My guest today is someone that I’ve had a lot of fun banter with on social media over the last several months.
I don’t know much about his running life, so I’m excited to see where this conversation goes over the next several miles.
I am looking forward to getting this party started and welcoming Gary Joe Collins to the show today.
Family Is #1 Motivation
Gary Joe Collins was relatively active while growing up.
From a young age, he played basketball frequently.
Once he graduated from school and began working his weight began to steadily increase.
His lifestyle as an adult was much more sedentary than during his younger years.
Gary Joe was well aware of his family’s history with heart disease and diabetes associated with being overweight.
It was 9 years ago when Gary Joe first began the process of losing weight.
He was determined to commit to a healthier lifestyle not only for himself but also for his young daughter and his wife.
Gary Joe didn’t want someone else to have to raise his daughter and that was exactly the motivation he needed to not quit.
Along with committing to diet and exercise changes, Gary Joe also opted for bariatric surgery to help with weight loss.
Prior to his surgery, Gary Joe weighed about 350 pounds and got out of breath climbing the stairs in his house.
In the early stages of his weight loss journey, Gary Joe incorporated walking.
He eventually worked up to walking 2 to 5 miles once a day.
One day it dawned on him that if he could walk that distance why not try running it?
All his life Gary Joe had been told that he was too big to run.
Gary Joe decided at that moment, that he wanted to try to run and he would deal with any obstacles that arose.
Gary Joe admitted that committing to lifestyle changes has not been all smooth sailing.
Not only did he have to change the way he viewed food, but he also had to change his mindset.
There have also been times where he has struggled with anxiety and depression.
Gary Joe is constantly reminding himself to keep his perspective on how far he has come.
When he comes up short on a goal it is a learning opportunity for himself.
Gary Joe has the phrase, “Win today,” taped on his computer.
That phrase is a reminder that if he can have some wins today then he will set himself up for success tomorrow.
Someone Needs To Hear This…
Gary Joe is a firm believer that everyone needs a cause bigger than themselves.
Having struggled with mental health himself, he is aware that each and every individual is dealing with their own battles.
Specifically, Gary Joe works to raise awareness for the mental health of Veterans.
Gary Joe’s father in law was a veteran in the Vietnam War and he saw firsthand how the experience impacted the mental health of his family member.
Gary Joe often starts his social media posts with the phrase, “Someone needs to hear this.”
Oftentimes what Gary Joe posts are things that he needs to hear as well.
If even one person is encouraged by what he has to say than Gary Joe is successful.
If You Run, You’re a Runner
Gary Joe has noticed that it’s not unusual for people to struggle with identifying themselves as a runner.
It took training for and completing a race before Gary Joe viewed himself as a runner.
A mile is a mile regardless of the pace in which someone completes it.
Overall the running community has been supportive and encouraging.
Occasionally Gary Joe has run into other runners that look down upon others that don’t have similar abilities.
Gary Joe is a firm believer that if everyone showed more kindness this world would be a much better place.
Running is a gift, and Gary Joe reminds himself of that each and every day.
Through Your Glass
Gary Joe recently published his first book, “Through Your Glass.”
From start to finish, the process took him about 3 years.
He found the overall process to be therapeutic.
His goal in writing the book was to help others become the best versions of themselves.
Gary Joe has found that if he is his best self, then everyone around him is better.
Over the years Gary Joe has learned that he can do more than he ever imagined.
The things that running can offer him are limitless.
Gary Joe shared that in the future he won’t rule out writing a follow-up book.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Through Your Glass: Practical Steps to Become the Best YOU. Book by: Gary Joe Collins
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Suicide Prevention
- Crazy 8s 8k Run
Gary Joe Collins lost a substantial amount of weight and uncovered a new side of himself. He attributes his consistency to small wins each day which set him up for success the next day. Click To Tweet
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