“I Became a Runner and Lost Half My Weight--While Coping with Multiple Sclerosis!”

Brian Robertson
Age: 35
Hometown: Union Mills, NC
Family: I have a wonderful wife, Jennifer; two beautiful daughters, Ona (age 10), Trinity (age 8), and a 2-week-old son, Junah.

Brian Robertson's multiple sclerosis diagnosis didn't keep him from transforming his life. Read Brian's inspirational story to learn what motivated him to start running and inspired him to lose half his body weight.

What's your regular workout routine?
I run five days a week.

What was the biggest hurdle and how did you get over it?
Getting past the mental wall that I created myself. I had myself believing that I couldn't do this because of my disease. When I thought about giving up, I thought of my family. A few years ago I took my daughters to an amusement park. My oldest daughter wanted to ride a ride. We stood in line for almost an hour. Our time came to get on the ride and the bar that holds us in would not fit over my belly. We had to leave and she didn't get to ride. I felt so bad. On all those days I thought about not running I thought of my girls and that day at the amusement park. That gets me out the door.

What kinds of changes did you make to your diet?
I had a horrible diet before. I ate fast food, fried food, mostly processed foods, and very few vegetables and fruits. I never paid attention to portion sizes or nutritional information. Then in May 2012 I started juicing and changed everything. I still drink a gallon of green juice a day. We do not have sodas in our home. When I do eat meat, it is turkey, chicken, or shrimp. I eat Greek yogurt a few times a week.

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What is the biggest reward of your running life?
Running has given me a sense of confidence. I am not the fastest, but it is fun and I'm improving and that is great. The biggest reward came at a 5-K. Someone said to my oldest daughter, "Look at him go! He sure is fast!" She turned and said, "Yeah, he is my Daddy." I can't express how it made me feel to make her proud of me. Running did this for us, and I plan to run as long as I can.

What advice would you give to a beginner?
It is better to run smart than run fast. Read about running. Seek advice from other runners. Take your time in training, and don't log too many miles.

TRY THIS: The Easiest Beginner Running Program, Ever

Brian, before the weight lossBrian, before the weight lossFavorite motivational quote: "There will be haters. There will be doubters. There will be nonbelievers, and there will be you proving them wrong."

What's your long-term goal? One day, I want to run the Asheville City Marathon and the Outer Banks Marathon. I want to become a Certified Personal Trainer to help others reach their weight-loss goals.
What advice would you have for others who have MS? Just get out and do what you can. Don't be afraid to push yourself. You only fail by not trying. Don't listen to those who try to define you by your illness. After you start an exercise program, listen to your body and rest as needed.

For Brian Robertson, running didn't just help him drop weight and get fit--it helped him manage his MS symptoms. For more surprising reasons you should start, see 9 Running Benefits You Didn't Know About.

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