Steven Kalnitzky: “I love showing off my stats”
I wasn’t always heavy. Five years of college and 10 years at a desk job just had gotten the better of my diet. A constant stream of fast food, sweets, and a sedentary lifestyle ensured I stayed overweight.
One day while eating something I’m sure was completely unhealthy, a co-worker told me about a friend of his that passed suddenly at the young age of 40 from a stroke. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t thought about my health in that manner since my son had been born, or maybe it was the plateful of french fries I was shoveling in my mouth, but at that moment, I knew I had to make changes. A doctor’s appointment was quickly scheduled. After the visit and several tests, I found out how perilously close to the edge I had been. At the time of the appointment, my A1C was over 7, so I had been close to a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis; couple this with high blood pressure and the sign was on the wall. Lose weight or face the potential awful consequences.
My physician put me on a strict diet of 1,800 calories and 130 grams of carbohydrates daily but cautioned that I would need to exercise as well to make sure my health improved. I played baseball in high school and some pickup basketball games in college, but I was never a great athlete. I looked at my exercise options and decided that walking would be a good beginning. At the start, I would walk through our neighborhood, a quarter to a half mile at a time. Seven months into the diet and I had lost 60 pounds, but the walking wasn’t cutting it. Perhaps it was my competitive nature, perhaps I just wanted a challenge, but I decided to start running. I added intervals into my walks and fell in love.
15 months after I started my diet and exercise program, I ran my first half marathon, the Williams Route 66 Run in Tulsa, OK and finished in under 2 hours. I’m down 110 pounds and feel like my diet, my routines and most importantly, my life have all improved significantly.
My wife and I both use MapMyRun religiously. Tracking my progress, looking for ways to improve or finding new routes have made this process easier than it would have been otherwise. Maybe it’s my analytical nature, but having all the data at my fingertips is very important to me and helps keep me accountable to the changes I was able to make. The e-mails logging “my greatness” I receive keep me motivated and add a bright spot to each Monday. Let’s also be honest, I love showing off my stats to people. MapMyRun makes me look like a stud!
In 2014 I hope to run 1,200 miles and do a race each month including at least 3 half-marathons. My advice for people just starting out is to take it slow. I walked for several months before starting to run. It helped me build up muscles, stamina and honestly my willpower to continue down the path.