|Couch potato-turned marathon runner Jon Paintin lost half his body weight. (Supplied) |
In the depths of his despair seven years ago, Jon Paintin cast a morbidly rotund reflection.
“I looked in the mirror and went, ‘What the hell have I done?’ ” he recalls.
The 6-foot-1 Winnipeg father weighed a whopping 400 pounds in October 2005.
The catalyst for the mirror-gazing and soul-searching was the disintegration of his common-law relationship.
“My wife decided she wanted to call it quits,” he says.
Paintin was at an emotional crossroads. But the choice soon became clear. He chose working out over wallowing.
And so, you could say that when the going got rough, Paintin got buff. Gradually.
By February 2006, the reformed couch potato had dropped 70 pounds, putting him at 330.
The weightloss, however, slowed to a trickle the following year.
Despite making some enhancements to his diet and continuing to work out at his local YMCA, Paintin weighed 317 at the start of 2007 — a meagre loss of 13 pounds for almost a year’s worth of work.
He admits he was “dejected.” But Paintin persisted.
He was rewarded for his stick-to-itiveness early that year when he met Vic Keller, a personal trainer at the Y in downtown Winnipeg.
Keller helped Paintin refine his diet and workout regimen.
“He started pointing me in the right direction,” Paintin says. “I started cutting back on the bad carbs, like the white stuff — the bread and the rice and all that.”
Keller also got Paintin running in the spring of 2007.
The owner of Vic Fitness introduced Paintin to hill training on what Winnipeggers affectionately refer to as “Garbage Hill,” a one-time landfill near the centre of the city that was transformed into a park and is now popular among runners.
By the fall of 2007, Paintin ran his first 10K race.
He continued to train under Keller’s tutelage throughout that winter — running and weight training.
“The weight kept coming off,” he says.
And by the spring of 2008, Paintin hit his goal weight of 200 pounds — half of what he weighed just three years earlier.
Paintin punctuated his stunning metamorphosis by completing a pair of half-marathons in 2008: the annual Winnipeg Police Service half and the Manitoba half.
With several more half-marathons under his belt in recent years, Paintin raised the bar last month in North Dakota by completing his first full marathon, the Fargo Marathon, in almost exactly five hours.
Not too shabby for a guy who used to struggle walking up a flight of stairs.
Paintin weighs an uber-fit 220 pounds these days, having packed on about 20 pounds of muscle through weight training.
The 38-year-old native of Swindon, England, is now starting to help others get fit through his training business LifeChange Fitness (lifechangefitness.ca).
He’s an accredited resistance training leader through the Manitoba Fitness Council. And he just earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Winnipeg.
Paintin will start working toward an education degree this fall, with the ultimate goal of becoming a gym teacher in two years.
On top of his full course load for the past four years, he’s been working 30-40 hours a week as a restaurant manager. And he spends weekends with his now 9-year-old daughter.
It’s a hectic schedule, but Paintin never wants to go back to weighing 400 pounds and slowly “killing myself” with a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.
“It’s a complete life change. The fitness and nutrition is part of my life and it will always be part of my life now,” he says.
“Life is fantastic!”
Jon’s weight-loss tips:
• Listen to the professionals when they give you advice and understand that you’re going to have to do stuff you don’t want to do to make the change.
• Don’t go at it alone. Find social support to do it.
• Eliminate any of the negative influences in your life and get the positive going.
• Don’t give up
Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.