weight loss journey, I have been working closely with my physician. My heaviest weight was 330 lbs. At the time, my hemoglobin A1c was 14%, and I was taking lots of medication for my type 2 diabetes.
Now, as of October 2015, I weigh 210 lbs. My A1c is 4.5%, and I no longer take any medication for diabetes. My total cholesterol is in the acceptable range, too. On September 26, 2015, I walked my longest walk ever, 42.17 miles in 13:49 hours, and burned 4,868 calories.
If there is one thing I have learned from my weight loss journey, it is the following:
With a lot of time and effort, you can achieve great things.
With a little help from Runtastic, you can achieve even more.