Workforce Health | By | 07/13/18 | 3 Minute Read

How One Fitbit User Lost 80 Lbs And Ran His 7th Half-Marathon

Over at Fitbit headquarters, many of our customers send through their personal success stories using Fitbit products. Below is one such story, as told by Fitbit user Brett Braunecker.

Brett Braunecker had been a fitness enthusiast his whole life, but by 2013, his weight started creeping up largely due to stress, eating habits, and two ACL surgeries. He kept telling himself he needed to change his habits, but he had trouble following through: he’d make changes but only stick to them for a couple of weeks at a time. 

In August 2013, Brett’s mother was diagnosed with cancer; meanwhile, Brett continued to put on weight. At his next health screening in February 2014, he learned he was up to 260 lbs. He realized, “I saw my mom fighting for her life through chemotherapy treatments and never backing down – and here I was taking horrible care of myself. Mom inspired me to take control of my health and I decided once and for all that I had to make a change. I went to the store on the way home that night and bought a Fitbit Flex.”

Brett started to change his exercise and eating habits. He also tracked his activity, food and water intake through the Fitbit App. He started out with a daily step goal of 10,000 steps. This gradually went up to 15,000 and then to 20,000. By August 2014, he had dropped his weight from 260 pounds to 180 pounds – that’s 80 lbs in 6 months – and credits running to this weight loss.

He says he had never been a good runner, almost always finishing near last on all his sports teams growing up. He thanks his weight loss for reducing the pain in his surgically repaired knee, and felt so inspired by this healthy outcome that he decided to run his first half-marathon at the 2015 Indy Mini in honor of his mother, who he says inspired him to push himself and to never give up. “Mom was always my greatest supporter and was behind me from the start. Unfortunately, she passed in February 2015 and wasn’t there to see the accomplishment,” Brett says. “But my wife, kids, and friends were there at the finish line, surprising me by wearing custom-made shirts and ringing cowbells!”                                         

Brett was able to run his first half-marathon in 1:53:32, a feat that he would have deemed impossible in February 2014. Since then he has run 6 more half marathons and numerous 5K and 10K races – some of which he has run with his 8-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. 

He has kept his weight at a steady 180 lbs, and has lowered his LDL cholesterol from 134 (prior to weight loss) to 90. Four years later, he’s still using his Fitbit Charge HR (but he’s considering getting a Fitbit Ionic). 

This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine. 

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