Fit for the Road

Misty Bell | April 01, 2011

Losing Weight, Gaining Hope

Trucker sheds 200 pounds, runs marathon

What started in the simplest fashion has led to more than 200 pounds lost and — most recently — a completed marathon for Vaughan Express driver Mike Sammons.

“Basically what I did was that I started counting my calories,” Sammons says. “I … didn’t think I ate that much, but I was drinking 1,800 calories a day just drinking Cokes.”

Sammons made an audition tape for the NBC show The Biggest Loser; he says it was the show’s website that gave him the idea to start writing down what he was eating and drinking daily. His consumption “went down anywhere from 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day,” leading him to lose 58 pounds through diet alone in his first five weeks.

“I told a buddy of mine once I lost 50 pounds I’d start walking,” Sammons says. “And in seven months I lost 100 pounds. In 17 months, I lost 203.”

Once the pounds starting dropping away, Sammons began setting other goals for himself. He decided he wanted to run a 5k, and he did. He ran two half marathons in 2010. And in March he realized a goal many athletes strive for their whole lives: He finished a marathon. “I think I did it in 4 hours, 40 minutes or 4:42,” he says. Next up: A half triathlon in June.

Sammons says his decision to get healthy stemmed from reaching a point of hopelessness. “When you’re 393, you go to climb out of a trailer, and half the time I’d fall out of it,” he says. “It just got to the point where it was real depressing.” He says he even prayed that God would let him go to sleep and not wake up. “Let some kid that has cancer or something live,” he prayed. “I was 46 or 45 at the time, so I’d pretty much lived. I was just asking him to let someone else live. I’d lost hope.”

But, Sammons says, he believes at this time of hopelessness his faith brought him through. He found the information about The Biggest Loser, which included tips for living a healthier lifestyle.

He says the important thing for other drivers to remember is that “anyone can do it.”

“Somehow, somewhere, you’ve got to find some faith,” he says. “The hardest thing in the world is to believe in someone, something or yourself. That’s basically how I had to do it.”

Online Extra

Want to read more about Mike Sammons’ weight loss journey? Visit his website at

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