How I Got This Body: Losing 100 Pounds by Running Every Single Day for a Year

Photographs courtesy Doug Ricketts.

Welcome to How I Got This Body, our look at some of the amazing things the human body is capable of and the Washingtonians who put their bodies to the test. Want to share your transformation story? Email

Who I am: Douglas Ricketts, 29, Pacers Running store manager from Centreville, Virginia

What inspired my change: “Insecurity was a major reason for the change. General health, and the desire to feel and look better were also major reasons for my change in lifestyle.”

How I transformed: “I lost close to 100 pounds. I was running on a regular basis, dieting, and weight lifting every day. I realized once I had lost the weight, that I still had more potential for athletic gains, so I worked hard to achieve more. I’m amazed by my low 50 resting heart rate (use to be high 70s).”

My exercise plan: “I would constantly run—running ended up being more for enjoyment. I would run to work (seven miles) almost every day. I would do body-weight workouts and lift weights regularly. During the beginning of my weight loss, more often than not, I’d just be running.”

My health eating plan: “I eliminated all non-essential food (empty calories, bad fats, simple carbs). I ate plenty of complex carbohydrates to fuel my exercise, took protein supplements, and ate lean meat.”

I would constantly run—running ended up being more for enjoyment.

How I feel now: “I like being able to go out and run without feeling bogged down. When I’m working out regularly, I feel much more awake and alert—and generally much happier.”

One piece of advice: “There is no one-size-fits-all weight loss program. Like anything new, weight loss can become a full time commitment. It involves trying new things, and being consistent with what works well. Do not starve yourself. I cut back substantially at one point and that ended up making me bonk. Eat healthy and hearty foods.”

This interview has been edited and condensed. 

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.