In the photo on the left, taken in 2007, Gordie Powell weighed 200 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in October, he weighed 149 pounds. He says he has also found a purpose through the Kyle Pease Foundation as a volunteer runner who gives a push assist to adaptive athletes. “We lend them our legs and they lend us their spirit,” he said. “The foundation is so much bigger than my weight-loss story.” (All photos contributed by Gordie Powell)

Gordie Powell, 38, of Grayson lost 51 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Gordie Powell, 38: From 200 pounds to 149 pounds

Former weight: 200 pounds

Current weight: 149 pounds

Pounds lost: 51 pounds

Height: 5 feet 8

Age: 38 years

How long he’s kept it off: He started nine years ago and has maintained his weight for several years.

Personal life: “I’ve been a mortgage loan originator for 14 years, and I live in Grayson with my girlfriend,” Powell said. “We’ve been together about six years, no kids.”

Turning point: “About nine years ago, I woke up one day and decided I needed to make a change. I was 28 at the time, I was partying a lot and I needed to make a change,” Powell said. He began by working out, lifting weights and eating right. “One day, I started running,” he said. “I started running one lap around the cul-de-sac. A week later I ran two laps and let it go from there.” His sister signed him up for an 8K, and today he runs half-marathons, marathons, and triathlons. “I was still smoking cigarettes, though. …. You have the smoking addiction and the running addiction — they were combating each other,” Powell said. “I wanted to go further and faster, and the only way was to quit smoking. July 14, 2011, was my last cigarette, cold turkey. ” When he got connected with his current running group, he met the founders of the Kyle Pease Foundation (www.kylepeasefoundation.org). Today he is a volunteer runner doing push assist for adaptive athletes. “They create awareness about persons with disabilities, they have a chair that the athlete sits in, and we run and push them,” Powell said. “It’s a privilege to be a part of that.”

Diet plan: He eats oatmeal for breakfast. He meal preps with lots of vegetables, black beans and quinoa. “I don’t like vegetables, either,” he said, “but I eat them because I have to.”

Exercise routine: Mondays and Tuesdays he does interval training. Wednesdays is strength training and treadmill runs. Thursday through Sunday are longer runs from 10 to up to 20 miles on weekend days.

Biggest challenge: “The biggest challenge is trying to stay healthy and trying not to overdo it. … That goes with people trying to lose weight, they want to do it in a week. “… You’ve got to take superbaby steps, start small, make it something you can accomplish and build until you get there. … It is a lifestyle change.”

How life has changed: “It’s changed a good bit — I don’t smoke anymore; I don’t drink like I used to,” he said. “It gives me a purpose and gives me a competitive purpose.” Powell is quick to mention his greater purpose is competing with adaptive athletes. “The smiles on their faces after we race is indescribable, it’s incredible — we lend them our legs and they lend us their spirit,” he said. “The foundation is so much bigger than my weight-loss story.”

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