Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday Inspiration: Edgar Hernandez

Edgar Hernandez before and after
Edgar has lost 165 pounds in a year and a half.
Here’s a story that should inspire you to live healthy: Edgar Hernandez, 18, has lost nearly 200 pounds in two years. At 16 years old, 5’ 7” and 370 pounds, Edgar was diagnosed as pre-diabetic by his doctor—a problem shared by both his parents, who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in their forties.

His whole family had a weight problem. Plagued with bullying, depression, extremely low self-esteem, and now, the looming threat of diabetes, Edgar made a decision that would change his life: he took responsibility for his weight problem. Seeing his mother burst into tears at the doctor’s office was the tipping point for what has been an extraordinary journey to a healthy lifestyle.

“It was time to stop blaming others for my choices and make a choice to take responsibility,” he said, according to CNN. He went for a spur-of-the-moment jog, making it just half a mile before he had to stop and throw up, a sure sign that getting healthy would be more like a marathon than a sprint.

He started by walking before and after school, scaling up gradually until he was walking about two miles per day. Next, he added short running intervals, which he added to gradually. Eventually, he was able to run a full mile.

Edgar’s older brother, Mario, was 5’ 7” and weighed 235 pounds. Inspired by Edgar’s dedication, he teamed up with his brother and together the two tackled the next obstacle: food. Together, they swapped the family’s stock of processed, fatty, and sugary foods with fresh produce and chicken breasts. Healthier foods paired with portion control helped the brothers begin shedding the pounds.

By January, just two months after Edgar decided to get healthy, the two began going on runs together. In just over a year and a half, Edgar has gone from not being able to run half a mile to running in a half marathon last month. He now weighs a healthy 180 pounds, while his brother Mario weighs 165.

With his new healthy lifestyle has come another gift: happiness. Edgar has been able to find his way out of depression and now says his favorite activities are running and weightlifting.

Edgar Hernandez half marathon bib
Edgar participated in his first 1/2 marathon last month!
“Running is what made me feel happy,” he says. “I had gotten what they call ‘runner’s high’ and now running has become a lifestyle,” he says.

“I wouldn’t even step out my door to get the mail before,” he said. “People don’t see the dark, sad side of me anymore. They see a bright, happy kid.”

So, what’s Edgar’s advice to those who want to live healthier? Don’t hold back. If you say you’re going to run, do it today. Don’t put it off until something serious happens.

You can follow Edgar and his amazing journey on Facebook and Twitter.

Images: "Run With Edgar" Facebook page.