Skip to content

From Overweight to Marathons: The Inspiring Journey of Ryan Reynolds

From Overweight to Marathons Ryan Reynlods How It All Started for Run Tri Bike
Ryan Reynolds
Year started: 2015 / 2018
Next race: April 27th / Green Street Mile and the Illinois Half Marathon / Champaign, IL
Favorite gear:
  • Noxgear Tracer 2
  • Brooks or Saucony shoes
  • New Balance hat turned backward or beanie
  • Neleus dry fit running muscle tanks

Every athlete’s journey is a unique story, often filled with challenges, overcoming, and self-discovery. Ryan Reynolds, not that one, embarked on his endurance sports journey with a mission – to overcome his weight struggles and find a healthier, happier life. As I sat down with Ryan, his story revealed how he went from overweight to marathons. We discussed not only why he started running but also how the sport became a catalyst for lasting change.

Getting Started: The Initial Struggle

Ryan’s journey officially began in 2015, prompted by a desire to shed excess weight for his sister’s wedding. However, the initial motivation faded, and it wasn’t until 2018 that running became a focal point in his life. Reflecting on his early days, Ryan shared, “I wanted to lose weight, and I didn’t really know how. I didn’t understand calorie deficits or proper food intake levels.”

His lack of knowledge about nutrition and fitness led to weight fluctuations, reaching a peak of around 290 pounds. The turning point came in 2018 when a friend enlightened him about calorie deficits, marking the beginning of a significant transformation. “He always told me, you can’t outrun your fork. You lost weight, but were you controlling what you’re eating? I answered with, no” Ryan admitted.

The Mental Hurdles: Overcoming Self-Consciousness

Deciding to start running also had its own set of mental challenges. Ryan vividly recalled his self-consciousness during those early days, saying, “Back in 2015, I was very self-conscious.” The fear of judgment loomed large as he embarked on his journey, remembering the small town where he began running, trying to avoid prying eyes. Going from overweight to marathons would be a journey of overcoming the perception of prying eyes.

“I would see people, but then eventually I got over it. I didn’t really care,” Ryan shared, highlighting the crucial shift in mindset. Overcoming the mental struggle of self-esteem and self-consciousness became a pivotal moment, planting the seed of confidence and determination.

Reflecting on Milestones: The Ripple Effect

As Ryan progressed, he would often reflect on the initial quarter-mile runs between picnic tables. It wasn’t just the 0.25 mile run he discussed but driving 5 miles out of town to those picnic tables in the hopes that nobody would see him. He acknowledged the impact of those early achievements. “I remember the first time that I ran a mile without stopping. At the time, that was the pinnacle, and I never thought I would have been able to do that,” he reflected. This appreciation for the journey and the process became a recurring theme in Ryan’s story.

Even as he achieved milestones like running a full marathon, Ryan remained connected to his roots. “I feel like at the heart of every run, that person is still in there,” he admitted. Running not only transformed his physical health but also became a source of emotional and mental strength.

Parenting and Professional Growth: Lessons from the Run

Ryan’s journey extended beyond personal fitness, influencing his role as a parent and his professional life. He shared, “With parenting, whenever I’m able to show, especially my son, that I know what he is going through. I can give him some of the lessons that I’ve taken away from running. That becomes a big connection between us and I can see his confidence grow.” As the conversation about parenting continued Ryan emphasized that these lessons are able to be taught to his son because he is at an age that he can comprehend the lessons. Ryan also has a daughter, and as she gets older, those same lessons will be taught to her.

In the professional realm, running taught Ryan valuable lessons about resilience in the face of setbacks. “It’s just an opportunity from a setback. We just keep doing what we’re doing, and we’re going to get to where we need to go,” he emphasized. The parallels between running and potential entrepreneurship became evident as Ryan considered potential ventures of his own.


Looking Forward: Consistency and Prioritizing Health

As Ryan looked toward the future, he expressed a commitment to consistency and making running a priority. “Moving forward, it’s just become such a big part of my life where I run five or six times a week,” he shared. Running had not only become a physical exercise but a mental sanctuary where he could clear his head and find inspiration.

Expressing his aspirations, Ryan mentioned potential challenges like ultra marathons and relay races. “I’d like to do a relay race if I can convince enough people in my life to do that, just to try new things,” he said. The overarching goal was maintaining a steady and consistent approach to running, recognizing its positive impact on his life.

Life Lessons and Entrepreneurial Mindset: Lessons from the Run

Ryan’s running journey instilled valuable life lessons and a growth mindset. “The limitations are only what I put on myself,” he declared. Reflecting on the power of running to change oneself, he acknowledged that setbacks were not roadblocks but opportunities for advancement.

Applying the lessons learned from running, Ryan emphasized the importance of a positive outlook. “Instead of looking at all the negatives, we can try it and we can go for it,” he said. The patience and perseverance cultivated through running had become guiding principles for facing challenges in various aspects of life.

Advice for Beginners: Patience and Grace

When asked about advice for those starting their running journey, Ryan discussed patience and grace. “Slow down and enjoy the process. Don’t get discouraged if you go out for a run and you feel terrible. It’s okay. Tomorrow’s a new day,” he advised. The importance of enjoying the journey, appreciating small victories, and not being disheartened by occasional setbacks emerged as recurring themes in his advice.

Ryan’s story resonated as more than just a running journey. It’s a narrative of personal growth and the profound impact one individual can have on their own life and those around them. As he continues his journey, Ryan Reynolds stands as an example of inspiration for anyone seeking to overcome obstacles, embrace change, and discover the transformative power of endurance sports. Ryan went from overweight to marathons and he will ask you what is your story going to say?