An Overweight Marathon Runner Who Fuels Long Runs On Hate, Junk Food And Alcohol.

I’m Matt a 29-year old software developer from Northern Ireland.  I turned my life around in January 2010 after hitting just under 280 pounds (20 stone).

I’d become a recluse and more alarmingly my piss stank like Sugar Puffs. I hated feeling like shit all the time so I resolved to change this time and for good.

2 years previously I’d lost 40 pounds and put it all back on and more. I can’t describe how frustrated I felt when I stepped on the scales for the first time. It was terrifying and sobering.

But once you have that moment behind you, then you can begin to move forward.

2011 was a year of moving forward.

In 2011 I trained for and completed the Belfast Marathon and ran 3 half marathons.

In 2012 I did the Belfast Marathon again and ran 7 half marathons.

In 2013 the plan is to run Paris, Belfast, Dublin and possibly another European marathon as well as 10 half marathons.

What was the turning point in your life?

There were several.

In the winter of 2009 I was drinking and eating far too much and felt out of control.

My worst ever night was at the work Christmas party where I got very drunk on wine and made a fool of myself at the bar. I put my leg up on the table and farted like an exhibitionist after a disagreement and this almost got us thrown out.

The smell from the fart was fucking terrible. Tables of revellers were remonstrating with members of our team because of me.

I’d become so much of a mess that my own form of protest or resistance in life was to fucking gas the customers of JD Wetherspoon in Belfast.

Why do you call yourself Angry Jogger?

In my first few months of outdoor running I felt so self conscious that I thought everyone was looking at me. I got paranoid that drivers were deliberately going out of their way to sabotage my runs and would even throw them the bird for no reason.

I’m nowhere near as bad these days and I try to be pleasant to people. For a while I was having recurring nightmares where I was outside jogging and would then get arrested for pushing old women in front of buses.

I still have those “what if” moments where I will see a granny with a zimmer frame and think of throwing her in front of the 4:30pm to Lisburn. These thoughts fucking kill me. I’d never do it, but my brain likes to entertain itself.

Why do you keep running?

I keep myself motivated by regularly entering races in the UK and Ireland.

It’s not just about running anymore, it’s become part of my lifestyle to spend weekends away in new places. Besides it’s easier to continue with the running than it is to stop and start all over again.  Running tomorrow will always be easier than running some time next week.

Once you build some momentum with it, then it becomes less of a challenge.

Why start a running blog?

I was really starting to bore my friends with talk of running, so I thought I’d put all of my energy into a website.

There are 1,000s of websites out there dedicated to the sport, so I’ve tried to make it different by targeting mainly fat beginners who want to still live a conventional lifestyle whilst jogging.

I started the blog properly in January 2012 and ever since then interest in the site has increased quite rapidly with little to no publicity.

In March 2013 the site finally hit 100,000 visits.

Hopefully it will continue growing but it depends largely on word of mouth!

What is the purpose of this website?

I want to convince as many overweight people to take up running as possible. It can really change your life.

My ultimate aim is to create a website that would have convinced myself at my fattest to start running.

I think people tend to over complicate running and that puts beginners off. The key to getting more people to run is to lower the entry bar and encourage newbies rather than discourage them.

The main idea behind the site is for me to tell you that if I can do it, you can too.

When did you start running? 

Indoors – September 2010. Outdoors – December 2010.

I started off running on the treadmill at the gym in the Autumn of 2010. I began by walking for half an hour, then that turned into an hour. Eventually I just started running for short bursts.

I put it off for so long because I was so self conscious of slipping off the back of the machine and looking like an idiot.

What was your best ever run?

Definitely my run the day after my dad died. I just didn’t know what to do at the time, so I lived up to the Forrest Gump stereotype and just went out and ran as far as I could.

I managed 14 miles and the run ended with a group of kids hitting the back of my legs with sticks. I wanted to fucking kill them but I felt tired and numb. 2 weeks after that I ran my first half marathon. I was still in shock.

Do you run for charity?

I have done in the past and I want to continue to do so in future. I tend to get disheartened by it times though if I don’t raise as much as expected. I’m running the Paris and Belfast marathons in aid of Northern Ireland Hospice.

25 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    Hey I am going to take up running to lose weight I weigh over 300lbs but I have heard you will just turn saggy if you don’t lift weights what is your experience with this?
    Fair play on losing all the weight.

    • Eric says:

      You’ll have flaps even if you lift weights. That’s the problem with extreme weight loss. The skins been stretched so much for so long the elasticity is permanent. Most people get surgery. Losing weight weird in that it is easier to lose a TON of weight(for really obese folks), but the last dregs are hard to get rid of.

  2. Teresa says:

    great stuff! i’m trying to keep up running 35K per week, trying to shrink my rhino sized butt! love ya blog. xxxxx

  3. Nicky says:

    I love your blog, I have been laughing my arse off for the last hour (thank god the only other breathing being here is the cat!) I started C25K again today and your blog was just what I needed to read. I’m from Newtownabbey 🙂 (yeah you really needed to know that!)

  4. lucy says:

    your blog is so inspiring! i’ve just taken up running with the C25K as a friend suggested it to me, and i absolutely love it! reading your posts makes me realise how much more i have to look forward to 🙂 thank you for that!

  5. Ellie says:

    Your website is great – it has helped me start both running and blogging about running (although the latter is mainly an effort to avoid boring my workmates to death with running-related moaning). I started the c25k this week and it is utterly horrible. I’m trying to love it but it hurts and makes me feel weak and useless. I’ll regret quitting more than any amount of temporary running-induced soreness though. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  6. Susan says:

    After more or less a whole year of no running, tomorrow is going to hurt. Feel much more motivated though after reading your blog. My Garmin is charging up ready for a slow return to pounding the roads. Wish me luck.

  7. Matt Hammond says:

    Man, you have me completely motivated now! Bookmarked for the future and to keep me motivated. Thanks so much!

  8. Christy B. says:

    I am so grateful to have stumbled on to your blog. I am a 44 year old 210 lb. mom and teacher. I don’t know why I started running. I have run 5k in the past but it was over 16 years ago. Today for the first time I was able to finish 2 miles (it took 37 in but I did it). I really like your page and I will keep checking in for inspiration.

  9. celia says:

    Hi- I’d like to join in with your blog! I’m a 55 year old teacher…. on hols now and determined to start running again and losing some weight….. Have been so busy at school that haven’t run seriously for over a year…… have run 2 marathons and loads of half marathons….. iIm not boasting…. don’t think I could run for a bus at the moment! Am at least 3 stone too heavy and this is my first ever post….. Will someone contact me to keep me going? i’d really appreciate support with eating, drinking and running! Thanks in anticipation.

  10. Sharon says:

    Help! I have been ‘plodding’ for a couple of years have run 5 and 10k very slowly but getting quicker! I am doing the Birmingham half in october but have lost the motivation, the furthest I have run is 7 miles and I do suffer with depression/anxiety issues at times! I am worried I have put too much pressure on myself! Plus I need to lose weight, I eat when I’m sad,tired,angry, happy lol

  11. Eric says:

    Adjusting your diet and keeping it that way is the toughest part of weightless to be honest.
    Physical activities are easy once you build endurance. A crappy diet will negate any progress.

  12. Kelle says:

    I’m a 40 year old obese woman from Atlanta, GA USA who weighs 280 at 5’3″. In 2004 I had gastric bypass surgery and lost from 500lbs to an all time low of 230. I’ve put back on 50 pounds and have started trying to bridge the gap between the me that exists in my head with the reality of me which is a food addict, emotional eater and a childhood neglect survivor. All my life my body has been disconnected from my brain…it was so much easier to eat to numb myself and pretend my life was better and less scary than it really was. I’ve been walking for about 4 month straight now…I walk the dogs at least a mile every morning and some days we do 2.5 miles. Just this morning I added a little bit of intermittent shuffling/jogging. I loved to run as a fat little kid and despite having previous tears to my miniscus, it’s time to try again. My goal is to learn to hear my body, both in moving it and feeding it. Best wishes to you and everyone who comes here hoping to connect with others who know what it’s like to start over and become who you want to be 🙂

  13. Enjoyed reading all your info very helpful just finished my 2nd week of cto5k I’m a middle aged 16stone woman who’s had enough of having the body of a giant uncooked mince pie ,for anyone who’s walking down the road and doesn’t realise what the shambling gait of a whale in stilettos playing the bagpipes is like well let’s just say they do now I have a sports bra which hopefully will be redundant in 6mnths time but I am willing to hire for anyone wishing to storm the Bastille at a weekend or to use as a small paddling pool (for twins of course ) have to say that even after only 2wks I am already enjoying it ,but my husband says that perhaps I should stop singing to the IPhone on the cool down as my voice is shit (charmer) ,and perhaps muttering fucking hell for the full 30 mins is a little disconcerting for random passerbys especially as we live close to salisbury cathedral oops ,but thanks again for the info I’m gonna keep plodding x

  14. Kram Yentruoc says:

    Matt,
    Brilliant blog. I first read it a year ago as I prepared myself for a renewed life of fitness in the twilight years of my 40’s. That was approximately 1,649.48 pints and 30lbs+ ago. Despite your keen wit and great story I never did start.
    I’m back a year later and turning 48 next week looking for. I am fairly sure that I felt the hand of Death on the back of my neck (and to a lesser degree, in my bowels) as I heaved my ass up the single flight of stairs to my desk this morning. I wasn’t sure if the dizziness I felt was caused by my amazingly poor fitness or my pre-pre-Thanksgiving hangover from last nights drink. At this moment, typing rather than working on my month end cost analysis, I am breathing slightly less heavy than a St. Bernard after a game of retrieve. I’m a bloated, greasy shadow of my former athletic self and I have had enough. I would like to inhabit this mortal coil at least long enough to see my youngest son graduate college 13 years hence. A sad goal indeed but a worthy cause. Plod on.

  15. Anna says:

    Well done! Inspiring but very entertaining stuff!! I think I can motivate a few of my runners with this. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much Matt! Keep doing what you’re doing. It really encouraged me to read about your journey. From Shantel in Charlotte, NC.

  17. ShantelMaria says:

    Thanks so much Matt. Very inspiring. Keep doing what you’re doing.
    from Shantel in Charlotte, NC

  18. Jennifer says:

    I like your blog. Your achievement very impressive. I am also obesity.

  19. Julia says:

    Well I foolishly signed myself up to the Great North Run and it’s dawning on me I haven’t a hope in hell of completing it, I’m about 80 pounds overweight and take nearly an hour to run just 4 miles (I say run, I mean lollop with lots of walking thrown in) love your blog, find it quite inspiring.

  20. Adrian says:

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog and found that this is the one for me!
    After being overweight all my adult life I took the plunge in 2009 and lost about 25kg due to a lot of walking and sensible eating. Since then I’ve been through a marriage breakup and piled it all back on again, currently weighing in at 119kg (about 260lb) at 6’2″
    I’ve decided that enough is enough and with the help and arse kicking from my yoga teacher I’ve decided to embark on the journey of preparing for a marathon. I know it’s a big hill to climb for someone who is probably classed as morbidly obese but the human body is capable of incredible feats so why should mine be any different, right? It’s nearly August 2014 and my aim is to reach the point where I can complete the 2016 London Marathon 5 days before my 50th birthday. The plan is to keep up the power walking (around 10km/day) until I can crack the 100kg weight target (which, to save stress on my knees) is my benchmark to start running (advice here would be welcome 😉 )
    So, I’ll be back to this blog regularly for inspiration and encouragement. Love your story mate, and thanks for putting it out there.

    Cheers, Ade

  21. Corby says:

    Thanks for the encouragement and hilarity. I love this site!

  22. Ashley says:

    I would say that I’m probably about 15lbs overweight and 20lbs from where I’d like to be… (I was 120 in high school 8 years ago)I absolutely hate running but feel so self conscious around my size 4 friends that I know I need to give it a shot. I just jogged/walked 3.5 miles in an hour which I’m personally proud of, but I know that’s sooooo slow and I’m completely winded after it. Heck, I couldn’t even run a 10 min/mile in high school. Anyway, your site is really motivating me to continue what I’m doing and I appreciate reading this from someone that’s been through this too!!

  23. scarlett says:

    I only just found you… and I think you are going to help me change my life.

    You are inspiring, hilarious and relatable — cannot wait to read your book. Congrats on all your successes, you definitely earned them!!!

  24. Kris says:

    Good for you. I am overweight I run. Easier when I am not overweight sure… But I probably need it a lot more when I am overweight (like now)… Why I’m I overweight? B/c I eat crap and drink when I am stressed. Running is a much better thing for stress then chips and alcohol… Enjoyed your blog. Keep it up!!!

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