No, I’m not talking about busting out of jail. To quote Dr. Michael Beckwith “Too many people are living in a prison that they have themselves manufactured.”
This is true of many of us, myself included. In 1998 I had built myself a prison of misery and terrible health. My body was my jail cell and it didn’t let me go anywhere, do anything or enjoy life. Thankfully I hit a point where I knew I had to change and I did just that.
I changed my body from a prison to a vehicle of freedom, enabling me to do amazing things and live a truly great life full of energy, fun and passion. My goal became to pass on what I had learned and I am happy to tell you about my friend Lyle Katchur. The photo on the front page of this feature (from the Red Deer Express) of the two of us running is so much more than it appears.
You need to imagine back to Christmas, 2009 when Lyle called me and asked for help. At 336 pounds, he could hardly get up off the floor after playing with his daughter’s new Christmas toys. He was scared. In his words, “As I closed in on my 40th birthday, I really began to panic about my life. The choices I’d been making to that point were leading to punishments that began to take over my life and affecting the way I was interacting with my family. My sleep was suffering, my business was suffering, and most importantly my family was suffering. I was closing in on 40 but feeling more like 60. I could barely play with my kids anymore. It simply hurt too much. I was liter ally scared for my life. How far away was diabetes? How far away was a heart attack? How far away was some kind of irreversible illness? I was scared!
Will my kids grow up without a father?”
Like many of us, Lyle had built a prison and it took a while to come to terms with the reality of it all, but he knew something had to change. It started with just walking after supper each day and changing eating habits, which is no small task, especially when there is a family to think about too. How can a father change what he eats and also bring along the whole family without chaos? It can be done, and it was. Soon the healthy benefits began to spread to everyone in the house and everything shifted. Walks for Lyle to get healthy began to be a family experience where everyone went out for a walk. No TV, no computer, no iPod, just a family exploring the pathways and sidewalks around their home. As Lyle got stronger, more training was introduced, strength training, bicycling, skating, more walking and even some light jogging. Pounds started to melt away for Lyle and his wife. Pretty soon he was below 300, then 275, then 250 and now proudly sitting at a healthy 209 pounds.
Lyle has accepted a challenge from me – to participate in the Las Vegas Half Marathon on Dec. 4 – from barely being able to walk, to running a half marathon. So I am hoping that by sharing this, you see that the man in the photograph running in the fall leaves is not just some guy any more, he is an inspiration. He is proof that anyone can make the change to a healthier life.
Lyle has this to say, “These days I don’t even think about my age. I honestly don’t. When someone asks me my age, or the topic of age comes up I actually have to think for a second how old I am. It’s because I honestly do not feel a day over 30.I have reversed my mental ‘age-image’ of myself by over 10 years. I weigh less than I did when I was in high school. I’ve never ever been in this good of shape in my entire life. It’s a very powerful feeling. It continues to drive me.”
What advice can Lyle offer you for getting out of jail? “Having the support of positive people around you is a massive aspect too. The training and personal guidance I receive from my trainer is a major motivator. Being accountable not only to yourself but someone you respect is a powerful tool. You yourself need to make the correct choice but having people in your ‘corner’ is simply a requirement you cannot do without.”
Maybe it’s time you broke out of jail and went for a walk in the fall leaves. You just never know where it leads.
A before and after picture of Lyle Katchur. He has lost over 128 lbs. and is set to run his first half marathon in Las Vegas this December.