#066 – Jay Wells was diagnosed with diabetes in his early 30s he was determined to save himself from becoming another statistic, embarking on a dramatic lifestyle change that included a plant-based diet, running and strength training, ultimately losing over 150lbs in just four years.
How Jay lost more than 150lbs in four years through a plant-based diet and running
Overcoming mental hurdles of switching to a healthier lifestyle and making lasting changes
Gaining confidence to do your workouts in public as a new runner
Reasons to run beyond the physical health benefits
Jay Wells is a DC-based Marketing Executive that fell in love with running during his weight loss journey. Having spent the last six years practicing a vegan diet, Jay has lost over 150lbs. He is also a Certified Nutrition Consultant that is passionate about physical and mental health. Jay is an avid runner having completed four full marathons and over twenty half marathons.
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Hey everyone. Today you’re going to hear an inspiring story that will hopefully help you as you start your health and fitness journey. And we’re also going to talk about how to get over intimidation and gain confidence as you’re getting started. If this episode inspires you to kickstart your fitness, I invite you to join us on @inspiretorunpodcast on Instagram. DM us the word kickstart and you can receive your free guide kickstart your fitness in five steps. Again, come to Instagram @inspiretorunpodcast DM us the word kickstart. Hope you enjoy.
Welcome to Inspire to run podcast. Here you will find inspiration. Whether you’re looking to take control of your health and fitness or you’re a seasoned runner, looking for community and some extra motivation. You will hear inspiring stories from amazing runners, along with helpful tips from fitness experts now here’s your host Richard Conner.
Richard Conner 1:00
Hi, everyone, welcome to inspire run podcast. I am here with Jay wells. He is a DC based marketing executive that fell in love with running during his weight loss journey. Having spent the last six years practicing a vegan diet, Jay lost over 150 pounds. He is also a certified nutrition consultant that is passionate about physical and mental health. And He’s an avid runner, having completed four full marathons and over 20 half marathons. Welcome to the show.
Jay Wells 1:31
Thanks, Richard, I really appreciate you inviting me, I’m excited to be here. Looking forward to talking more about running, fitness health, all of it, man looking forward to it. Thanks for having me.
Richard Conner 1:41
Of course, well, you come to the right place, and we’re happy to have you as well, because you have an amazing journey. And story to go along with that to share with our listeners, I think that will inspire a lot of people who may be in similar situations, right. And it’s just maybe hard to get started or have that inspiration or motivation to do so. So I’m hoping through your story, you know, we can inspire others to really take control of the health and fitness. So, you know, let’s just kind of kick off the conversation to learn a little bit more about you and your background.
Jay Wells 2:10
I well, I moved to DC back in 2008. And it’s an easy place to kind of just do the happy hour drinks thing. You can come here, hang out, go to work, you know what, let’s grab a drink. Three, four to seven o’clock, at every corner, that’s a place to hang out, get drinks, and I kind of got sucked in to like just a bed. I just, I was like I’m a college frat boys just drink knocking down beers eating all the fries and all the burgers. And that’s the you know, boom, I kind of just my weight was just out of control. And it’s one of those things. It’s like, you don’t even know how it happens. It kind of sneaks up on you. And next thing I know, it’s like my 35th birthday, went to a doctor’s visit. Doctor said, Jay, it’s time for you to start taking diabetes medication. And I’m 30 years old. I’m too young for this. It’s like you start looking around, like how did I get into this? Like, what can I do and, and again, for an African American male, you share the stats, you hear this stuff all day long. And you start thinking like, I don’t want to be another statistic at this age. So I started researching different things and trying to figure out ways to kind of wait, get my health under control. Because, again, I don’t want to be one of these guys that in my early 30s As I entered my early 30s, like worried about my health. So for me, it was like Okay, Doctor said make a drastic change and start taking insulin. So I made a drastic change. I started experimenting with like, plant based diet, seeing what works for me. And then it’s like, okay, this, I was kind of teetering around a little bit. And then I was able to kind of finally lock in. And once I locked in within six months of practicing a plant based diet. numbers changed dramatically. blood pressure, blood sugar, or everything kind of leveled out, and the doctor was shocked. It’s always one of those things that he was always shocked. They always they’re just shocked at your behavior. Because a lot of people will say they’re going to do something versus actually doing it. And when they started seeing what my doctor started saying he was like, This is great. And next thing you know, next thing you start thinking about like okay, let me focus on my weight loss. And it started off just walking like casual stuff and getting your confidence because for a lot of people, the gym can be an intimidating place. And in this area in the DC area. It’s a heavy run environment that makes a major run culture here just like there’s a ton of different running groups just running club. There’s so many running trails, between dislike DC, Maryland and Virginia. There’s just so much to do. And I just started getting out on trails, walking around, just kind of see we’ll work starting to see if I can run for 30 seconds straight because again at this point I’m 360 like 365 just trying to see what I can do. And it’s like you start, okay, let me see if I can run for two minutes now. And then it’s like, okay, I’m feeling pretty good, I can do that, then it’s like, Okay, let me walk. You know what, let’s see if I can just keep going, you know, keep going. It’s like kick, someone body says, stop this thing, you know, I’m running for five minutes straight. So I’m trying to feel confident in myself, that was one of the things that really kind of got me going. And then it’s like, let’s incorporate some strength training. And one of my best friends, he’s a trainer, he started giving me a few ideas. And I said, Okay, this gym thing, a lot of buff guys in here. It’s a lot of like, a nice looking women. And it’s like, these are these are good looking people. And it’s like, let me try to find my space. So you start finding what works for you. And as you get your confidence, and you gain more confidence in yourself, you start doing things that you feel confident doing. And I think that’s one of the major hurdles for people trying to make those life shifts when it comes to health and wellness. It’s like, just getting out of your own way. Because one thing you quickly realize, no one’s looking at you. They’re so focused on themselves, no one cares. Just do your thing, get out, get out of your own way, just do your thing. And that was one of those lessons I learned quickly. And once I got into that space, it was like lightning in a bottle. And I would say that I ended up losing about 30 pounds in like four months. And then it started started just fallen off. And over the course of about four years or so, I was down over well over 100 pounds. And it was just a matter of just like finding what works for me, you know, because once you get the diet part, once you start getting a handle on the diet portion of everything, it starts to kind of take care of yourself, it’s like because so many of us get caught up in the mental hurdles of it. It’s like, once you get that stuff out of the way, like getting out of your own head and those kinds of things. The weight loss kind of happens. And then I did my first I’ll never forget this. This is like DC AIDS Walk. It’s like AIDS Walk in 5k. And I’ve done I’ve done five K’s before, but that’s like the longest distance I’ve ever ran. But I’ve done it on the treadmill. So I went into it expecting to do like a 30 minute five Canis little kid. I’ll never forget this. It’s like I was on like mile three. And you’re turning down Pennsylvania Avenue is like so it’s DC Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s like some major street. So you just kind of so it’s like a lot of people there. And so I was like little tearing ly. Sure. And I thought this kid is dark passing. So what the heck, kids smoking had to be like 13 or something like a little kids will do it. This is crazy. At that moment, though, I was hooked. Then I just started signing up for races and start doing an event. After that was no turning back, I did my first half marathon. And I was like this is like the craziest rush. And it was like there’s no turning back. Because once you start collecting these things, and as you start getting teeth for seat so you pay to run you pay to race just get to get a medal and a banana. Yeah, but no, it’s like it’s one of the most addictive things ever. And for anyone that has ever participated in like a competitive sport or anything. This is like the closest thing to getting that rush as an adult like that race energy, the people, just the vibes. It’s addicting. And it’s just a cool rush and you find it and it’s awesome. It’s been one of those things that’s been just a blessing to me because I’ve met some amazing people. I’ve gotten got some lifelong friendships out of this. And it’s one of those things I would never trade I can never trade because it’s something I can I can put into my children, things like that. It’s like something that I can pass along like, hey, like this is just a fun activity. It’s like our my, my first daughter when she was born, we got running strollers, I was taking her out and now it’s she’s like she’s only like two now. But the thing is, she knows what time it is. It’s like she’s she wants to go participate. She loves he’s been to. She’s seen so many finish lines and stuff. She just loves it now. It’s like she’s addicted. So it’s like, I want to keep that mindset will keep that thought process in her head. So when sees or as she gets older, she wants to do like, activity like physical activity won’t be a random thing to her. It’s gonna be fun than like, Oh, it’s a part of my life. You know what I mean? Like it’s a part of your lifestyle. So it’s just this was really cool. It’s a really cool.
Richard Conner 9:35
Oh, that’s an incredible story. Incredible attorney, Jay, and just congratulations on all the things that you have accomplished. And I have so many questions for you is I want to unpack your story and understand kind of the different phases in your journey a little bit more and, and then just remind me about the little kid that passed you in during the race. I want to share a story about that. But you know, kind of going back to what you’re talking about. You’re the doctor diagnosis Right, and diabetes, tell me a little bit about like, what was going on in your life or in your mind around that time? Did it take that doctor’s visit for you to realize what was happening? And what was you know, the changes in terms of your lifestyle in your body? Or were you kind of thinking about it along the way?
Jay Wells 10:19
It’s one of those things. It’s like, you don’t think about it until the small things happen. It’s something that we used that would happen to me like I would get off the metro. I’ll get off the train, walking to work. I’m tired. I would wait for it. I’ll do things now. Think about it. Now. Think about a lot of the habits I had. Just getting off the train. I was the guy that will wait on the escalator. It’s like I would wait a wait on the escalator. I wouldn’t walk up the escalator line. I’d be the guy on the right side waiting, either was even talking about the plane on the elevator. And what and I was just, too, I just didn’t have the energy to my thought process wasn’t Hey, man, just walk up the stairs. It’s not that wasn’t my thought process. It was like, you know, let me wait. And it’s like, when I start thinking about with a dire doctor’s diagnosis, it was like, you’ve noticed this change in your body and you just didn’t care. You didn’t do anything you allowed it to happen. And that’s where that reality check comes in. We have to reflect, look at yourself, like, what are the things that you’re doing? Because we always hear people talk about Yeah, oh, look at your 10,000 steps, go do those things. Oh, that goes a long way. Blah, blah, blah, which is true, and it does. But without the right intention, it doesn’t matter. You know, you have to be you have to intentionally do these things. And for me, it’s like the doctor’s diagnosis, it was like the reality check a slap in the face that hey, man, this is real. Like, if you really care about if you want to be here, if you want to enjoy life, you have to make that shift. And again, it’s like, I’ll be the last person to say, hey, I don’t, I don’t go into a drink. But at the same time, I can’t go out here binge drinking on a Tuesday. And for grown up, it’s like you can’t just go get immersed in happy hours all the time. And oh, man, all you can eat burgers and fries. It’s like this, that was just a bad way to live. And you don’t want to punish your body that way. Because one thing we all are, we all learn as we as we ate, we are literally what you eat. So your body is going to look like the way whatever way you treat it. That’s what your body’s going to look like. You’re going to you’re going to look the way you feel like those things. See me on the field, the way you look. It’s like that stuff happens. And you want to kind of protect your body more. That’s one of those lessons that wow, the diagnosis really just made me think about what I was doing and what I was putting into my body because it’s like, yeah, that stuff. Sounds fun. Sounds cool. But when you’re listening to that diagnosis, it’s heartbreaking. It’s like, it’s kind of it’s like, it’s like, Jeez, what am I doing to myself, you say you love yourself, it’s time to start living. Like,
Richard Conner 12:42
I’m glad that you you saw the signs, but it really took the diagnosis for you to take action. But what’s important is you did take action, and you’re in a much better place today. So that’s really great that you did that. And, you know, you talked a lot about what we put in our bodies and how we should treat our body. So you know, let’s talk about that for a moment. Because you use the word that’s really interesting, you call it you call it intimidating, and you use it for some other reason. But I’m thinking, you know, for the path that you chose around vegan diet, some may see that as intimidating. That’s a big change from you know, what most people do in terms of their diets. So, you know, so a couple of things. One, why did you decide that that was the path you needed to follow? And then to? Is it all or nothing? If I’m in that place? Do I have to go to a vegan diet? Or, you know, what are some of the other things that someone could consider two things
Jay Wells 13:37
with that. It’s not all or nothing. Like, I’m a big fan of, hey, do what works for you. I’ll be the I’m not gonna I’m not the food police for him. It’s like, I’m like, Hey, do what works for you. For me. You get all this information, you read all these things. And you see like, man, they use a lot of these a lot of fake things. Like it’s a lot of things people put in the food and like a lot of stuff that goes into processed meals. And it’s like, like, you know, this stuff is bad. And this is, I’ll never forget, there was an there was like, you start seeing these food documentaries. And it’s like teeth, we’re doing all that to food. And then you start seeing all the artificial things and drinks and things that we like. It’s like these are things that we love. I was the Hot Pocket King. I was like when people talk about ramen noodles in college. I’ve never eaten ramen noodles in my life. You know what I ate? I was privileged enough to have hot pockets.
Richard Conner 14:30
I was that guy on another level?
Jay Wells 14:33
Hey, enjoy your ramen, I mean, but we start thinking about like, dude, that stuff was like super processed. It’s so so many preservatives, and you start taking those things into consideration. Like, this is what I put into my body and you start seeing like, the kidneys for people on like it when they’re when they pass away. It’s like you start seeing all these things. And it’s like, I know I don’t want to do this to my body. And for me, it was one of those things like you know Let, I want to go all the way in because as my as my mother would say, I have a very addictive personality. I’ve, once I’m into something, I’m all the way into it. And that was that’s how it became for me. It’s like, and again, it’s a lifestyle change. But I always say, do what works for you. Because no matter what, as long as you’re functioning at a calorie deficit, that’s the goal. Okay, that’s the goal to focus on a calorie deficit. That’s how you lose weight, no matter what diet plan and things like that. As long as you’re eating whole foods and you’re functioning at a calorie deficit, you’ll be fine. And for me, it was really like, you know what, these plants are okay. I never feel full. It’s like, do I eat nuts? And snack on nuts? No, I gave up Snickers kind of let certain things go. But it’s like because you don’t like for me, I’m not the guy that misses chicken and seafood and things like that. That’s not me. If anything, it’s like, you know, let me get like my salad tastes great. It’s like my veggie tastes great. I make a fine dishes that work for you. Like Indian cuisine. There’s so many vegan dishes, Indian vegan dishes that are available you quickly find out like hey, there’s I can make a great Chana Masala. It’s like lentil dal tastes great. It’s like there’s so many different varieties of foods that you can kind of put together. It’s like there’s so many South American dishes that you can just create and make your own that you know what, I’m not missing out on much. And I’m never full, my meals aren’t like an unfulfilled, I don’t get the itis after I eat. It’s like, those are little things that you know, I’m okay with that part of it. Because I’ve loved the way eating makes me feel. You know, because a lot of people to eat, there’ll be doubt holidays just past a lot of people have those Christmas dinners, those Thanksgiving meals and just for people talk about gaining weight over the holidays, I can’t relate to that. Because I just I’m always conscious about what I’m putting into my body. But at the same time. Like, I think a lot of people have just a love affair with food. And the nostalgia of food makes them feel like they’re missing out on something when they’re really not. So it’s like n. And within different cultures, food is a time for family, all that kind of stuff. So it’s like I get that portion of it. But there’s a healthier way to do it. And you just have to find that balance for you. Because once you start getting away from things, certain foods, you will start noticing those changes in your body. Once you’re drinking water properly drinking enough water like, like we, you know, we’ve drank enough water, you know, it’s like, you know, when you’re like the smallest little change, like, you know, I haven’t been hydrating enough, you know it like your body will tell you. And I think the same thing is with food, when you haven’t eaten properly and things like that your body will tell you it’s like, you know, you know, when you’re actually hungry versus when I’m craving things. It’s like a lot of people feel like they’re craving something sweet. No, you’re just addicted to sugar. You don’t need a Twix, you know, it’s like, no, you have a sugar addiction. It’s like relax. So it’s really a matter of just kind of like, for me it was a it was a thing where you know if this can work for me, because again, I’m not the guy that is like, oh, I need to eat. I don’t I’m not, I’m not the missing meat guy. Because a lot of people feel like, Oh, I didn’t eat. You get those stories, like I’m not getting enough protein. That’s not true. I was lied on protein, I would have passed out on mile 20 For a long time. It doesn’t work that way. That’s not the way protein works. It’s like we kind of we have to remove those like false images. Like, oh, you’re vegan, you’re missing out on everything. No, I can I take and now I do take my supplements, you know, I take b 12, things like that. But that’s normal, I take a multivitamin, I take B 12. That’s it. Like those are like normal supplements that people take. It’s like, I’m not iron deficient. I’m not missing out on it. Like none of that stuff happens. You know, it’s like it’s really just a matter of monitoring your food and taking in what taking in the supplements that you need. But you would do that on any diet. So it’s just a matter of like finding what works for you. And I think once people get that, kind of get that part in their head, it’s a lot easier.
Richard Conner 19:02
Yeah, for sure. For sure. And you said a lot of really interesting things there. You know about number one what’s in the food that we’re eating right so even if we don’t necessarily go vegan, which you know, it’s totally fine if that works for you, but just really paying attention to what it is that you are eating and what’s in it is super, super important. And I I definitely agree with you there and we’ve had other guests on the show to talk about, you know, the either follow the vegan vegan diets or they themselves were teaching others and there’s so many great benefits that comes with it, especially if you have certain diagnosis, right certain conditions, it can certainly benefit you to consider that or at least reduce some some of the products or some of the foods that we have in our diet so completely agree with you there and something else that you said about finding that balance right. So there’s certain things that you can do, but you’re not going to go out and binge all weekend right or or all the happy hours or like you said during the holiday dinners, that is not Like, if you do it in moderation, that alone is going to help you, you know, good step in the right direction, you know, on your journey. And just a personal story on my side, I remember this was probably about three or four years ago, I, I started with my coach. And one of the areas he was helping me was with my nutrition. And I remember, there were certain things that I just stopped eating. But not only because it didn’t fit within my calories, or my macros, but this goes along with what you said, I didn’t feel good. I didn’t feel good after I eat certain things. And it took me to stop eating those things to realize the difference, like, wait a minute, as much as I thought I enjoyed that, I didn’t feel great afterwards. And I don’t want that feeling. So I don’t eat a lot of those things anymore. And I’m not missing it. Because I’m not missing that that feeling afterwards of feeling, like you said sluggish or just not feeling well, right. Not good digestion for for certain types of food. But on the other side don’t want to be too restrictive. Because you know, that also can, you know, lead to kind of yo yoing and stopping and starting etc, etc.
Jay Wells 21:09
And just piggybacking that the yo yoing thing. That’s what happens to a lot of people you ever see these people, they jump on these fads, they’ll do something, and it’s like, boom, they’ll kind of get caught up in all of this keto diet, blah, blah, blah. It’s like and again, not blame, not blame it on keto, one of the things a lot of people that is caught up in a fad, and it worked for them. But then, boom, they stopped after 30 days, and they gave everything back. Cuz it’s like they get caught up in the, oh, I missed this so much. And no, you really didn’t you have something that worked, you get this okay to stick to it. It’s like, and that’s where it goes in to be in a commitment. It’s a lifestyle change. It’s like, and once people kind of get into that portion of like, Hey, this is my lifestyle. And it goes usually fine. Because again, you don’t miss this stuff. Because you love the way you feel. And I hear that so often. I was vegan for a month, I felt I love the way it made me feel. So I just thought
Richard Conner 22:04
for sure. So So I love this conversation about the nutrition. And that was kind of the first phase of your journey. And then, you know, we’re getting into the movement piece. And I think you said you’re somewhere around 300 something pounds at the time. And you were moving, which is incredible. So just tell us a little bit about like, what was that? Like? Did you have a training plan? What was what how did you feel when you’re doing that walking in the parks? And yeah, so tell us a little bit about
Jay Wells 22:29
this. Before I became a device snob and switched to Garmin, I was still messing around with it. This is so funny. Remember, the Nike FuelBand is a Nike this is right before Apple Watches came out. This is a Nike FuelBand. A friend of mine said, Jay, this is this is what I say this is when I mentioned having good friends around to challenge you. This goes a long way. He said, I want to challenge you to walk just getting more miles than me. And it’s like it was a competitive way. But it’s like, you know what, that’s what got me into walking. It’s like, and he was just like Colombia, let’s see if we get 100 miles this month. I was like, and now I left the thought of 100 miles a month. But at the time it sounded so intent was like, but it’s my buddy challenge. And I’m like, no problem, bro. Let’s get it. Let’s go. And next thing I know, I’m like, Dude, how the heck am I gonna get 100 miles and slowly walk in. And that I’ll never forget that first time I knocked out a mile. It was like a 26 minute mile, I felt so great about it. And I realized I had to walk back to my car photo to a two mile ad it took about 40 minutes or so it’s like, the second mile was much easier than the first. And then it’s like you start realizing, hey, you know, I can pace myself better. And then you start getting to those moments. Alright, Jay, let’s try to jog a little bit. Let’s try to do a little bit more. And once you started, once you start getting to that that love that little those little small moments of fulfillment, they kind of gives you more and more confidence. And that was something that just kind of just kept me going. You know, it’s like, Okay, I just I just ran for 30 seconds. I’m going to walk for a minute now. I want to do another 30 seconds. So do you start doing intervals. And at this time, I didn’t realize it was interval training, there were just really, really slow intervals, like in my head, just like you don’t do interval training. By accident, you kind of fall into it. But it was really, really just a matter of like, let’s just get out there. And then it’s like, okay, I’m feeling I’m feeling so comfortable with this. Let’s do some strength training. So then then it got into I got a couple I got a plan from a buddy of mine. And I started implementing that trying to do full body workouts because I said, You know what, if I want to lose weight, I don’t want to be one of these guys with big arms and little licks. Let’s try to do some stuff. So I started doing that. And I found the four day routine, and for the last four days of weights, and every day I will commit to 30 minutes of cardio. That’s that’s how I started so no matter what I’ll do at least 30 minutes of cardio and And I kind of fell fell in line there. And then it’s like this run thing. It’s an addictive drug man, no matter whether you’ve done a mile or you’ve done 20 miles that day, you just feel better after a run, no matter what. And especially now we’re living in a virtual world where most of us so many of us work from home and things like that. It’s like, just getting away, going out. And just getting outside for just an hour. Getting a nice run in, it just feels so amazing. And then that even at 300 pounds, that was just such a high for me, you know, and it’s like I mentioned that first 5k. And it’s like, like that rush, just like I always said, like, nothing beats your first race. Nothing beats it. Like that first. 5k was just like such a thrill. And it’s so funny, because I didn’t even hear the person I was dating at the time. I didn’t even have her come because I didn’t know how I was gonna feel afterwards I was I might be tired, I might pass out. I don’t want to see. I wanted to see what’s going on. It’s like now it’s like, no, you want everyone around. It’s like, it’s fun. It’s like, you want that you want that celebratory moment at the finish line, you want that it’s like it’s, it’s an addictive thing. This runs stuff. You can’t, it’s like it’s really just a high is and it’s like when you start filling those small wins. It’s not like, yeah, you care about your goal, pace and stuff. But it’s like, at the end of the day, that stuff doesn’t even matter. It’s like, I just want that sense of accomplishment of doing it. It’s like, Ah,
Richard Conner 26:30
well, like you said, I mean, other than the physical benefits you get with it. It’s also that sense of accomplishment, which I think is huge. And, you know, being able to do something you’ve never done before, do it better, better performance and seeing the improvements. Yeah, of course. I mean, yeah, you know, they call it, they don’t call it the runner’s high for nothing, right? Sure. There’s some physical, chemical reasons why you get that, but, but for sure, and, you know, I want to interject my story for a moment when you’re talking about your 5k. And I think that was the one with a 13 year old pass, you smoke me. So I’m doing a 5k a few years ago at my old high school, which, you know, became an annual thing for me. And my family came, and it’s, they don’t always come to my races. So it was kind of special that they did. So I’m rounding, you know, kind of the third mile that we’re about to finish back into school. And as we’re getting closer, you kind of hear the crowd, and I hear, Go Daddy, Go Daddy. And I’m like, and I think it’s my son, right? So I’m like, Oh, I’m coming on Dre. So I’m running, I’m running. But but the whole time, I’m following this kid, you know, probably same age, you know, 1011 12 years old. I’m watching the back of his feet, like the entire race. Right? So I’m running and I hear you know, my son cheering for me. And I think I passed the kid. I’m not quite sure because I was just running for my life at that point. And I sprinted to the end. And I felt that sense of accomplishment that you were talking about, and that runner’s high. And then afterwards, I’m like, looking around for my family. And I can’t find some like, okay, so I’m kind of waiting around for someone else who was running with me. And then I happened to go inside of the school, and my family was enjoying the breakfast inside the school, so. So someone else’s son was cheering for their dad, but it was enough motivation to get me to go. So I can’t, I can’t be mad about it. And it was nice that they came. But that’s, that’s my little story. Yeah.
The thought that it was your
Richard Conner 28:31
thought that it was my kid. That’s like, can you imagine the whole race, I’m cheating. I’m chasing this 11 year old, 10 year old 11 year old, watching the back of his feet, he was moving. I’m like, Wow, this, this, this is great. You know, well, not great that I’m so behind him. But it took that motivation in the end to, to get to where I’m going. So anyway, that’s my little story. But thank you for sharing all that. You know, I think it’s, you know, it’s intimidating. Again, they use the word intimidating to do what you did right at the weight that you were to start where you were, and then you mentioned something about, like the confidence, so I can’t imagine what it might feel like for someone who may not have the confidence to show up and do this kind of work in the presence of others. Yeah. And you had mentioned that, you know, you didn’t want to invite anybody to that first race. And, you know, we’ve had other guests on the show that have done their couch to 5k program. But and we recommend that when you do that you sign up for your first 5k Yeah, well, you know, what they do? Sometimes they actually do like a virtual 5k ahead of that. Just can I actually do this right? Can I couldn’t do this without I don’t know, quote, unquote, like embarrassing myself, which of course they wouldn’t. But that’s kind of the confidence piece.
Jay Wells 29:37
And it goes back to the importance of having like a great circle. Like you can’t do any of this stuff without having like, friends family that you just know are going to be supportive, you know, and that’s something that was just really like, even now, it’s like, it’s great. Like, see my see my kid at the finish line. That’s such a cool feeling. You know, my daughter for the rest of her life. She’s gonna see photos of her on Daddy shows. That’s always the kids don’t care about anything. 20 I just knocked out 26.2 My daughter’s looking at me like, Hey, pick me up, she doesn’t pick me up. She’s like, Hey, how are you picking me up, it’s like, but it’s cool, though, those are like moments that you never forget. And it’s like, when you have that kind of support system, your friends are there. Like, those things are cool. And that’s one of the things like as you get more and more into this process, the things that keep you going because again, once you lose the weight, you gotta you want to maintain it. Now, you never want to be the person that J lost all this weight at one point, then he gained it all back. So you kind of start finding ways to stay in a training, it’s easy to kind of get into those circles, all you lost weight. Now you’re just existing, you know, waiting to gain it back. But no, you move on to the next thing. And that’s one of the things that makes running so special, because there’s always another race, a trust, and there’s always gonna be a rock’n’roll marathon, there’s always going to be something to do. You know, there’s so many different events.
Richard Conner 30:59
Yeah, so you know, so I appreciate you sharing this, this is really great insights into what it’s like, you know, to kind of move and do the walking in the running and these races. And one of the things that I’d love to know and have you share with our listeners is, you know, what would you say was your biggest obstacle in your running journey? And how did you overcome it?
Jay Wells 31:21
A lot of people are going to tell you, Well, hey, man, you don’t even like why do you do it? You don’t need to do that. And then you start thinking about it. Like, I really don’t need to do that. It’s like, I don’t have to, but no, it’s like, that challenge. Is this something that for me, it drove me to want to do more, more of it. You know, because you could lose weight and be healthy. Just doing five K’s no look like the running part of it is like you can just realistically in life, none of us are ever running 13 miles to get away from a zombie or anything. But realistically, you don’t need to do that. It’s like, it’s really just one of those things. And you fall in love with that process. You know, it’s like the training schedules to getting better. Like, hey, I need to do today is going to be today, I got interval training, or Today I’m working on strides. It’s like, it’s like those different things. You fall in love with that part of the process. There’s going to be naysayers, because again, you don’t need to do it. There’s people in the Hey, man, you know what, you just left the gym. Why are you trying to go for a run now was like, you don’t need to do that. Like, no, I probably don’t. But things I want to. It’s like, and you got to remind yourself that you’re doing it because you want to. Because again, for most people, they’re gonna look at you kind of funny. Like, dude, you do all that? Yeah, I do. It’s like, I like doing it. It’s like you just fall in love with it. And you kind of ignore that part of the noise. Because again, dude, I lost most of my way. Just doing five K’s and working out. Like that was doing five K’s working out. 30 minutes on the treadmill, boom, go to a nice little workout. Shed most of my weight. It’s like I was by the time I started doing half marathons, I was already under 200 pounds. It’s like I was like 190 or so when I started doing half marathons. So I met my goal weight, if you will, you know. So it’s like, this is fine. But then it turned into this is fun. These are the type of people that you’re around now. They’re all fit people. So it’s like, oh, this is kind of fun. This is a competitive group. It’s like, let’s, let’s do it, you know. So once you’re around like more fitness minded people. It’s almost like your goalposts move. That’s why it’s like you meet so many people that start off running, they become triathletes, it’s like, sometimes it’s a natural progression for people.
Richard Conner 33:28
That’s awesome. That’s awesome, Jay. So I love this conversation. And thank you for sharing that. And kind of as we wind down here, what would be the one thing that you would say, to inspire our listeners to run,
Jay Wells 33:40
no matter what your day has been? Running makes it better, no matter what happened? Bad day at work, you just found out you got to pay 3k To get your car repaired. Anything, go for a run afterwards, you’ll feel better, no matter what. And I will bank that on my I will put that on. Like I something I can fully vouch for some of the worst news ever go for run, you’ll feel better. It’s like before you make a major decision, go for a run. For some reason. This is like next level clarity. It’s like you’ve been hanging out with baby yoga or something. It’s like you just feel better. It’s like post run clarity is a thing. Good, bad, indifferent, go for a run, you always feel better. And that’s one of the things it’s like a fully, fully vouch for that I can stand on that. The higher that YOU GET, POST run. And again, that’s not even just a race that’s like a regular day run. You just feel better. So I will say that’s the number one reason because you know what you get clarity, and you’re gonna reach a certain peace of mind from running.
Richard Conner 34:44
sage advice for our listeners. Thank you so much, Jay. Really, really enjoyed this conversation? How can our listeners and community find you and follow your journey online?
Jay Wells 34:54
When in doubt, catch me on Instagram marathon Jay, I’m around I’m usually doing some random goofy run And around lunch because I am a lunch runner. I’ve accepted that I eat miles for lunch. So find me on Instagram marathon J. All right,
Richard Conner 35:08
perfect. Well, I’ll put that information in the show notes to make it easy for everyone to find you. Again, thank you so much for coming on the show Jay and sharing your story. And you know with that, have a great day.
Jay Wells 35:20
Thanks, Richard. Appreciate it man. Thanks for inviting me.
Richard Conner 35:23
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