*Results may vary from person to person
Navy paramedic Kreig Leitchze nearly had to resuscitate himself when he stepped on the scales one day and registered at 225 lbs. It was obvious that the ex-Naval Sailor had let himself go.
“On the same day, I was looking at a picture of myself that my friend had taken, and it finally hit home: I was huge,” Kreig told The Biggest Loser Club. But the 32-year-old channeled all his shock and horror into positive action, transforming himself within 10 weeks into a lean, mean running machine.
That first day was a turning point for Kreig, who rushed to his local gym and signed up right away. Realizing he also needed to address his unhealthy eating habits, he joined The Biggest Loser Club, completing his switch into full weight loss mode.
“For me, there was no such thing as a typical day of eating. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.”
Kreig started to use the diary regularly and soon curbed his high-carb habit and overblown portions.
“The Biggest Loser Club explained the calorie equation to me in simple terms. It makes sense that when you exercise heavily, you should fuel yourself to match, but when you skip exercise, your eating habits have to reflect this also,” said Kreig.
Walking into the gym for the first time was an intimidating experience for Kreig, whose experience until now had been of Navy gyms bursting with muscular men pumping iron, but he quickly caught the fitness bug.
Within 10 weeks, Kreig was not only 55 lbs lighter, but also running marathons. He credits part of his success to the support and advice he received from other Club members on the forums.
“I embraced this fully and began to spend a lot of time sharing and empathizing with others on the forums.”
In fact, Kreig went one step further and founded a club-within-The Club of local members. In this way, he’s inspired a small army of people to meet up face-to-face and get healthy.
“We all hired a personal trainer to work with our group once a month, and we meet weekly for runs, walks, and training sessions. I also organized team-building exercises.”
The group continues to grow and meet for social gatherings and dance classes. They also enter a variety of fun-runs together.
From gym avoider to marathon man
Kreig soon discovered a personal passion for running. “Exercise is essential and you have to make your exercise a part of your entertainment. It’s important to do something that you love, something that can become a way of life for you, and something that is definitely not a chore. Do what you love daily and you'll see amazing, lasting results,” said Kreig.
Although he’s now a seasoned marathon runner, one particular run stands out. “The most rewarding run I ever did was a relay race for cancer. A number of my family members have been affected by cancer and I wanted to honor them in the best way I could. Instead of running it relay, I decided to enter the race solo,” said Kreig.
This meant running for a full 24 hours and, although he was fully committed to the cause, Kreig was more than a little nervous. “It didn’t help that I had just been away at sea for six weeks and hadn’t had the opportunity to train in the days leading up to the race.
“Also, I'd never run more than 26.2 miles, which was during the marathon I had completed a few months earlier. I wondered whether I had truly bitten off more than I could chew this time.”
The 24-hour run
Despite his reservations, Kreig enrolled as a solo entrant and began his run. Kreig said, “I nearly quit after 18 hours, but a friend of mine joined me at 6am and encouraged me to run for a little longer. In the end, I crossed the line after having run, walked, and staggered an incredible 91 miles. That was the proudest moment of my new, improved journey so far.”
Kreig started his weight loss journey at 225 lbs and lost 55 lbs in just 10 weeks to reach his goal weight of 170 lbs. His total physical and emotional transformation has touched and improved the lives of so many others.
“From the very beginning,” said Kreig, “I loudly and proudly stated that I'd joined The Biggest Loser Club. I didn't get any of the jokes that men sometimes get when they go on a diet or try a weight loss program. People have just been so positive and amazed at my transformation.
“The real end goal is enjoying a healthy, active, fulfilling life, and that’s just what I'm doing."