Fit And Fat?

At nearly 320 pounds, Michael Pate is taking a run at being fat and fit.

With CBS News correspondent Mika Brzezinski watching, Pate performs one of his exercise routines, a sluggish form of running he calls, "slogging."

"It's slow jogging," Pate quips.

But he's doing more than just pounding the pavement and pumping iron.

"I'm a triathlete," Pate says.

That's right, Pate competes in triathlons, the ultimate fitness challenge usually reserved for those built of muscle and bone. In the last three years, he's swum, run and biked more than 20 races at about half the Olympic distance, which entails a .9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike and a 6.2-mile run.

And along the way, Pate's lost 70 pounds and won a new respect for himself.

"If I didn't workout then I would probably say you're probably right, you're fat and you can't be fit," Pate admits. "But, by being out there and doing the things that I'm doing, I think that's a myth that we're disproving."

Medical professionals say it is possible to be fat and fit, but stress low-impact workouts like swimming and biking. Pate still battles the bulge, but has lowered his blood pressure. Doctors say those who follow his lead may also dramatically reduce their chances of heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Exercise Guidelines

So, what was Pate's motivation? It was a picture of himself with his newborn son that got him off the couch and into the gym.

"He looked like a premie. I knew then and there, I was a mammoth of a man," Pate says. "I had to do something that would change my life. And I could run with him and be active."

Today, he still makes a big splash, but he's earned the respect of his training partners.

"To be able to carry that luggage up and down, up and down for for 40 laps, that's pretty amazing," fellow athlete and Pate's training partner Steve Spurlock says.

Pate adds, "I had a gentleman stop and wonder if something was wrong. Because I was running. He had never seen a big guy run as far as I did. He offered me a ride."

It's one of several experiences he's put into a book based on his struggle: "When Big Boys Tri."

Of his current weight, Pate says that it's "not to the point that I want to be, but certainly not to the point that I was. I'm still being molded and shaped. And I'll accept that.

"I'll accept who I am today, knowing that tomorrow I want to be somebody better."