Saskatoon

Death of grandson motivates man who lost 140 pounds to keep running

When most people hear how much weight Brian Trainor has lost, it sounds like an incredible journey to health. But his story is also lined with the sadness of losing his grandson last year.

Brian Trainor started walking to cope with his grief after losing grandson

Brian Trainor has lost 140 pounds over the past year, and raced more than two dozen times in the past few months. (Kim Garritty/CBC)

When most people hear how much weight Brian Trainor has lost, it sounds like an incredible journey to health. But his story is also lined with the sadness of losing his infant grandson. 

Trainor weighed 354 pounds and was close to having to take needles to control Type 2 diabetes when he decided to make a change.

Last April he flew to Mexico to get gastric bypass surgery. It was a success and he was feeling strong. But just a few weeks later, his 13-month-old grandson Nathan went down for a nap and never woke up. He died of sudden infant death syndrome. 

"It absolutely destroyed us," said Trainor. "That's when I started walking because I needed some grief relief". 

'I started walking because I needed some grief relief' 

Walking eventually developed into running.  

"It gave me the opportunity to talk to Nate," he said. "So when I run these 10 kilometres [races] and I'm sucking slough water at about seven kilometres, I talk to him, I say 'Hey Nate. Come on give grandpa a hand here. I'm sucking slough water buddy', and I feel a little breeze at my back. He's pushing me saying, 'Come on grandpa don't be a suck. Let's go'."

He has a bag of medals from participating in 30 races over the past few months for a variety of causes. Some of them were virtual races, where he did the running here in Saskatoon and sent in his times. 

"I've discovered calmness," he said.

Brian Trainor has lost 140 pounds over the course of a year, after gastric bypass surgery and running. He says his late grandson is his motivation. (Brian Trainor)

'You become obese because you want food to love you.'

Trainor has also discovered some facts about himself and the reasons he was overweight. 

"You don't become obese because you love to eat food. You become obese because you want food to love you." 

He is 140 pounds lighter and his diabetes has disappeared. He eats a modest amount because of his surgery and runs 10 kilometres a day.

Trainor says his grandson Nathan is what keeps him running.

"He is my motivation."

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