Earlier this year I made the decision to regain control of my health. I had ballooned to 285 pounds, my body constantly hurt, and I was out of shape. I needed to take action to make a change. My first order of business was to stop drinking soda. Second, I cut out my late night snacks. Well, maybe not cut out completely. I did, however, make healthier snack decisions. Granola bars, yogurt, and fruit replaced potato chips, cookies, and leftovers at snack time. Then I started the “Power of Half” eating plan. Simply put, I started eating half of my normal portions. For example, instead of eating a whole pizza, I only ate half of it. Instead of devouring four hamburgers, I would only consume two. Instead of two plates of spaghetti, I would stop at one. You get the picture. These simple steps and a light exercise routine led to immediate weight loss. I was dropping pounds and feeling better, but it wasn’t enough. My exercise routine needed a boost and thanks to a friendly challenge, I found the way to take it to the next level. I started running.
I must admit that I have always hated running. Running and I have never been close friends. Whether it was laps around a track, a few miles around town, or wind sprints in a gymnasium or arena, it didn’t matter. I was unhappy. Running sucked. This bow-legged, six-foot nine-inch frame was not built for running. Now, I will admit that I liked being in shape. As a basketball player the dreaded task of conditioning was very important to my success. I knew that I needed to run, but that did not make it more desirable nor enjoyable. I despised it. That’s really all I can say.
In April, I began running. I struggled mightily at first. I don’t think I was able to run a quarter-mile at the beginning without walking (and feeling like I was going to die). Week after week I improved by reaching new distances and recording better times. Today, I will go out for a 10-mile run. So why am I writing about my running and what does it have to do with serving others? Here is the answer.
During my exploration of running, I discovered that I can give back and impact others while running. In July I discovered Charity Miles. Charity Miles is a free iPhone/Android app that enables you to earn corporate sponsorships for charity whenever you walk, run or bike. You download the app, pick a charitable organization, and get moving. Twenty-five cents is donated to your charity for every mile you run (ten cents for biking). It is that simple. You can help a great cause and make a difference doing what many of you are already doing…..running.
I downloaded the app in July and made the decision that all of my running efforts will go to support The Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that honors and empowers wounded soldiers. The vision of the organization is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. The work done by WWP is truly inspiring. They are positively impacting the lives of America’s bravest individuals and I want to be a part of it.
Since downloading the app in July, I have logged 161.81 miles for WWP. That equates to approximately $40.38. I know it isn’t a lot of money, but every little bit helps the cause. I am just glad that I am able to support a great organization like the Wounded Warrior Project through an app like Charity Miles. My journey to better health has been a success. I have lost about 55 pounds, my body feels great, and I am in much better shape. You know what else feels great? Helping others.
Are you a runner? Download the Charity Miles app today and start helping others by running!