Derek Mitchell, 35, from Missouri, weighs approximately 577-pounds. Derek made a resolution to be healthier in the upcoming year, so to help him achieve his goal, he has decided to complete a 5K for every month of the year.
Mitchell started his journey by competing in the Big 12 5K in Kansas city, Missouri. Mitchell came in last place in the race, with a time of 1:27:44, but that did not deter his spirit. His goal was not to win the race, but to complete the race, which was a victory in itself for Mitchell.
The 35-year-old man learned five years ago that he had a pituitary tumor that was a major contributing factor in his weight at the time, which was tipping the scales at 625-pounds. The Daily Mail reports that having his tumor removed was not enough to help Mitchell make a significant dent in his weight loss journey, so he decided to make some major food changes in hopes that it would make him a healthier person.
As part of Mitchell’s healthy new lifestyle, he has given up drinking soda pop, switched to a completely vegan diet, and vowed to be more physically active in order to attain his goal.
Mitchell did an interview with People about his new decision to get more physically fit and healthy. He told the magazine the following.
“I made a New Year’s resolution to be healthier, so I stopped drinking soda, I started eating better, and my sister, who is a marathon runner, told me that I needed to actually get out and do some exercise. I began by walking a mile a day, and my sister said, ‘Instead of just walking, why not try to attain a goal?’ So her idea was for me to walk a 5K.”
Now that Mitchell has successfully completed one 5K, he has already signed up for one in May and two in June. Derek says that he has been surprised with all the attention he has gotten since he was in the Big 12. People from all over have offered to walk with Derek at numerous 5Ks, but the person closest to him that he has inspired is his best friend. Mitchell and his best friend will be walking together in the Rock The Parkway 5K on April 11, 2015.
Mitchell is definitely an inspiration to people of all sizes that want to get in better shape. Derek is happy he can be an inspiration to people, saying as follows.
“If I can walk a 5K, anybody can. All it takes is just to go out for a walk and get active and get your body moving. Even if you can only walk to the end of the block, walk to the end of the block, because at least that’s something.”
[Photo courtesy of Terry Mitchell]