TOLEDO, Ohio — Jeff Streeter has been in the Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge since 2018 with some of the common themes. Struggling to lose weight, not liking what he saw in the mirror and needing some accountability.
You can always load up on the excuses on why you can’t lose weight. But how about losing a family dog, a close friend and mentor and your daughter… all within 3 months. And despite all of those hardships, he was in our top 5 almost every month.
"I joined the Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge in October 2018. As someone who was struggling with weight loss and not liking what I was seeing when looking in the mirror, I was searching for something to help me be accountable," Streeter said.
"This tied in very nicely with the goal that I had just recently set to run and complete the Glass City Marathon on April 28, 2019. The reason this was so important to me on this date would be the 15th anniversary of my sobriety from drugs and alcohol," he explained. "I was searching to change my mindset of the negativity on that date to something more positive as well as feel better about myself in the process."
He has been at the top of every physical challenge each year he competes.
"I’m not sure how many times I finished in the top five though I believe in every challenge I competed I finished in the top five," he says. "The positive vibes and positive reinforcement that coincided with my beliefs really helped me feel accountable to others and not just myself. I have a strong belief that it takes a village to do many things in our community and the strong sense of community that is provided is extremely inspirational."
Streeter elaborated more on the community's response. "The thing that I did not expect was the overwhelming response from the viewers who would stop me at church or the grocer and tell me how proud of me they were and that they were rooting for me, only provided more inspiration to keep going."
We asked for some of Streeter's secrets!
How did you mentally and physically prepare for a full marathon?
I did a great deal of research by reading and asking other marathoners what they did to prepare and what was successful for them along with what barriers they encountered. This allowed me to set a good training schedule for myself where every couple of weeks I would add a mile or two to my distance.
Learning to give my body proper rest was one of the battles I had because this is where my addict mentality kicked in where I wanted to push myself yet due to my great support system was able to stick with the plan. Nutrition was key throughout this process. Mentally I was completely prepared as I never hit “the wall“ that many runners talk about between the 16 and 22-mile mark. My determination to change the meaning of April 28 and the desire to inspire others to reach in obtaining their goals in life no matter what they are kept me pushing along. The thing I was not prepared for was the days after the race where my body was physically drained and extremely sore.
What keeps you motivated?
Being extremely competitive as well as wanting to inspire others to not give up. My dad taught me as long as you go out and give it everything you’ve got you have no reason to be upset with yourself if you left it all on the field. I refuse to believe that there is not anything I cannot accomplish if I just dig deep and get up!!!
How did we help? What are some things you did to help you?
The biggest thing I did was cut out fast food and soda. I worked a lot on my nutrition and making sure that I was eating the right foods and drinking plenty of water. Intermittent fasting for me worked amazingly as I was able to eat within a certain window which allowed me to stay focused.
My workout routines consist of generally 30 to 60 minutes of cardio at various intervals and inclines between ellipticals and treadmills. I also do 30 to 60 minutes regularly of swimming laps in the pool to assist me in targeting muscle groups I may miss through weight training. As a bigger guy, I do not lift a lot of heavy weight as I tend to focus more on toning, so less weight and more reps. In my second season in the Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge, I began doing circuit training to assist in my cardio, toning and weight loss.
What are your goals?
To consistently look and feel good about myself when I look in the mirror. I try not to stare at the scale as that could be very misleading as I want to be healthy and I want to be around for a long time to spend time with my family and my amazing grandkids. I also want to continue to inspire others to reach and set goals for themselves by helping them realize that time and effort are of the essence to achieving those goals.
What advice do you have for others?
First and foremost, be yourself, Do not try to be something or someone you’re not. Do things that interest you and make you happy. Be open minded and willing to try new things. Build a support system and use them as it is OK to ask for help there are many people out there who have walked the path you were going down and can give you some great suggestions to make your journey a little easier and more enjoyable.
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