A man who inspired many people on FaceBook with his weight loss journey died earlier this morning.
Larry Evans, from St Louis, US, once weighed 800lbs (just over 57 stone) but his work-out videos on social media offered hope to many who, arguably, couldn’t be reached any other way.
His passing was confirmed by family on FaceBook. Subsequent press reports said Larry had died aged 40, and friends relatives confirmed he had been battling pneumonia.
Larry founded Let’s Shrink Obesity/Team Larry and charted his progress, and his exercise regime, via short videos. Some were watched as many as 27,837,900 times!
In doing this, his mission was to inspire everyone to GET UP, GET OUT & DO SOMETHING. He wanted to shrink obesity around the world – starting with himself.
Avoiding fad diets and weight-loss surgery, he managed to lose 11 stone over a two-year period through sensible diet and exercise alone.
All Larry asked was that nobody judge him.
And let’s remember him how, I imagine, he’d like to be remembered – working out!
I am indebted to IronFat for this inspiring video – but it does handle my phobia of finishing last!
Basically it’s a call-to-arms to everyone who – like me – runs at the back of the pack.
Think about it – the winners have won, the elite runners will have got their breath back – but the focus is on the shufflers for whom the event is far from over.
In the voiceover, the American actress Rooney Mara points out that most searches for the word “marathon” will lead you to the fact that the first person to run the distance didn’t survive the experience!
Now I’ll be Googling this like crazy from now on because that’s the kind of gal I am, but meanwhile here’s the rest of the script:
“He died. And he was a runner.
“You are not a runner. You are especially not a marathon runner, but at the end of this – you will be.”
At this point the camera’s on the young woman right at the back. She’s out of puff, but she’s still going – and she’ll get there.
BTW the soundtrack is Aretha Franklin’s “Every Little Bit Hurts” – and at that stage of a marathon, it’s a pretty accurate assessment!
The guy who died? Pheidippides – who is said to have run from the town of Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a military victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
Despite (I imagine) his military levels of fitness, had he specifically trained to run the distance?
Let’s face it, I don’t really think he’d really had a choice in the matter!
I wonder what he’d make of people who do?
As long as marathons exist people will run them – and the slowest ask only that there’s still a finish line at the end.
Good Luck to everyone in tomorrow’s London Marathon.
To everyone who’s side-lined through injury (or even illness), your “strong” is in there somewhere!
Yes I do remember when all the above applied.
And you know what?
None of this was directly down to an unhealthy choice, it was down to a supposedly healthy necessity – I’d broken a bone in my foot and doctors advised me not to do any exercise that involved putting weight on it (in other words my normal exercise routine!)
Admittedly I could have been more creative in how I adapted my workouts but in practice this didn’t happen.
One of the many results was a limited choice for work outfits for summer. A big bust, flabby upper arms and a slight belly are better off hidden under baggy black tops. The Guerrilla training I was forbidden to do would’ve sorted the issue.
Now, of course, that’s in the past. And I’m very, very grateful I can run today – I’m in my running gear as I type this and the sun is shining outside! Am I procrastinating?
Good Luck to everyone who likes working out but who’s still recovering from injury. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen! Hang on in there.
Well – give or take a couple of days, it’s my first Blogiversary!
Breaking a bone in my foot which stopped me doing my favourite workouts was just the catalyst I needed – as I never have been an “ideas woman”, yet knew I needed to blog.
The idea was ultimately to give hope, not least to myself, but to anyone else for whom exercise is a way of life that’s suddenly taken away from them.
I broke my fifth metatarsal in my left foot falling off the arm of the sofa whilst swatting at the smoke alarm – my boyfriend had been cooking sausages.
Gratitude is no bad thing. Today I just threw on my kit and did what I normally do, just go out for a run. This time last year that simply wasn’t an option.
We are talking a crazy-sized granny shoe and the geriatric “hobbling” which easily made me appear much older than my years.
And I’m comparatively lucky.
During the course of this blog I featured the story of Austin Rathe, who faced the real possibility of leg amputation after a road accident – and developed his resolve to run a marathon whilst recovering in hospital.
I wanted a dancer who’d recovered from injury – and she came along in the unlikely form of Amber Kershaw, then aged nine, who’d recovered from a broken arm to street-dance on a competitive level.
Blogging is a steep learning curve and I’m still learning.
Part of the fun, of course, is seeing how well each blog post does – it really is quite fun looking at the stats.
Having suffered depression and flare-ups of Crohn’s Disease he told me: “I wanted to take control of my life and not allow myself to become sick again.”
My inevitable fears over putting on weight led to an article on my pet hate – dieting. And I’ll level with you, the inevitable flabbiness caused by lack of exercise did impact on the choice of clothes I could wear for work in the unforgiving summer.
In the end it was simply a question of patience and letting the bone recover, as it inevitably did.
But this blog did (and still does , as I have no intention of finishing it) help tremendously.
So it’s true – Time really is the great healer.
Along with blogging!
I couldn’t sleep – and ended up combing social media for inspiration (as you do) – and I found it.
You know how it is when you wake up in the middle of the night and it’s just impossible to tell any concerns you have to wait until the morning?
If you have time it’s worth taking the odd six minutes to see the vid through – I could transcribe the lot but here’s a quote that hits home with me:
I found the video shared on FaceBook by Larry Evans.
He’s an American guy fighting his own battle against weight – he’s getting down from 800lbs (just over 57 stone) via an exercise regime and surgery.
I want to interview him for this blog at some point.
Larry’s journey isn’t a short one.
All he asks, as short videos chart his progress both in the gym and in hospital, is that nobody judge him.
Here he is an action during an earlier stage of his campaign – I believe this was filmed in late September last year:
Isn’t he one awesome guy?