Strive for 85

The story I have for you all today you will hopefully inspire you.
I've said it a hundred times over, but through this blog I've been able to meet some AMAZING people.
It has opened doors for me that I never knew I even wanted open.
In November, I was asked to come to Tulsa, OK. and run the Route 66 Marathon.
It was my second half marathon and was the hardest run of my life.
I ran through pain, with tears pouring down my face, updating y'all along the way, and getting the most amazing support from all of you.
You can read about that experience HERE.

While I was in Tulsa, I met one of the most amazing young men ever.
His names is Mason Carter Harvey and he is 13 years old, in the 8th grade.
And he's lost 85 lbs. by eating right and moving his body.
He is telling his story and helping inspire others to know that childhood obesity IS reversible, and that bullying is not acceptable.
He is inspiring thousands of people all over the world, myself included, by telling his story.
And he's doing things in increments of 85 now. You can read more about him and what he's doing HERE.
But I'll let him tell you a little more about himself...

"My story starts in the 3rd grade. A couple of boys saw me as a target to bully because I was overweight and a shy, quiet kid. They decided it would be fun to start picking on me by calling me names, pushing me into lockers, and slapping my stuff out of my hands while I was on my way to class. I didn’t do anything to them to cause them to pick on me because I was a good student and I’m a lover, not a fighter! It got so bad that year that my principal, school counselor, and my parents had to switch my classes to try and help stop the bullying. I even had to fake stomach aches sometimes to get out of school and away from them. It didn’t stop completely because they still found ways to bully me at lunch or recess. They started getting detention when I told my teachers that they were still bothering me. It brought my self-confidence way down and made me feel unhappy. I loved school, but it was hard to focus when I worried from day to day about who might start trouble with me. That was my worst year of school BY FAR!
Things had progressively gotten better from 4th to 6th grade as far as the bullies went. I was still having problems of my own though because my weight seemed to keep me from being able to do other things most of my friends could. I felt left out. I felt uncomfortable with my body not being able to breathe well, exercise right or run fast. I was 206 pounds at 11 years old. Can you believe it?
I have always been involved in sports and tried to do my best to keep up. I especially love football!! In my 6th grade year I was a lineman for my football team and I could hit HARD, but could not run fast to save my life! J After having to get a prescribed asthma inhaler, I knew it was time to make a change in my lifestyle.
I went to my parents and told them I was SICK AND TIRED of being SICK AND TIRED!!! I told them I was ready to lose some weight. I was only 11 though, what did I know about losing weight or nutrition? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! They talked with me and apologized to me for giving me what I wanted, not what I needed. They said that they would support me 100% in whatever I wanted to do. They signed me up for a strength training class at my local YMCA so I could start working out and exercising more. I decided to cut back on chips, candy, pop, and all sorts of other junk food. My family and I made weekly grocery lists to help bring healthy food into our meals. I started watching the portions I was eating and how often I was eating. I stopped watching so much T.V. and playing so much Xbox. Don’t get me wrong, electronics are fun, but I played TOO much of them! My brothers played a big part in keeping me off the couch and getting me outside to get active. We would jump on the trampoline, ride bikes, and play sports in our front yard (Basketball, football, baseball, wall-ball, etc.). I must say, I’ve actually gotten addicted to it! The weight started falling off and before I knew it, I had lost 85 pounds!!! I feel INCREDIBLE!!! Now I feel like Gallagher at a farmers market! And my confidence level? It's through the roof!
For my 12th birthday, my gift was to run a 1 mile fun run called “The Midnight Streak.” What kid wants to run a mile for his birthday present, you might ask? ME, that’s who! I’ve started a project called “StriveFor85” which involves me doing things in themes of 85. A couple of my goals are to meet 85 important/influential people who will help me tell my story, and to help my dad lose 85 pounds.  My number 1 goal is to help inspire/motivate 85 other children (hopefully more) to get active and healthy. I host active missions, such as: stair climbs, bike rides, dance/zumba, water aerobics, and any other thing you can think of to get you active. I want everyone to learn this motto that I have lived my life by, which is:  
If I can do it, so can you!"
-Mason Carter Harvey

Help support this amazing young man and all he's trying to accomplish.
Stop by any of his social media sites, give him some love and let him know he is an inspiration to thousands of kids and PEOPLE everywhere!

Thank you for sharing your story, Mason!

I hope you realize what a positive impact you are making on people's lives!

You can follow Mason's journey on his website HERE.
Facebook page HERE.
Instagram (@strivefor85)
Twitter (@strivefor85)
YouTube channel HERE.

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Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer said...

I love this. What an inspiration.

Shesabigstar said...

Wow, he's incredible. Someone so young yet so smart and making such a difference! I love that at such a young age he's inspiring and changing others... he's amazing! Just followed his Twitter and liked his FB page.

Patty said...

Amazing! Looking forward to following his journey.

joan said...

I was fortunate to be one of Mason's teacher's in 6th grade. I then moved to the Junior High and got to see his incredible transformation. His confidence has increased and his personality shines through now.

As his teacher in 6th grade, I knew he was an incredible kid, but he was so quiet. Not anymore! This young man is so inspiring!

I have weight issues, much of it complicated by an autoimmune disease that results in constant pain and inflammation. But Mason inspires me every time I see him, whether it is in the halls at school or at the gym.

Thank you for featuring him and THANK YOU Mason!!!

KayLynn said...

Awesome story - he has me all choked up.. Amazing young man

fcriss said...

This made me cry, tears streaming really cry. I have an 11 year old who is in the 6th grade, and is so kind hearted and sweet and overweight. He's bullied, he gets sick to his stomach and misses school, it breaks me heart and I've been at a loss for how to help him more. I am active with him and push him to be active,but his story is much like this young man's before story. I'm showing this to him tonight, and hope he sees that it IS possible, you CAN change your life and future with some hard work and determination. I hope that he realizes the possiblities that this young man has to show him and that age doesn't matter. Thank you mama for giving this mama a different approach. *hugs*

Leigh Sullivan said...

What an inspirational little boy!! Good job Bud! Many good things are to come in your life.

Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! said...

This is absolutely amazing! He is an inspiration to people of all ages! I wish I could have read his story when I was a young girl and severely overweight, maybe it would've helped me stop things back then.

Jen said...

This kid is going to go places! What an inspiration for other kids and adults, too!!

Way to go Mason! I'll be following along in your journey from now on!

Brooke said...

What an amazing little boy and an inspiring story. As a mother to a 3rd grader nothing scares me more than bullying. I'm so thankfuly that he had the the strength to overcome his situation. Way to go, Mason! Way you reach all your goals and go beyond.

Sam said...

Awesome young man! So cool that he turned something awful (bullying), into something positive (getting healthy). You hear too many stories of kids trying to hurt themselves or going into depression over bullying - it is so nice to hear of a child who turned it around and did something positive. Way to go Mason, you rock man!! =)

Elisha V said...

Incridible young man!!!! Very inspiring!!!!

Amy W. said...

Mason's story is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing Mama.

JMc said...

Wow, that is so awesome! He is going to do some great things if he is already this mature at his age. I love that one of his goals is to help his dad lose 85 pounds now. What an inspiration!

Jessica&Cameron said...

What a great story. This makes me think of my brother who was about 75 -100 pounds overweight in 6th grade. I remember one day he was walking home from school and 2 boys in my grade (I am 2 years older) were calling him all sorts of names. He went home and stayed in his closet crying all day.I have never been so sad for someone in my life. I ended up going and yelling at the 2 boys and they called an apologized-- but you can't take back stuff like that.
My brother is 23 now, 6 ft, and weighs probably 180-200 lbs. He looks great!

Katie J said...

What an amazing kid! That is so awesome what he has accomplished. I too was bullied for my weight and so many treat being fat as an acceptable target for jokes and overall meanness. I'm glad Mason took a stand and now is inspiring so many. Thank you for sharing!

Kimmyyy83 said...

Love this, he lives near me too.

Elizabeth said...

ohmygosh how cute IS HE?!?

Sarah said...

Wow, what an awesome kid and such an inspiration! Middle school years can be the worst, instead of getting into depression mode, he decided to make a difference and change his habits and life. So glad you could meet him and share his story!

Kim Leech said...

I added him on my Instagram & shared with my followers since I have quite a few that are friends of my daughters & are around the same age. My word for the new year is inspire & I was instantly drawn to his story as he strives to inspire others. Great story to share!

SH said...

Wow, what an amazing story! Good for him!

Brandi said...

I teared up reading this! What an amazing kid!!!! Sharing this story for sure <3

Ghia said...

Incredible! What an inspiration! Thanks for featuring him!

Jaclyn N Lil M said...

What an amazing kid!! Thanks for sharing his story