Our Humana Health Star for the month of May is Brandon Pennington. Brandon has lost over 75 lbs in his mission to wellness. He runs an inspirational fitness Instagram (BASICALLYBRNDN) to motivate others to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. This is basically Brandon. 


Name: Brandon Pennington

Age: 26

City: Harlan, KY

What’s your favorite way to stay active? Running, Walking, and Hiking

What charities do you like to support with Charity Miles? I support Stand Up 2 Cancer. I am planning on supporting Wounded Warrior Project, Alzeheimer’s Association, and Operation Smile as well.

Where is your favorite place to walk, run or bike? We have a walking track that goes from downtown Harlan to our little mall that is about 2.5 miles long. If I go there and back I can get in 5 miles.

Where is one place you’d most like to walk, run or bike? Machu Picchu is my next big trip and I’m wanting to run there. 

What do you do to help your family/community get active?  One of the great things about Charity Miles is that the charities you can choose to support can help out your family or community. For example, I started using Charity Miles heavily to not only help myself lose weight, but to support Stand Up 2 Cancer. When I started using the app my grandmother had been fighting cancer for about a year. When her cancer was diagnosed as terminal, I decided I would run in her memory as much as I possibly could to help others so that they may never have to go through what my grandmother experienced. 

I am one of the co-coordinators for our local Relay for Life and the coordinator for a few local 5ks. 

Do you have any tips for others on how to take steps towards improving their well-being? The best tip I can give is to set a goal and constantly strive to accomplish that goal. Wake up hungry for that goal and do everything you can to meet that goal. One thing to remember is that we all have set backs and failures, but what we do in light of those hiccups define who we are. One of the things that has kept me most accountable in my well-being has been focusing my instagram account on fitness. I know that seems silly but I’ve met so many wonderful people who are sharing there own stories through this medium that we’ve kind of formed this kind of fitness family! Everyone is super supportive and just watching yourself and others transform is inspiration. 

What is your favorite workout song? I listen to so much when I run!  Right now I’m hooked on “The Nights” by Avicii and “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

What are your health/fitness goals? My first HUGE goal is to lose 100 lbs. I’m currently 25 lbs from that goal. I want to also shave time off of my running! 

Are you training for anything? I’m going to do a half marathon this year! Hopefully the Avengers Run at Disneyland in California. I’m also registered for a few 5ks notably the Biggest Loser Run Walk Obstacle 5K on Washington DC.

Do you have any favorite healthy recipes? I LOVE Turkey Taco Salad

What’s one thing Humana can do to help you live a healthier lifestyle? I love the encouragement that Humana gives when they sponsor you on Charity Miles. I think encouragement is key.

What is the best health advice you’ve ever received? I was very self conscious about running outside, because I had gained so much weight. My girlfriend told me an Amy Poehler quote that has stuck with me “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do”. I needed to empower myself without caring what others thought. There are so many people out there like me who are afraid to get out and do something to change their life because they are afraid of what others will think. However, what they think doesn’t matter because you will be running laps around them in no time. Just remember to give it your all, give back and give thanks. 

Humana believes that everyone has a unique health and well-being story. What is yours? I have always struggled with my weight, since I was a child. I’ve never had much self esteem and never liked how I looked. I’ve had many struggles and battles with myself but things really came into perspective after two major events: getting diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope and my grandmothers fight against cancer. These two events inspired me to take control of my life, and try to help others as much as possible. Therefore, I started by taking back control of my health last October. Through a combination of Charity Miles, diet bets, beach body, and proper diet, i’ve lost 75 lbs. I’m so looking forward to being under 200 lbs the same weight I was in middle school.

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