Losing weight and getting in shape is hard work. And keeping it off may be even harder! It’s incredibly inspirational to meet someone who also struggled with that but then succeeded. What finally worked for them?
In my “How they did it” series, I interview people who overcame challenges and found a healthy lifestyle in midlife. It’s never too late to become your best self!
Meet Eddie Robbins, a real estate agent from Silver City, Ga. He is married with three grown daughters and two grandsons. After living most of his life over 300 pounds, unhealthy and unfit, at age 54 he changed his life and is now living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying being a runner.
Something else really interesting about Eddie — he set a goal of running an event in all 50 states and recently completed #49! And that’s not all. He published a book, entitled “All My Strength: My Journey from 333 to the Chicago Marathon.”
I first connected with Eddie several years ago on Instagram, where he has inspired me and countless others.
Let’s find out how he made such an incredible transformation.
What was your life like before your transition, compared to now?
Before my transition, most of my adult life, I weighed around 300 with a peak of 333. There is an athlete inside of me and I played sports in high school and a little in college, but mostly played church league softball for several years after college. That was about it physically. I always worried about what I ate but not enough to do anything about it other than the yo-yo diet.
How did you lose the weight and get fit, and how long did it take?
The long story, short version is that I reached the age that Dad did when he died and about one year after that, I decided I was going to change my life and not be fat anymore. I began to eat lighter and healthier and walked 25 miles a week. The weight started coming off. Eventually, my walking became running and I entered my first 5k and was hooked on racing. I lost 110 pounds in 16 months.
What is your day-to-day routine like? What types of exercise do you do?
For 12 years, I have run 1,000 miles per year. I run about 4-5 times a week at our greenway. I am now going through another transition where I am going to slack off a bit on running and will be going to a gym as a new fitness center has opened close by. I’m excited about changing things up a bit.
What challenges have you faced in your efforts at becoming healthier?
Maintaining a certain weight seems to be harder than losing all that weight. Because once you reach the goal, you don’t continue losing and have to figure out how to maintain. That has been very hard. What I have learned, though, is that I control food whereas, in my old life, food controlled me. My age is starting to slow me down a bit and is one reason why I am slowing down with running.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become healthier and more fit?
In order for one to change their life and become healthier, it begins with being disgusted with yourself. Then, you make the decision that you are going to change no matter what else happens. Then, have the desire to fulfill your goals. It really is all in your head. Disgust, decision, desire. As far as exercise, it is very important to do something fun and make that your thing. Tennis, swimming, walking, hiking, running, trail running, weights, etc. It has to be fun or you’ll quit.
What is the most important lesson this journey taught you?
The lesson is, I can do it if I make the decision and follow through. In sales, we need somebody else. A seller and a buyer. You can’t make it alone. But in becoming healthier, it’s just you and you don’t have to depend on anyone else. A chapter in my book is called “It Only Takes One to Tango” where I talk about this.
You are truly an inspiration, Eddie! Thank you so much for sharing your journey and wisdom with us.
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