When your personal “So That” is well defined, achieving a goal is only a matter of time and effort. Ben’s story is somewhat similar. Ben Graczyk lost 47 pounds when he realized he is unable to keep up with his little daughter’s pace or let us just flip it over. Ben lost 47 pounds and reclaimed his fit body to enjoy every moment with his little daughter, actively. Here’s his story:
A Sedentary Lifestyle, Lots of Food, Soda & bad physical stamina
Throughout my life, My weight has fluctuated back and forth. I have always been a lover of food, especially the sweets, so it has always been easy to overindulge. This was never a problem during periods of physical activity, but there were also times that I was very sedentary. Hours and hours of video games and television while snacking and drinking soda took its toll on multiple occasions. The older I got, the more often I stayed on the heavier side until I got to the point where I struggled to do physical activities. Walking around for more than a few minutes was exhausting, even standing on my feet at work became a real chore. I tried a few poor diets, none of which were healthy or made any improvement in my life.
Little Daughter checks in & I am unable to keep up her pace
In June of 2009, my wife and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. It only took a couple years and she was easily outpacing me, I was always winded. I started to get depressed about not being able to keep up with my girl, and that was when I decided it was time for a change. I went and got my first ever gym membership on my 35th birthday. I weighed 207 lbs that day. I tried a few random things, then decided to hop on the elliptical, 3.5 minutes later I was scrambling for the bathroom trying my best not to vomit. There was a certain irony to all of that, I ran track and cross country in high school and 3+ minutes of elliptical made me want to puke my guts out. I kept going though, morning after morning I would get up at 4 a.m. and head to the gym. Hours and hours of cardio mixed with a few weight machines and I managed to get down to 160 lbs.
Ben Graczyk lost some weight & gained it back again & then found my sweet spot
I slowly moved from cardio to more weights, eventually venturing to the free weight side of the gym and started to put weight back on. If you’ve ever struggled with the weight you know you panic the second you see that number rise, this was going to be another barrier I was going to have to overcome. It took some time and a lot of input from a good friend to help me reach a mental state where I was ok with my weight going up. I have worked my weight up to 197 lbs, cut it all the way back to 167 lbs, but right in the middle of all that is where I seem happiest.
Higher Physical stamina & a background in Running made me enter the “Warrior Dash!”
With my running background and all the fond memories I have of it, I started eyeing local events and then I heard someone in the gym locker room talking about a Warrior Dash. After watching a few videos and thinking about how hard it looked, I went and registered for the one that was coming in a few months. I even stumbled across a local mud run that was literally right down the road and a few weeks before it that I figured would be good practice. That mud run was a lot of fun and the Warrior Dash crushed me in a way that I absolutely loved, little did I know that this was going to be the gateway for what would become my hobby/passion.
I entered and completed the Spartan Ultra Beast & did 3 races this year with my daughter. That was so much fun!
I am now four years into Obstacle Course Racing and each year has gotten better and better. The biggest goal for this year was to complete a Spartan Race Ultra Beast, which I accomplished. Through an unexpected turn of events, I managed to qualify for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships a few times, so I just recently attended that. But the absolute highlight of my year was getting to do an actual race with my daughter, so much fun and laughter for both of us. She has completed 3 races this year, so I must be rubbing off on her.
Losing weight has helped me gain so much more in Life – The outdoors, My confidence & A friend in my daughter
In a way, losing my extra weight has caused me to gain so much more in life. I have discovered how much I love to be outdoors and experience/explore what this beautiful world has to offer. And I have learned that there’s a fire inside of me that I didn’t know existed before, I love a good challenge and don’t always take the easy way out. Most importantly I gained a bond with my daughter that will last a lifetime. We run together, we bike together, we exercise together, and we love to play together.
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