Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Big Andy Aubin, a devoted marathon runner who lost a staggering 135 pounds, and is inspiring others with his incredible story of success.
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
Two part answer: I’ve changed my life and I’ve also inspired others to do the same for themselves. In the past year and a half I’ve lost 135 pounds, and slowly evolved from someone who got winded walking up a flight of stairs to running two half marathons, a 10 mile race, and numerous 10k & 5ks. I’ve lost weight, gotten fit, and completely changed my life in the process. In addition to that, my story has inspired numerous people to do the same thing for themselves.
How did you achieve it?
I lost the weight and got fit by changing what I ate and working my way into running. The combo of counting calories and getting active is what really made it happen for me.
As for inspiring others, that’s really come about by way of my blog. When I first began the weight loss efforts for myself, I started a blog with the intention of keeping myself honest and accountable throughout the entire process. I have maintained it all this time, and in addition to keeping myself on point with everything, it’s also served as proof for others that this kind of thing can be done.
I think that’s the real value in my story: the proof. Proof can silence the skeptic, or reassure the scared and overwhelmed. It’s what can help you take that first step, and what can give you continued drive to keep going once you started. Proof is powerful. And what’s really awesome is now my one singular story has turned into four separate ones.
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
I know that I alone will not accomplish the huge goals that the CM charities are working towards, but I also know that my activity is helping to knock out some of those manageable chunks, and that’s what it takes to get there. That’s what really motivates me to use Charity Miles and keep everything going. I have personally benefited from all the positive energy & benefits of being active, it only makes sense for me to put that back out there and help somebody else.
There are also personal ties that provide motivation as well. For example, I have 2 co-workers who both have children on the autism spectrum. Every time I run with Charity Miles for Autism Speaks, I get a personal thank you from them. Seeing how my actions can have a very relevant and meaningful impact on actual people puts “a face to the benefit”, in a manner of speaking. It’s not just some lofty idea anymore, there is a “realness” to it, and that is very motivating.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
Up until now, it’s been all about the running. I am actually looking to branch out into other ways of getting active so I can mix things up and open up a whole new world of goals for myself. In addition to keeping up with my running, I’m also looking to incorporate biking and swimming as well. One of my goals for next year is to complete in an Olympic Length Triathlon.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My grandfather told me two different things that really stuck with me. 1) How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. This is where the idea of breaking down my huge goals into small ones comes from, and 2) Value your family over everything else. Money will never give you the things that keeping your family close will.
What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
Knowing that my actions are not only benefiting myself, but others at the same time. Knowing that running that extra mile is not only going to pay dividends for me, but also is going to keep chipping away at those seemingly impossible goals all of the Charity Miles beneficiaries are working towards is a huge motivator.
Who do you exercise for, and why?
My family and myself. The catalyst for me to start all of the weight loss efforts was the birth of my daughter and wanting to be in shape/ a positive role model for her, coupled with the desire to be healthy and around long enough to grow old with my wife. That really has driven me every step along the way. But I’d be lying if I said that I was not doing this for myself too. I have grown to love running, it’s been a key component to me changing my life and it has proven to me that literally nothing is off the table.