A little over a year ago Joe Sheppard could hardly make it up two flights of stairs without getting winded. This Sunday he will take part in his first 100-mile ride
Joe Sheppard, 37 and father of 2 was at his heaviest a little over a year ago when the scale hit 297 pounds. Every time he lost weight it would come back with interest. Finally at a tipping point, Sheppard spoke with his doctor about numerous diets, prescription medications and discovered that he had a metabolic condition that meant rather than his body allowing weight loss to stay off it was fighting to keep the weight on.
New research had proven that weight loss surgery would act as a reset for Sheppard’s body and prevent the weight from returning. This fact coupled with a family history of obesity and heart disease, Sheppard decided on Bariatric Surgery (gastric Sleeve).
“On August 2, 2016 I decided to use the surgery for exactly what it is, a tool and not a magic wand. I am now the healthiest I have ever been in my life, ” tells Sheppard.
Post surgery as the weight loss continued, Sheppard started to get to the point where it didn’t hurt to train and exercise.
“While exercising I decided that since I have been given the opportunity to have access to this tool I would put it to good use and chose to rejoin Team In Training and raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Says Sheppard”
Today, 140 pounds lighter, Sheppard is finding out nothing is impossible anymore.
“There are a lot of things I can do now that I couldn’t contemplate before,” he admits. Good stuff, like playing with my kids, going for runs and of course riding my bike. I have way more energy and a new found confidence that I didn’t have before.”
The change came with many lessons. Having to drop 40 pounds prior to surgery, Sheppard had to be extremely disciplined about what he put into his body. The discipline has since become a lifestyle change that he has effected onto his kids and family.
“My family. They were my biggest motivator,” Sheppard recalls. “I want to fight against any weight related disease in the future and be around for my kids.”
Cycling has always played a role in Sheppard’s life. He found out about Campagnolo GFNY through Team in Training and is looking forward to this Sunday where all the hard work will hopefully pay off.
“I had wanted to do a century ride for some time and living in NY State with family in the city, GFNY was the perfect fit.” Says Sheppard. “I am looking forward to meeting the rest of my Team, crossing the finish line and the sense of accomplishment that will come with it. Knowing that slightly more than a year ago I could barely make it up two flights of stairs without getting winded and now I’ll be riding 100 miles.”
So does Joe Sheppard have any concerns for race day?
“I admit, I’m a little worried about Bear Mountain but I’m going to do my best and get up it, although I can guarantee it’s not going to be pretty or fast,” he says.
If you want to support Joe and Team in Training you can find out more HERE.