Jared Fogle's 'weird light bulb moment'
December 29th, 2010
11:37 AM ET

Jared Fogle's 'weird light bulb moment'

Jared Fogle, eater of Subway sandwiches and runner of the last New York marathon, became a pitchman for the chain after losing 240 pounds.

After regaining a little bit of weight in 2009, Fogle (above at right) decided in January to get healthy and run a marathon. He finished the race at 5 hours, 13 minutes and 28 seconds.

CNN spoke to him for a story about a defining weight-loss moment tied to New Year’s fitness goals.

Here’s an abbreviated conversation:

What was your defining moment that pushed you into action to get in better shape and run a marathon?

I guess marathon was on my bucket list. Granted, it was deep down in my bucket list. It was literally last January - it was 11 months ago.

It was a weird light bulb moment. I’m trying to think of the exact moment. I figured I was 33 years old; I’m not getting any younger. I’m going to do this. I’m going to do this now.

Literally, I just made this decision. I’m going to cross this off my list.

Is running something you enjoy?

Until this year, I had never run before. I walked a lot. That’s one thing I enjoyed doing several miles a day.

It was a new challenge. It was something I was excited to do. Having run a marathon, I’ll never do another marathon again.

I enjoy running shorter distances: 3, 4, 5 miles. I really enjoy that. It’s a great workout.

Was it a New Year’s resolution?

A few months before that, I had put some pounds on. I was not so vigilant with my fitness level. That spurred me on.

I decided I’m going to do this. I’m going to do this for me. I realized if I can do this, hopefully I can show to other people that maybe I can do a mile or two or a 5K.  That’s where you have to start at.

How many pounds did you gain back then?

It was maybe 10. It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely caught me off guard a bit. You don’t realize it. It’s a battle for the rest of my life. It’s not always fun, but it’s something I have to deal with forever.

Do you think the public scrutiny has helped/hurt your health efforts?

It’s a combination. When you're in public scrutiny like that, it's never easy.

You look at someone like Oprah Winfrey, and she's always dealt with that. At the same time, it's giving me more motivation to definitely keep the weight off.

To lose 240 pounds and get my life back like I did 12 years ago was an important step for my life. But at the same time you realize, keeping it off is just as important. Living in the spotlight, I look at it as extra motivation.

What kept you motivated?

Training runs when it’s hot and muggy and nasty out, you just got to do it.

Realizing there’s an end sight, an end date. I believe it was November 7th, saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to do this thing. I’m going to prove to myself I can do it."

What’s your advice for New Year’s resolutions?

Obviously, it’s great to have New Year’s resolutions. It’s great to spur someone to change.

By early February, it can get tough again. So just hang in there. New Year’s resolutions are a great start. It’s got to be a true lifetime commitment to you.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.