How I lost 20 Pounds In Four Months and Training For My First Half Marathon

On January 2nd of 2017, I like many people wrote an article about my pledge to lose weight and get in shape. My post was called “I felt like 💩 in 2016 and What I’m Going To Do About It”. After the article, I worked out regularly for the next month and a half. In February I lost almost four pounds. Then March came. I went back to my old sad routine. I was getting angry and was well aware that I needed to make a massive mindset shift and change my eating habits. March is also my birthday month. A month and time I use for self-reflection. Somewhere between traveling in March for SXSW, seeing family, planning Tech Inclusion events, I was on the verge of anger for being out of shape and depression. I woke up one morning, and the scale said I weighed 205 pounds. I gained the three pounds I lost in February and then some. I weighed the most I have ever been in my entire life.

205… That was it. That was my oh 💩 moment. I had enough. The biggest change I had to make was saying “NO.” Saying no to myself, saying no to snacks, heavy meals, eating late, sugar, etc. I’m not going to into everything I was eating, but I will say the change started by removing sugar from my life. I started going to the gym every day. I use Swarm(formally known as Foursquare) to check-in to locations. During one period over the last four months Swarm informed me that I had made it 13 straight days checking into the gym. Little by little I started to lose weight. In April, I lost 9.9 pounds.

After I started feeling better about my progress, I was talking with my friend Erick Davidson about running, and I was reminded about a goal to run in the San Francisco Marathon. I was not ready. But I signed up for the 5k ( three miles) during the San Francisco Marathon on July 23rd. I started “training” early June. For the next month, I continued to watch what I eat and train for the 5k. I completed the 5k with Erick. Since then, I’ve been increasing my weekly runs, going from three miles to five miles, to seven miles on August 5th.

Wayne Sutton at the finish line during San Francisco Marathon 5k — photo by Melinda Epler

I tried CrossFit

While preparing for the San Francisco Marathon, I remembered another goal of mine. I wanted to learn and join a CrossFit gym. I joined Crossfit Alinea in SF. Honestly, I liked the CrossFit workouts, but I hated CrossFit as an experience. It was not the gym, Crossfit Alinea was fantastic, great people, excellent instructors, clean gym. I would highly recommend the gym and staff. I realized that I don’t like working out with people. I don’t like to run with people either. Working out is my time. So I completed the CrossFit Foundation two week course, thanked the owner and went back to my routine but added some CrossFit methods to my workouts.

Talking with various friends who are runners and fit, they remind me it’s not about the pounds when working towards being healthy. Or it’s not about distance. I understand their view points as now working out in the gym or running along the Bay the time is sacred, meditative and healing. Working out or running is a time for me to unplug, enjoy the outdoors if I’m running or just focused on myself while I’m in the gym. With all the craziness that’s happening in the world, I highly encourage making some time for yourself that includes physical activity. Meditation works too, but there’s nothing like moving!

How I lost weight

Stopped eating “bad” chocolate 
Stopped eating peanut butter cookies from Peet’s 
I started juicing two — three times a week with Pressed Juice
I would go 3–5 days vegan
I would work out 6–7 days out of the week for a least one hour
I started tracking my sleep with OURA ring
Tracking my weight with Health Mate app and Withings scale
Tracking my runs with Nike Running app 
Tracking my steps and workouts with Apple Watch
I would go some days eating one meal, and go macro peanut butter bars
I started drinking a lot more water
I started running
I added some CrossFit workouts
Focus on eating organic and gluten free
I stopped eating or drinking any foods with dairy
Added more protein to my daily intake with NutriBiotic Raw Organic Rice Protein Vanilla
I started listening to a lot of reggae music. As Melinda would say it’s “happy music”

My run on August 5th — 7 miles

Upcoming Half Marathon

As running has become one of my new favorite past times, I’ve signed up to participate in two upcoming races in San Francisco. The first is the San Francisco Giant Race 10k ( 6.1 miles) on August 27th. The second is the Golden Gate Half Marathon on November 5th.

Losing weight for me is so much more than about being fit, even though a goal of mine is to be “IG” fit. Losing weight and being in shape is about my emotional wellness. If I’m out of shape, I’m not happy. It’s that simple.

It’s not easy but every day is a challenge and an opportunity to work towards a healthy life emotionally and physically.

Big thanks to the following people who have motivated and supported me throughout the process.
 Melinda Briana Epler
 Erick Davidson
Cynthia Maxey
 Naomi Assaraf
Jeremiah Owyang
Hajj Flemings
Leslie Miley
Robert Murray 
Sian Morson 
Isaac Elias
Robert Gordon Iv
Aisha Bowe— I see you on IG
Mandela Schumacher-Hodge-Dixon — I see you on IG

I still have a long way to go before I get “IG fit” but I’m a lot better emotionally and physically than I was in January.

We Evolved to Run — But We’re Doing It All Wrong


Wayne Sutton is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Change Catalystand its Tech Inclusion programs. Change Catalyst is dedicated to exploring innovative solutions to diversity and inclusion in tech through the Tech Inclusion Conference, training and the Change Catalyst Startup Fellows program. Wayne is a New America CA Fellow.

About Change Catalyst:

Change Catalyst empowers diverse, inclusive and sustainable tech innovation — through events, consulting, research and training.

Our Tech Inclusion programs explore and develop innovative solutions to tech diversity and inclusion.

Our Startup Ecosystem programs help underrepresented entrepreneurs and investors to start, scale and fund worldchanging businesses.

Change Catalyst is a Certified B Corp, winning the “Best for the World”​ award for community impact in 2014 and “Best in the World”​ overall in 2015.

The Change Catalyst Team
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