It’s been a long 4 years…


I woke up late as usual and went to the bathroom to get ready for work. I stepped on the scale hoping I would see a lower number. To my surprise the number was higher than I had ever seen. As my life flashed in front if me, thoughts of disappointment, regret and disgust ran through my head. How could I ever let myself go like this? How could I weigh 400 pounds? 

I knew I had to make a change… I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to do it, but I knew I never wanted to feel this way again, EVER! 

Jim Rohn talks about the day that turns your life around. This was my day. If I would have only known what I was about to go through, what I was about to endure, the pain, discomfort and all the time and hard work that I was going to have to put myself through, I may not have never taken the first step.

I guess as I look back, I’m glad I was ignorant to what I was about to go through. I’m glad I didn’t know what was coming. I never dreamed I would succeed so I guess there were no expectations…

See when you’re a failure at everything you do, you don’t have much confidence in yourself or your abilities. After you’ve failed over and over again, the next time you try it feels like the next time you’re going to fail so you don’t have much hope…

But the only way to succeed is to try one more time. Give yourself one more chance. All you have to do is take that very next step in front of you. Just keep moving forward one step at a time and never stop moving… The only way to succeed is to go after failure just one more time.

When I first started, all I wanted to do was be able to play with my kids. I wanted to not feel disgusted with myself. I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with the person staring back at me. I wanted to have some self worth. I wanted to be healthy.

I honestly never dreamed of running. I never thought about losing 200 pounds. I never thought about wearing a size large shirt or small pants. I wasn’t out to get skinny and look good in a swimsuit.

I didn’t want to die. I was scared of having a massive heart attack by 35 years old.

People ask me a lot, “How do you do it? How do you wake up early? How do you stay motivated? What keeps you going? Why would you put yourself through everything? Why are you running 100 miles?”

I guess it’s simple really. I’ve been given a second chance at life and I don’t want to waste it sitting on the couch, watching TV or sleeping. I feel like I’ve seen the grim reaper and I don’t ever want to stare at him again. I know our time on earth is limited and I don’t want to waste it living a boring life.

I want to face challenges. I want to break the rules and defy social norms. I want to act like a 12 year old and read & learn like a wise adult. I want to smile and have fun, go on adventures and live to the fullest. Most of all I want to overcome the fears that have been holding me back my entire life…

As I cross the 4th anniversary of my rebirth and start the next chapter in my life I know this- I don’t know exactly where I’m headed but I’m going to continue with my basic philosophy. Keep moving forward one step at a time and never give up. I see adventures and failures in my future. I know pain and disappointment are right around the corner. But I imagine better days with a lot of smiles and laughter. 

No matter what happens in the future, I know this. The reflection of the 400 pound man in the mirror will guide me. I will let all the fear and pain I see when I look in the mirror show and continue to motivate me. My only hope is that one day I will wake up and see the person everyone else sees. I want to wake up, look in the mirror and recognize the new face I see staring back at me. I want to see the happiness in my soul reflected through my own eyes. One day I hope I can out run the man in the mirror. 

Run Epic my Friends,


Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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