Our latest Before and After story is a reminder that exercise isn't just about weight loss. Three years ago, Grover Gunn III was struggling with alcoholism and had the health conditions to prove it. Once he learned that he had high blood pressure and cirrhosis of the liver, he decided to turn his life around. Grover started running for his health but soon fell in love with his hobby. "Running absolutely saved my life. It's my therapy, my home, and my salvation," he says. Now, he's 80 pounds lighter and crossing a marathon off his bucket list when he runs in the TCS New York City Marathon this weekend. Read Grover's inspiring story here!
POPSUGAR: What made you decide to start?
Grover Gunn III: I was racked with cirrhosis and high blood pressure. I had to reclaim my life so I could be here with my son.
PS: What's your favorite way to work out?
GG: Running. I do bike and hit the gym, but running is my sanctuary.
PS: What's your weekly exercise schedule?
GG: Monday — rest. Tuesday — speed work and gym. Wednesday — middistance run. Thursday — midwork or rest. Friday — rest or midwork. Saturday — race. Sunday — long run.
PS: How do you keep workouts exciting?
GG: I like to mix things up: vary tempo and courses, run with friends — keep things fun and interesting.
PS: How much weight have you lost?
GG: 80 pounds! I went from a high of 230 down to about 150.
PS: What was the first big difference, other than the number on the scale, that really made you feel proud and excited?
GG: Without a doubt running my first mile nonstop. It felt so amazing to see all my hard work pay off. Once I hit that goal, I knew that I would eventually be able to take on the TCS New York City Marathon.
PS: How do you track your weight loss?
GG: Phone apps and ledger.
PS: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?
GG: I usually have a filling breakfast with eggs, fruit, and whole grains. For lunch I like to have a salad or a light sandwich. I usually snack on granola and protein bars. For dinner I'll have fish, chicken, or turkey with fresh veggies and brown rice or pasta.
PS: What's the range of calories you eat per day?
GG: About 1,500-3,000 depending on workouts for the day.
PS: What are the healthy staples that are always in your fridge?
GG: Fruit — a lot of fruit — fresh veggies, greens, and fish.
PS: How do you strategize for meals out?
GG: Eat smart. I still have cheat days, but even then I try to think about what goes into my body. And I love to cook, so I try to avoid eating out or grabbing fast food whenever I can.
PS: What advice do you have for anyone starting out on a weight-loss journey?
GG: Set goals — the TCS New York City Marathon was my ultimate goal, and I've been working up to it from the start. Don't give up! Even if you slip up, keep trying. With work and determination, you can get there.