On his birthday in the summer of 2012, Christian Restrepo made a decision to lose weight and regain his health. Weighing over 280 pounds made exercise extremely difficult for Christian. He couldn’t run without something hurting, whether that be his shins, lower back, or his ego. So he decided to do something about it.
Using Savage Race as both a motivator and a way to track his fitness progress, Christian went on to participate in five Savage Races in Florida over the next three years. Over the course of this journey, Christian dropped 90 pounds with only 10 more to go to reach a total weight loss of 100 pounds. This year, he will complete additional Savage Race events in Florida and Georgia.
Christian and his wife Marie train and prepare food together as they strive to live a healthier lifestyle. Christian says, “My wife has been my rock throughout this whole process. My biggest supporter is my wife. I can’t count how many times having her in my corner kept me going on my weight loss journey.”
Every Sunday afternoon, Christian and Marie prepare their meals for the week ahead. From simple meals like chicken breast, sweet potato, and broccoli to more complex meals like spinach noodle lasagna, they prepare plenty ahead of time so that when hunger strikes they have healthy options available to them.
They also train together, running three to five times a week depending on how close their next race is. They mix long runs, interval training, and sprint training into their running schedule. They also do strength training in the mornings six times a week, using a superset routine. Sundays are complete rest days.
“Having once weighed over 280 pounds, I never really thought I could get a 6 pack. Every day I train I see new muscle developing and it continues to motivate me to get leaner. My fitness goal is to qualify for the Obstacle Course Race World Championship in Ohio this upcoming year,” says Christian.
Christian still weighed around 250 pounds at his first Savage Race. He kept track of all the obstacles he couldn’t complete on his own with the goal of doing better at his next race. Down another 30 pounds at his second Savage Race, he improved his time by about 40 minutes but was still challenged by Colossus and Sawtooth. Christian weighed in at 205 pounds for his third Savage Race, and was finally able to complete Sawtooth successfully.
By his fourth race, Christian finally conquered all of the world’s best obstacles and made it up Colossus on his own. By then, his race time went from 2 hours 40 minutes down to 1 hour 18 minutes and his weight had dropped to 195 pounds. In his most recent Savage Race, Christian placed 15th in his age group. His goal this spring is to place in the top 10 and weigh 180 pounds, a full 100 pounds down from where he started.
“There was a time that I couldn’t tie my shoe without crossing my leg,” he remembers. “There was a time when I couldn’t sit in a booth at a restaurant without having to move the table to accommodate my stomach. There was a time I couldn’t sit in a chair with arms on it.”
Throughout this dedicated journey, Christian has had the opportunity to help others with their weight loss. One of his best friends, Mohamed Maktari, reached out to him for help around a year ago after putting on weight due to an injury that prevented a lot of activity. Christian encouraged his friend to begin a simple callisthenic strength training routine and a simple running routine, each three times a week. Christian helped Mohamed train for Savage Race and then ran along side him in his very first race (after Christian ran in the competitive wave himself). Mohamed dropped nearly fifty pounds and finished his first Savage Race in just under two hours. He’s fully recovered from his injury and has kept the weight off.
“Always remember why you started a weight loss journey in the first place,” encourages Christian. “When you start this journey, it’s not like it’s a straight arrow down. [For me] there was a lot of losing 4 pounds one week, gaining 3 pounds the next, and losing 2 pounds the next. It’s normal to go up and down… As long as you always remember why you started in the first place then you can always pick up and continue when you encounter a stumble.”
Thanks, Christian, for sharing your remarkable weight loss story with us. You inspire us, and we’re proud to be a part of your success!
If YOU or anyone you know has an inspiring story to share with the Savage Race community, please send an email to [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!