Thom W. (NDD#145) (8 Posts)

When he is not obsessing about his next Walt Disney World trip, Thom can be found running anything from a 5K to a 200 mile relay. Having grown up across the river from Louisville, KY, Thom's family never really took trips to Walt Disney World. He only went twice as he was growing up. Thom changed this in adulthood, though, honeymooning with his wife at Walt Disney World in 1998 and returning regularly after that. Now that he has kids of his own, his family goes at least once a year. But when they are not in the World, you can expect that Disney movies are helping them stay connected to their "laughing place." Through his experience of becoming a long-distance runner and losing almost 80 lbs., Thom hopes to help and encourage readers of The Disney Driven Life, to lead a Disney Driven Healthy and Fit life.

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

~Roy E. Disney

What is a healthy life?  Is it being active?  Is it hitting a certain number on the scale?  Is it eating only foods that are found naturally?  A healthy life can be one of those or it can be all of those.  I think in order to live a “healthy” life you first have to find what you value.  Once you know what you value then as Roy Disney said the decisions will come easy.

Before we continue, let me give you a brief outline of myself.  The year was 2003, my weight was approaching 300 lbs., and I always felt lousy.  I got winded going up a flight of stairs.  Bending over to tie my shoes was about the only exercise that I got. I joined the gym over the 4th of July weekend that year.  I would spend the next 6 months working out 5-6 days a week to only see myself drop a few pounds.  With the new year approaching, I made a resolution to not lose weight but to eat more healthy.  This new eating plan, coupled with my working out, allowed me to lose almost 80 lbs in that year.

With my new body and health, there was a new me.  Now it is 2010, and in those 6 years I have run 5 half-marathons (2 of those were in consecutive weekends), run 1 full marathon, and I am training to complete my 2nd 200 mile overnight relay.  I have run numerous 5ks, 10ks and 10 mile races as well in that time.  In April of 2011 I will compete in my 2nd marathon.  After that I hope to someday run an 50K and to also complete the Goofy challenge at Walt Disney World.  For me, I had to realize that I value me and wanted to be the best me that I could be.

Take some time and really think what your values are.  If you value losing weight, then the decision to eat fruit instead of cookies will be an easy one.  If you value spending more time outside with the family, then you can forgo the new video game or movie.  Again what you value will make sure that your choices are easy.

Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”  So don’t just keep saying, “I am going to lose weight.  I am going to be more active.  I am going to quit smoking.”  Quit talking and start doing.   You don’t need a gym membership to go out and walk your neighborhood.  A $5.00 jump rope is just as effective as a $5000.00 treadmill.  In the coming weeks and months, I can use this blog to answer questions that come up and most of all help infuse Disney into your health and fitness routine. If there is no health and fitness routine, then I hope that I can use this blog to inspire you and help you make a Disney Driven Healthy Life.

Contributed by: Thom W. (NDD#145). Thom is our resident health and fitness expert.


  1. Thom,

    Thank you for your post, I too struggle with weight issues, considering I ma in my mid 40’s, 2 kids and in a somewhat stressful job, but your words of finding the true value in our life ring loud & clear to me. It is a gentle nudge to do it.

  2. Great post! I just began running last year. I ran my first half marathon at Disney World last October. I have several friends who completed the Goofy challenge this year and I’d love to be able to accomplish that someday…..but I suppose I better stop talking about it and get out there 🙂

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