In 2014 I reached the age of 40. Was I halfway through my life? who knows, but I certainly wasn't happy with how I looked or felt about my 40 year old self. Food has always been my comfort blanket. When I got bored I would sit and eat - all the wrong things. Crisps, Pringles, Coca-Cola, Chocolate bars.. I would try to convince myself that because I didn't drink much or smoke cigarettes, I was still quite healthy, but I was medically obese. I weighed 238lbs (17 stones) and my my waistline was 40 inches.
A friend of mine suggested I try running. Seriously? I couldn't run 10 steps without being out of breath. So I went along to my local Parkrun (5km) and... I hated it. Awful. I walked most of it, but the thing I loved was how supportive everybody else was. So kept at it and went back the following week and then again and again... suddenly I was a runner! Not a very fast or attractive one, but I was a runner. The running helped and I lost some pounds, but I was still overweight. I reduced my portion sizes and ate more fruit, thinking that was the right thing to do, but really what I needed was a change of lifestyle...
Fast forward to January 2016 and I was still too heavy and too unhappy. My running was going well. I had completed several half marathons (something I never thought I would do), but I was struggling to get faster times. I then came across a book and a video online about juicing. It proclaimed the health benefits of fruit/veg based juices and a "clean" diet. Worth a try I thought. So to begin with I started buying juices from my local juice bar. Expensive but a lot less expensive than buying a juicer/blender at first. I found myself enjoying the juices! I had one mid-morning, one at lunch and one in the afternoon. I also made some other changes to my diet:
-Try to cut out refined sugar from diet -Reduce processed foods -Stopped drinking coffee -Stopped drinking alcohol -Cut out milk from diet (I drink Coconut milk and still eat eggs and cheese) -Eat meat, but only fish and chicken
Four months on and I have lost 4 stones (56lbs) and four inches off my waist. I can run further and faster than I ever have and for the first time in years, I'm starting to be happy with how my body looks in the mirror! At 42 This is just the start of the rest of my life!
I’ve never been able to talk about myself easily.. And after having everything I valued in life stripped from me the last 5 years… My level of humbleness is even higher. You need to understand first of all that I am a Christian.. One that was looked up to publicly. I had been through everything and still was ok, people thought. I had given my testimony to 30+ maximum state prisons across the mid-west to Alabama. I had spoke to huge high schools and churches and have even sang in front of thousands of people at conventions. But I was a secret addict. I came from an abusive home, was molested at 8 yrs old, and was a depressed, suicidal, runaway teen. I married early to the first man who paid attention to me. But early 2012 I found myself in a marriage of 17 years that was failing. And it ended in divorce. I had four children, and I was addicted to alcohol, painkillers, I was a sex addict, and I had big time eating disorder. I was either binge eating or starving myself. I would make myself go months on a 500 calorie diet… On a good day.
I went from 96# to 180# over and over. Usually I ate 200 cals. I would jog long miles or hike strenuous mountain miles on a slice of apple or a piece of cheese. I hated myself. It took losing my husband, most of my friends, the loss of respect from my four children… To bring me back to my senses. I still hike huge mountains today.. But I do so eating correctly. I have found a man who values me highly and has put my broken pieces back together in a healthy way. My children are slowly making their way back to me. I don’t drink now. I have thrown away all pain killers. I dedicate my life to helping depressed teens by taking them hiking. They find you can’t be depressed on a mountain top! I still struggle with my weight, but I accept myself now. I’m beautiful. Because that’s how God sees me. I’ve had a disease that took my ability to have children away… That has taken my ability to ever be thin away… And I’m ok. Because God made me this way and called me beautiful. I might be fluffy.. But it’s ok. I like me now…. No. I LOVE me. Because until you love yourself- you can not love anyone else in a healthy way. If I can do it— anyone can. “
I’ve always been a heavy girl, even in my teens. I would cry when my clothes became snug or too small and vow to do something about it. I would get about a week or two into any plan (and I’ve tried so many over the years) but always quit when I didn’t see any progress or the progress didn’t happen as fast as I felt it should. In August of 2012. I had finally reached the point where I was done. I was done feeling fat, done with being unhappy, done with getting winded walking up even a small set of stairs and done with worrying about my blood pressure. I was so unhappy. I had always had low self-esteem as a teen but it just seemed that as I got older, that just whittled away to none. I had no confidence. I didn’t feel pretty. I hated looking at myself in the mirror, it always brought me to tears. I didn’t feel good in my clothes. I went out one evening with several friends and after seeing the picture that was taken, I came home and swore that this time, things were going to be different. I downloaded My Fitness Pal on my phone. I had used it before but quit. This time, I was determined to stick with the plan. I started tracking. I realized that what I was eating was actually worse than I thought. It was very eye-opening. I cut back on my portion sizes. I gave up breads and pasta, except maybe once a week as a treat. I cut back on pop and junk food and takeout and started drinking more water. I began walking every day again. Once the cold weather and the snow arrived, I stopped walking but I kept tracking my meals and sticking with the changes in my eating habits. In April of 2013, I did Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred dvd. I’ve lost 50lbs and 30” overall. I’ve gone from being a size 24/26w and wearing a 4X in tops, to a size 16/18 and wearing an XL. I can’t describe the feeling I had the first time I realized that I was able to shop in the regular size section. I cried. I couldn’t stop smiling. I had finally done it! All the years of setting goals and failing, I had reached one. I have so much confidence now. I’m not afraid to have my picture taken anymore. I owe that to my children. There are almost no pictures of me with them because I was too ashamed. My journey to a healthier me certainly isn’t over but I know now that I can do it.
I'm over 45 and have my doubts about weight loss. I need support...in more than one way, that's why I'm here! I know "how" to do it. I lost nearly 60 pounds by eating clean and moderate exercise. Unfortunately, over the past 5 years the stress of a kid getting married, working more, moving across country and starting over some of that 60 has come back. Then the added problem of moving to a state where it's hotter than hell most of the year- I can't be as active outside as I'm used to. I am a heifer. I need the herd to get me in shape!
To be honest I knew I was always fat. I had constant reminders of this fact from the people I love the most. You see it has taken me this long to see that we as humans will constantly point out the thing in others that we hate the most about ourselves. So there wasn't a day from the earliest memory that a comment wasn't made that I would be so pretty, "if" or if you would just "try" you would be - insert what ever here.
My life was constant weight gain since the time I was 13, three kids, horrible eating habits and the death of three loved ones in one year, one being my person, I was 36 years old weighting well over 350 pounds not able to find out the correct number because the only scales that do that are for animals and at baraytic centers, not at your local Walmart.
I just kinda fell away - and truthfully looking back no one really gave a damn because this is the way I had always been. No one knew me any different so what is the point of even trying. Then something clicked, and I hate that it took me being so competitive to even start.
Two summers ago my husband made a choice to wake up and just start being healthy .. He did this while I was away for the summer so on my return he weighted 30 pounds less and was for all intents and purposes was really HAPPY.
I WAS PISSED! The worst part of the whole thing he wasn't pushing me to be like him or even follow in his lead. He was just doing his own thing and didn't care if I followed. He would say little things like ten minute walks are my favorite, and I love runnning before the sun comes up!! WHO SAYS THESE THINGS???? So every morning he would jump on the tread mill turn on top gear really loud and start running …. And it was so loud. Sleep was out of the question. One day I just put on my shoes and tried the treadmill for a few minutes- 10 minutes was all I could give and it knocked the wind out of me. I was embarrassed and down right disgusted with myself. The thing was- HE wasn't .. He was proud and was smiling from ear to ear. Soon my Fitbit arrived in the mail and we were in constant competition of who could get the most steps. The weight started to fall away and I wasn't trying I was just moving.
Then came the truly hard part- Caring.. Figuring out what to eat when to eat and what it was doing for my body and to my body. I have tried it all exercise wise but fell in love with weight lifting. I love pushing my body and testing my limits. My body over a year and a half lost 100 pounds- the hardest part as been the last 30. I had to work for them. And I am still working for them.. Everyday is a struggle. I was blessed to not have any big injuries at the start but I have had many little ones along the way and what it has taught me is you have to keep going for the bigger picture… you have to care about YOU! That was the hard part for me…. Caring about me and just getting to the gym or out the door to do it.
So - this story…. It is an on going thing. Everyday caring about me it is a thing I wrestle with and most days I win and come out on top, but there are days I don't and I no longer beat myself up or reward it with bad habits… I just get a new try at it each morning and I hope for the best. Current new goal is 30 more pounds. Will it happen over night? NOPE but will it happen, you bet your ass.
Been battling the "bulge" my entire adult life!!! I stay on track for periods of time, seeing results and than I let life get me busy & off track again. It's a vicious cycle.
Hi I ‘m Mary for the southwest Michigan sub branch of Walk Heifer Walk.
And my story starts for this purpose in 2009(we could go back way back….like the size in junior high was “junior chunky” but I will spare you ), I was where I wanted to be weight wise, life wise, all things good, walked every day, went to the Y a couple or more times a week, I was “moooving”! I had the opportunity to take a group of students to Europe; my male colleagues were both younger than me and one is an ultra-marathoner (Sahara, Antarctica- even did a marathon a day for a cause he believes in this summer). So, I decided not wanting to left in the dust- to train for a 5k- to build up my stamina. I did the first one in July in under an hour, pretty good for the girl who had never done competitive anything……was a little upset that lady who was walking on her due date beat me but oh well, Europe went great even got in a bathing suit in the Mediterranean and those kids…. could not keep up. Did another 5k in November – under an hour again!
Then things changed…. several really bad things happened- they don’t call it comfort food for nothing. Kept up with walking and stuff, weight stayed down.
Next chapter 2010. I am 53 years old, single, never married (is important to the story), owned my own home, Ph.D., same job for twenty-five years, pretty happy with life- the things the previous fall rocked me but recovery is good. I met the love of my life! Did not see that coming and everything changed. Simple things like how I prepared meals, my veggies and meat meals were not enough, so going to “American” cooking breads, potatoes, rices, pasta, Mike was used to those kind of meals, still fresh, homemade but a lot heavier, then we moved, the Y wasn’t convenient any more, walking wasn’t possible anymore- nowhere to walk here and the winter in was deadly and I fell out of the habit (the dogs were not happy) of walking every day! That “Honeymoon” happiness was more than the freshman fifteen if you know what I mean!
Finally, this summer, my doctor, who I might add is 12 and skinny as a pencil……said LOOK! And she was right. I married at 55, we won’t get 50 years so if we want the most time we can have I needed to clean up my act. So, bought the Fitbit and fancy scale for personally accountability, gave up 90% of the salt- popcorn and tomatoes still must have, no diet coke here (yes, it’s true) however, fountain diet coke out is a different story, water is good, walk 5 days a week when not working( we walked everyday on our cruise), when I can now. I have lost 15 pounds, about a pound a week or so since I started.
I turn 60 next month and back on track!
I started running about 15 years ago when my Mother became ill with cancer. I was helping to care for her and running was a way for me to get out of the house every day. Running gave me an hour to cry, plan, think, process, and renew. After she passed away, I continued to run. Running gave me the opportunity to cry, process, and grieve. I slowly built up my miles (and confidence) and decided to train myself for a half-marathon. With one half-marathon under my belt, I joined Team In Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I ran five full marathons over a three year period with TNT, and raised nearly $20,000 for cancer research. Over the years, running has given me so much. I have made lifelong friendships and learned how great it feels to be healthy and confident. Most importantly, l’ve learned how to listen to and respect my body. Running empowers me. I will be 60 on my next birthday; my goal is to be able to run for the rest of my life. It might be slow, but one one step at a time, I’ll be doing it!
I had gone through a tough divorce and gained even more weight. A friend begged me to start walking with her. I did and said I will give this one year. If I do not loose anything I quit. Well a few months later I did loose a few lbs and felt better. It was then that I discovered a lump in my left breast. Had it checked out and it was a water cyst but they did discover cancer in my right breast. I had a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of daily radiation. I had kept a great attitude and continued to walk everyday after my treatment until my daily fever would start. I eventually healed and started to go nuts on workouts. Everything I could do I was doing. I tried to eat good but I was fooling myself. In 2012 I met the man of my dreams. Life was good. In 2013 they discovered the cancer had returned in the same breast. I was devastated and scared. They were going to take my breast. I had only heard horror stories. My boyfriend who is a liver transplantee told me he lives everyday with the fact that the doctors told him he would be lucky if he lived 10 years. He said they caught mine early again and I would be fine. I changed that day. I was not going to let it beat me down. I put my boots on and never gave up. I had a mastectomy and they took my tummy to reconstruct. I went through many big surgeries over the next 1-1/2 years and I never gave up. I would heal and go right back to working out. We both took to eating better and lost weight and felt better. Running is my salvation. It is my time to be with my thoughts and pump myself up. It is my way of life now. I had weight goals set in 2010 of what I wanted to be when I turned 50. I am proud to say I made those goals just weeks before. Sorry this is so long but once I get started I can't stop. I love helping women get through the fear of cancer and pushing them to a healthier life style. I still don't have the eating perfect but I am working on it.
I was always "big boned" growing up. Never saw myself as overweight. I worked out at the gym, lifted heavy weights, and never needed cardio. Fast forward to when you step into the real world. It was easy to make excuses to not go to the gym. Then you have a wake up call. A routine doctor visit, only for him to tell me that although I don't get sick often, I've been overweight since he's known me. I was 34 at the time. I knew I was stronger than that. So I started running... and running... and running. Mix in some cross training and being very meticulous on my diet and portions, all of a sudden I went from about 245 lbs to about 170 lbs. By the time I was 35 years old, I weighed less than what I did when I was 12. I'm 40 years old now, I've run 8 half marathons, many 5k's, 10k's, and recently began Spartan races, completing both a Super and a Sprint this year. I am happily married with two kids. I'm involved with their sports by helping to coach and manage their hockey and soccer teams. My kids never knew me to be overweight. The only thing I want is to continue to be a healthy role model for my family, and help others to achieve their fitness goals.
August 2013: there I was, sitting and waiting for the painkillers to work. That walk up and down the stairs had done me in once again. The house that I loved when we moved in because it had an upstairs and a downstairs was bound to kill me off, I swear! I had just come back downstairs from weighing myself. Not only was my back screaming with the effort but my mind screamed along with it; I could not believe that my scale read 218 and that I could no longer “ suck in my gut”. At this point my back hurt constantly and I could barely make it through the mall without having to sit for awhile. I was truly scared because I was on three different blood pressure meds and suddenly had a cardiologist. A cardiologist!!! I was going to turn 60 in 14 months and couldn’t face doing that without being able to look in the mirror. At that moment, i made a decision that I would not mindlessly eat the last couple of chicken nuggets off of my son’s plate when he was finished, ever again. I used the Jenny Craig Weight Loss plan and purchased a treadmill right there and then. Good news for me- it worked!
Flash forward November 2016: here I am, down 78 pounds. I am off of ALL blood pressure meds and am my doctor’s poster child for good health and am still hanging out with Treddy, my trusty treadmill . And as for having turned 60? Bring on 70, baby!!
I started with the couch to 5K program about 7-8 years ago after losing 70-75 pounds. I had been riding my bicycle on century charity rides for years and was a good swimmer. I decided I wanted to do a sprint triathlon originally and set a goal and signed up for one.
I initially hated running, as it turns out my footwear was all wrong, too small, wrong shoe, etc. I used to get pains in my knees, calfs etc.
Eventually I did my first Tri, and got hooked. I decided I wanted to do a half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run), so I hired a triathlon coach. In the process, I met another one of his athletes, John, an inspiring man who lost 100 pounds and did Ironman Texas (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). He now is my husband.
In 2013, we both did Ironman Timberman 70.3 together. Earlier that year in training, I did the Hyannis Marathon. I was hooked and in 2014, we both did Ironman Lake Placid.
In 2015 we got married. Just 10 days before our wedding, I slipped, fell and broke my ankle. I had surgery the following week, 3 days before the wedding. This year, I raced 2 half Ironmans, one full Ironman (Ironman Wisconsin) and NYCM. I also did a handful of smaller events.
Out of the 3 sports, running has always been my favorite. I have slowed down significantly, as coming back from a broken ankle is not easy. I'm thinking by April, I'll have it in me to pull a Boston Qualifier at Newport Marathon. Next year, I am setting different goals post April, as my husband and I want to do a bunch of backpacking. I plan on running a 50K (31 miles on trails), a Ragnar Relay and my big race for the year will be a 50-miler in Maine next October.
The thing that I've found is that I do this for me, and to see how much I can push the limits this little body. I have always been very goal oriented. My best advice for anyone who wants to try running, is to download an app like couch to 5K, strap on a pair of shoes and do it! If you have a buddy to hold you accountable, even better. Sign up for a local 5K and do it at your pace. Who cares if you cross the finish line last? You're leaps and bounds ahead of the person sitting on their couch!
I hit my rock bottom in October 2012 with some medical issues directly related to my morbidly obese body. With encouragement of one of my best friends I started hitting the gym every morning and changed my nutrition. To date, I have lost 80 pounds and most of that in the last year post-divorce. You can see the 40 pounds difference between November 2015 and today. Mainly, I stopped eating my feelings. It took a couple more dips and unexpected twists in the self esteem roller coaster but today I feel better than ever!! I went from the biggest size 28 dress I could find for my sister's wedding (it looked like a pool liner) and wanting to feel invisible in 2007, to presently a size 14/16!! I work at this every day...with a new half marathon goal in front of me (with Melissa and a group of heifers!!). My kids see the constant efforts and now share and participate for themselves. My daughter's measure of being able to wrap her arms around my waist (with arm length to spare...) shows she's paying attention. This group is helping me with some external motivation, while I'm hitting a bit of a plateau right now.
Divorced and remarried and older than dirt!
Three children 12, 11, 8
Stage 3 cancer survivor 6 years
Eating and exercise are crucial to my life, it is finding the time that is the real struggle.
Running makes me soooooo happy
Watching others succeed is motivating and uplifting.
Recently took 2nd in my age group at the Veterans day 10k in Buffalo
Thank you for adding me to the herd! I understand there is a group running Buffalo half and I am considering running it too- it would be my first half.
Hi! My name is Amy. I am 40 years old, a wifey to my best friend & soulmate, and a mother to a beautiful 16 year old brown-eyed girl! I'm a hairstylist of 23 years but currently taking some time off after moving 1000 miles from my home state, South Carolina.
I have been a runner for a little over 8 years. It's my therapy and drug of choice. I tried out trail running a couple of years back and fell in love!! Out in the woods, surrounded by nature, with dirt under my feet is where I'm truly happy. There's such a strong connection and drawing to nature that I have always felt.
I am currently not training for anything so I mostly run for the pure joy of it. I try to run on both trails & pavement 3 to 4 times a week to keep a good base; and also, to keep my sanity. I mostly run by feel when I'm not training, though.
I suffered a calf tear during training for a half this past summer and am just now running without pain. I took a couple of weeks off after the half to fully recover & heal. When I started back, I decided to just listen to my body- push myself when needed but not worry so much about my mileage, pace, etc. I have no plans laid out in front of me that I normally would obsess over, daily. And it feels great!
After 20 years of rare running after high school track I started end of November 2014 and by March ran myfirst race- a 10k Saint Patrick's day event. From there til November I was crazy and did a total of 2-10k's,8- 5k's, 4- half marathons, one duathlon sprint event and a full marathon!
Since then I cut way back and do things hit or miss but last year all that running and motivation I ate real food and when I needed to- not just for boredom etc like before and lost 40lbs. Been great! I feel strong and next month I will be 40!
I have two boys - in junior high and high school - and I'm an ER nurse. Love craft beer, wine, coffee, crochet and drawing and painting. Love cycling, running, and standup paddleboard...and most anything vintage including my cars, LOL!
I hesitated to write this profile, because I'm not where I need to be, fitness-wise. But Melissa asked, so I gave in.
8 years ago, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, uncontrolled. I immediately felt like I was in a prison. "Don't do this, eat this, don't eat that." For a self-proclaimed chocolate obsessed, junk food junkie who avoided veggies at all cost - this was like receiving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. I've been an athlete all my life, so the only thing I WAS doing right - was exercising. I struggled. 2 great weeks, followed by 2 horrible, impulsive, carefree months. And so on, and so forth, in horrible repetition.
Then one day, a couple years ago, I looked at myself in the mirror, eyes full of tears, and said aloud: "I'm so tired." A small, but strong, voice in my mind replied, "But how tired ARE you??" I was tired of the diabetic, migraine-like headaches...the pins & needles of neuropathy...the vomiting...the eczema... the fatigue of high glucose (found out later I was quite literally PASSING OUT because my body could not handle what I was doing to it)... the shakes, fluttery chest, and clammy palms of low glucose...and most of all, the uncertainty.
"But how tired ARE you??"
I woke up. I finally submitted to the insulin my doctors had been trying to prescribe for years. I began working with a trainer. He and I went shopping so that I could truly "eat clean" and I went home that night and threw out 4 bags full of sugar-laden groceries. I had to change my lifestyle. I had to change ME. I did a 48 hour cleanse, a 10 day cleanse, an 86 list (no bread, dairy, sugar, carbs, etc) for 30 days, 2 cheat days, then 30 more days. I applied LL Cool J's 360 program and incorporated additional interval cardio.
And a funny thing happened... I got better. An A1C is a test that determines how bad Diabetes is. A 5.6 is "normal" or that of a non-diabetic person. My initial score was 11.4 (for some people, that's near death. For me, it was just really bad because my body was used to such high numbers).
After exercising, eating clean, and insulin for 2 consecutive months - my A1C was 5.6. That was unheard of, in such a short amount of time. My doctor could NOT believe it. I cried. My family cried. My trainer cried. My coworkers cried and asked me for fitness tips. But more importantly, I felt like I had a new lease on life. My high blood pressure and high cholesterol meds were cut and I was removed from the insulin. My skin cleared. My body was fit and toned. My mind was sharper and I just FELT better. I hesitated to write this profile.
Again, I struggle.
My A1C has increased, again. I work out more than I used to, but not nearly enough. Some days I eat clean, some days I eat so dirty I need my sins absolved. I hesitated to write this profile, because I felt like I would be lying to share a story with a happy ending. But then I realized, I'm not done. Perhaps someone needs to read this to know that its okay to struggle, as long as you don't give up. Perhaps that "someone" is me. Even as I write this, I realize that I'm so tired.
And even as I write this, I ask... But how tired ARE you??
I started running in college, never knowing what an impact it would have on my life journey. I was always active and in shape until I had my first daughter. I took the whole ‘eating for two’ thing to heart and had every excuse in the book why I should be eating everything, and then a little more.
Over the next several years I had three more babies and was either pregnant or nursing. I started yo-yo dieting; trying everything from Weight Watchers to cutting out carbs. I would run intermittently, even ran a few races and did some triathlons but nothing would stick. I would end up putting weight back on. During this time, my marriage also started falling apart. I began to realize that my poor eating choices were not only a way to get through my crazy lifestyle with 4 little kids, but also a way to regain control in my emotionally abusive marriage. After a very hard day, he would go to bed and I would eat 4 bowls of cereal at 10:00 at night – because I could and he couldn’t say anything about it.
Feeling horrible about myself, the way I looked and the realization that my life was very different than how I always envisioned it, I started running again. It was time for me to just be me and to be away from a house I no longer felt safe in. Unfortunately, during this time my comfort eating to stay in control turned into anxiety induced starvation (for lack of a better term) and I lost 50 pounds in a few months. I had to work very hard during this time to be healthy for not only me but for my kids, and as my confidence returned after my divorce my eating returned to normal.
I kept running, however, realizing how badly I needed it for the mental health benefits. My kids started riding their bikes with me while I ran, and 2 of them also now run. Three years post-divorce I can say that I still struggle with eating in moderation, but running is a constant. In 2015 I trained for and ran Twin Cities Marathon which was a symbolic end to several awful years. My kids were there to watch me, they saw me set a goal and accomplish it.
I’ve come full circle – I have a wonderful man in my life who luckily shares my love of running, since we both also love good food! I’ve figured out that no matter what life throws at me, whether it’s a devastating life changing event or a delicious pasta dinner, as long as I have a good pair of running shoes I can step outside and run my way through it.
I got into IT right when I was turning 21, and about that same time I started going out and partying more and more on the weekends. Between the sitting 10-12 hours a day and then drinking on the weekends my weight started to creep up and up.
As time passed and I found myself starting to believe that maybe this was the best my life was going to get: single, working 12-18 hour days, feeling alone. As I turned 30 I wanted to try to make some changes. I happened to see a casting call for “The Biggest Loser” here in San Diego. I remember standing in line and kind of knew I had no chance of getting on the show. Being 6’4” I held my weight very well, and I felt defeated. Went back to the gym, tried nutra-system, ran a 5K. I felt like I was starting to get a hold of my life. But as the weight came off I found myself going back to the old habits, and just like that the weight came back!
It was back in the winter of 2012 that I was out drinking with friends and we were doing some cocaine that day to keep things going. It was when I woke up on the bathroom floor of someone’s house that I didn’t know, I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. I thought to myself that there had to be more than life than waking up all the time feeling like crap and not knowing what happened the following day or night. I had found my lowest point. It wasn’t just my weight that was making me unhappy, I decided it had to be my job. I quit my current role and found a job that was farther down the corporate ladder. It was a pretty scary step. I had bills to pay still, but it was something I had to do. I wasn’t going to keep going down the same path.
So while the money wasn’t as good, the amount of free time I gained was priceless. It allowed me to be more active, I wasn’t so stressed about work, I had the time to go find what made me happy. The things (finances) that made the jump so scary worked themselves out and I found a way to stay above water.
It’s official now that I’m in the herd. Going from overweight and overworked IT consultant to a lean mean Ironman machine with a weight loss of over 200lbs. My passion in life is helping overweight people lose weight through natural means to get off the drug cocktails and living the healthy life and doing things they never thought they could.
Well I've never been a runner walker etc. I started off playing football most of my life and was always encouraged to bulk up non stop and that's where I found salvation in food. For happiness and pure addiction.
Later in life I became an over-the-road truck driver and after snacking all day and smoking up to 3 packs a day and all the healthy food choices truck stops are known for I ballooned up to 325 and being 5'8 well you get the picture.
One day I woke up and couldn't see and told the doctor that last couple of days I was thirsty non stop and drank water like my life depended on it I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and never really cared and thought hey that's what medicine is for.
Fast forward to this summer where I always did the bare minimum I went to get physical and was told my A1C was over 10 which is very very bad that I failed my dept of transportation physical resulting in license forfeiture and that means no income and was a massive punch in gut.
So I bought some good ole Nikes and started off walking a mile and by October I was up to walking /running 3.5 miles and got online and noticed what 5k races are and set my goal totry and finish one within time.
And here I set at 225 with my goal weight of 200 insight and so far have competed in 4 5k's and have many more lined for the next couple months, including 3 this month.
My name is Chris, I want to share my story because I want to help others especially young males who feel that they isolated and alone....
So as a young child I was so happy most of the time..
As I got older I started to suffer mental abuse..
Being told that you are useless, fat, waste of time, never achieve anything , Being called stupid all the time.
When I got to teenage years I was being bullied as well physically, school was a nightmare every day was about survival.
Then one day I decided to change to fit in, the worst decision I have ever made in my life..
That decision nearly cost me my life !!
I was about 14-16 years old, my decision was to stop eating or eat very little. I became obsessed with fat content and sugar content in my food, everything was analyzed to the max..
It started to work, I was losing weight, becoming thinner I was becoming obsessed with it. What I know now is it was becoming an unhealthy obsession that would still control me to this day 35 years later.
It got so bad my parents were so worried they took me to the doctors.
At this point I weighed just over 6 stone, I was 6ft 2inches..
I still remember the doctor saying, "Christopher you need to start eating, otherwise you will end up in hospital very ill, you are starving yourself to death !!"
I heard what he said, but I also heard I had become really good at something at last, that feeling of success far out weighed the fear of death.
I hate it, I have bad days still.
Some days I'm doing it in a subconscious state if that makes sense.
The best thing I have done in the last 15 months was to start running again, it has made me feel so free from everything and my eating disorder.
I still struggle to say the name of my eating condition
I won't let it beat me, I will never let that happen to me again and if I can help save one young person from this terrible condition I would be so happy.
I was faster than the boys in elementary school. I took great pride in that, even though it was hard for me physically. My lungs struggled because my mom and her second husband and most of her friends were heavy smokers and I was around that during my formative years. I knew it affected my sports ability, but I was an achiever...still am...and pushed through. The step dad was a paraplegic and I found even greater meaning for having two legs that could run fast. He passed when I was in 2nd grade and I knew that having legs that worked was a special gift.
On the weekends, my real dad would take me running with him when I was in 6 th grade at the local high school track. I enjoyed the night air and the freedom. With the power of each footstep I found it exhilarating.
I made the varsity track team in high school and found that I was excellent at relays, high jump, hurdles, and long jump. The coach said if I wanted to run faster that I should lose 5lbs over the summer before my sophomore year. So, the achiever in me took off. I ran everyday. Not seeing the results I wanted. I did the research and discovered that if I ate less and moved more that I would lose weight. So I did, and then began my journey into a dark few years of anorexia.
To make a long story short (this part is a whole other blog post), I had to give up running to heal. I wasn’t capable nor had the energy. I was 98lbs-soaking wet on a 5 foot 7 inch frame. Not very strong or powerful at all.
I didn’t touch running again until my senior year when a friend of my brothers asked me to help him get in shape for the Navy. So, I began running again to help him. I continued to run in College. I found a new passion for slow steady long runs to lesson my anxiety and stress. The strong body was back and I loved the runs through my college town.
Running took a back seat as I got married and then had kids. Kids...yes.. a very good reason to pick it up again. I had gained some weight, but really more than anything was looking to have some time alone. Some ME time! I began running again and entered in a local 10k race and won first place in my age bracket. I was hooked again!
Since the age of 32 I have run when it was most challenging, when I was most angry, when I needed to sleep, when I just needed to escape. I have averaged anywhere from 35-50 miles a week each week since 32. I have run 5 full marathons, 12 half marathons, several 200+mile relays, and countless 10K and 5K’s.
All that came to a screeching stop about 6 months ago. I started having major knee joint issues. The MRI showed a strained meniscus, water on the bone, and osteoarthritis. I felt my world come shattering down. A lot of my identity was wrapped in running and achieving.
“No running” the Dr. prescribed. “At least not for now!”
Pain meds don’t work. Cortisone shots have yet to prove powerful enough to touch the pain. Now going in for the second of a three course shots of hyaluronic acid. If this doesn’t work then back to the drawling board for solutions.
I have been able to powerwalk with my treadmill at a 6% incline holding 5lb weights to stimulate a great heart rate sweaty workout. Biking has been instrumental in helping me stay sane as well. But nothing beats running.
I wear my jawbone to calculate my steps and my goal each day is to get at least 8 miles of walking in no matter what or how much pain I’m in.
I have faith that I’ll be back on the trail again. Maybe not going the distances I once was. However, I’d be glad for a few days of running 3-4 miles at a time.
No matter what you are going through, stay active, keep moving, and listen to your body, be the best version of you every day. Having two legs that can move is a real gift. Keep moving!
Mother of two girls, Kelsie (13) Samantha (10) and fur baby husky, Story (2)
Married to Steve 18 years
Family Pastor of 9 years
National Program Director for American Heritage Girls
Founder of KT Ministry Consulting
Hi, y’all! Yes, I’m from Texas and I say “y’all” a lot.
Joined the Herd in 2016 after meeting a great group of people online that shared similar interests: swimming, biking, running. Now, to be clear, I never really considered myself an athlete. In fact, I avoided running like the plague, but in 2009, I had foot surgery and my podiatrist started me on the road to running bliss. I completed my first half marathon in 2010, first full marathon in 2013, first triathlon in 2013 and have never looked back. I am now training for my second 70.3 distance triathlon to be followed by my first 140.6 distance triathlon (aka Ironman).
Discovering this new found love of endurance sports came at a major cost though. After receiving my graduate degree and continuing with distance running, my marriage was not able to withstand many of the glaring issues that were glossed over for so many years that were spotlighted by my new found individualism.
Finding myself through training gave me the courage to not only demand more from my marriage, but to demand more from my partner and myself. After divorcing my spouse of 14 years and continuing to date one another for another 6 months after, we never were to see one another again. I was totally shattered. Those were the toughest years following that event, but through much introspection and much personal growth, I have discovered a strength that I never knew existed within myself.
I have become a stronger friend, sister, daughter, and partner. I have learned to be more forgiving of others and of myself. I’ve learned to always be myself and never make attempts to change for the sake of pleasing another especially at the cost of losing yourself. I care for my mind, body and spirit in ways that honor my Creator. I make every attempt to be a role model for fitness and nutrition, but sometimes fail miserably, but I refuse to beat myself up over it. I simply get back to it.
I look forward to how I will continue to grow as a person and more, I look forward supporting and being supported by this group!
In 2007, I began my journey into transforming myself into an endurance athlete when I joined a fitness boot camp. Through the boot camp I learned to do exercises that helped develops muscular and cardio endurance and eventually led to running 5k's and 5 mile races over the next four years. In 2011, the next phase of my journey began by completing several distance races including my first half marathon in Providence RI.
In 2012, I began my Journey into marathons by running the Boston marathon as a charity runner where I raised over $6,000 for Mass Eye and Ear infirmary and over $8,000 in 2013 when I again ran Boston.
Yes, I was there the day of the bombing and was a crazy day for me and my family. We won't go any further. Over the last several years I have completed more marathons including another Boston in 2014 as well as a few others in Massachusetts and ones in Rhode Island, and Connecticut. I have plans to run marathons in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to complete the New England circuit over the next few years.
This past year I completed a goal of finishing half marathons in each New England state by finishing Halfs at the Willimantic Half in Wllimantic CT and the Smuttynose Half in Hamton NH.
I have now run 25 Half Marathons and 8 Marathons and look forward to continuing my running journey by completing Half Marathons and Marathons in other states as well. Look forward to sharing my journey with you. Follow me at @nedlam87 on twitter.
Hi! I'm here to prove ANYBODY can be a runner... let me explain.
In 1991, I had brain surgery. No after-effects, 'cept being a little goofy. Scary time, but I managed only to miss a couple weeks of school before diving back into school.
Dec 2010, to keep life fun, I was playing with a loose Horse. He forgot I was little and I forgot he was big. He kicked up and landed a rear hoof right over my heart. End result was a heart attack and a leaky valve.
Here I am. I run marathons for fun! I'm not fast, and I get my money's worth of every race.
I started out doing half marathons back in 2010 with LLS. I hated running lol - I transitioned to triathlons because they looked super hard and I am a glutton for punishment.
This past summer I was about to attempt my 4th tri in Marble Falls when I flipped off my bike because of sand in the hotel parking lot. I had already lost 15 lbs training and had become a vegetarian and was on my journey to better health when the accident happened. I broke my left leg in 2 places and broke and dislocated my ankle. My recovery was slow , painful and grueling.
I have a plate with 9 pins and 2 pins in my ankle. During my recovery - at the 6 week mark- I got permission to start doing modified cross fit and at the 9 week mark I got permission to start swimming. So I hired two coaches and began swimming & crossfit regularly. I lost 15 more lbs. My motivation was the heartache I had endure from not only the accident but from the loss of my (grand) parents. I was mourning it all. I'm walking again. I start training for an aquathon in the fall. I can't ... I won't give up!
I have only been running for about three years. I have severe asthma so i do what I can when I can.
I weighed 280 when I ran my first 5k. Over the next year I dropped 60 pounds and have kept it off. Still have a ways to go but life is a journey!!!
Green shirt was three years ago. Blue was two years ago and grey was this last fall...can't wait to see how great this year will be :)
Three years ago, I was a couch potato. I played football and baseball in high school, and lifted weights throughout college, but life and marriage and kids had caused me to stop exercising and stop focusing on anything health related. Also, I love food (because, who doesn't, right?).
My doctor and insurance company had me do labs, and they were awful. At 31 years old, I was diagnosed with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and pre diabetes. Doc looks at me and says, "I've got some medicines I want you to start taking, so we can get your health under control."
I didn't want to take pills for the rest of my life. I tried to eat better and start exercising. It was a failed effort. But not long after, a friend and coworker challenged me to do a triathlon. What 320 lb couch potato does a triathlon? I told her I would, and we could train together, and she called my bluff and said, "OK."
We didn't do that triathlon. I still struggled to get on bus with training and eating. Lost no weight. Couldn't run. Couldn't swim. But I went to the race we were supposed to do, and I watched friends of mine do it, and I left angry. Determined. I realized how lazy I was, and how undisciplined I had let myself be. I vowed to never be that angry again.
I started swimming, biking, running, and eating better. 6 weeks later, I did my first triathlon. 4 weeks after that, I did another, and 3 weeks later, I did my third. I've now done 3 half marathons, a half ironman, an Olympic triathlon, and 8 sprint triathlons, as well as 5 charity bike rides. My weight has fluctuated, but I've been as low as 250, and my health is great. Triathlon has been a challenge, and that challenge has kept me going so that I now have the strength and energy to play with my kids, and health to watch the grow up. I believe it is my responsibility to teach them to work hard, never give up, and to take care of the body God has given me. In 2017, I will do another half ironman, and my first full marathon. I also get to participate in a program called "I Run For," where all my training and races are dedicated to a wonderful young man named Aaron, who is wheelchair bound with cerebral palsy.
I think I've finally found my herd!
I am a pretty stereotypical weight loss story, but with some added twists and turns. I am an eating disorder warrior and have been living with ED for 27 years. ED and I have a complicated relationship and we've been broken up for some time now. :-)
I am 5'10" and have weighed as low as 98 lbs (yes, 98) and somewhere dangerously close to 200lbs. I don't know what my weight is now, and it truly doesn't matter. I own my lifestyle and keep it as healthy as I can (both inside and out). I have a butt ton (that's an actual measurement, I promise!) of food allergies and sensitivities; I roll with the punches and do my best to squeeze whatever positive vibes I can out of every moment.
I run (when my knees aren't on strike), I lift, I get as bendy as I can and I mooooove every single day. :-)
I'd be proud to be a member of such an awesome herd!
A long time ago, in another lifetime, I was a distance runner on a D1 University team. I was the slowest person, but the most tenacious and I was determined to become a fast runner. I graduated and started running for a racing team out of Brookings SD, and improved my times considerably over the next 10 years. My times became slower and I was unable to do the training I had been doing, and had no idea what was wrong…..
Fast forward 25 years…. I am now 53 (and almost ½). I had hypothyroidism all that time, gained 100 pounds, developed a bulging disc in my back which had to be surgically repaired, and while not able to move well with said disc, also developed a bunch of pulmonary embolisms (the big one I named Emily). I started running again just to lose weight and become excited about it when, a couple years later I actually enjoyed it again! I began training for a half marathon at that time and in doing so, lost and kept off 50#! Now I am training for a 4th half marathon—the Rock and Roll half in Phoenix this month. I have started on my second 50# (I started early instead of waiting for the new year to begin) and am going to be lean and mean by this summer when I can do some speed work and start thinking about another half marathon this fall!!
Its hard to stay motivated when I see pictures of myself. I look so big! This group is just what I need to get encouragement and be able to send encouragement out to others. I’m so excited to be a member of the herd!
I’m Elia, a 30 years guy from one of the of the most beautiful corner of Europe, Lake Maggiore in Italy.
Melissa asked me to share my story, is the first i do it in public!
I know this is a space about sport story. Mine is, but i truly believe it makes more sense if i start it from the beginning. Is not possible to include all the details of course, but everything is deeply connected.
I was into sport when i was a youngster. I was an Aggressive Inline Skater, spending many hours in a local skate park when i wasn’t studying (i was a good boy!). I loved it just for the sake to feel the freedom that it gave me. I spent my days happy to express myself, training and keep learning new tricks and to jump higher and higher. That sport taught me how to fall and to stand up again. It was all about that.
One day i stopped. I wasn’t improving, i didn’t have anyone motivating me, and even my own motivation just ended. I also gave up thinking “i can’t keep going with it while trying to put myself into the “realworld”. An excuse? Possibly.
Well, anyway: concentrating in the “real world" didn’t work well. I studied something at school (comparable to your college) which i thought was great for me at the time (chemistry), but while studying i understood i was going into a career that i possibly didn’t care about. I had to repeat one year and nearly left school. And sport was a totally forgotten thing. So, from a very good boy to a problematic teenager in few months. I didn’t leave school fortunately, but i finished it with a massive mental effort, so i wanted to be back to feel freedom. Inline skating wasn't in my mind anymore, so i started to work in a factory to achieve another dream i had since i was child: buying a motorcycle, and i did as soon i could.
I travelled many miles with it, but in the meanwhile i was totally losing myself. I was doing a career which i was hating, i started to become full of anger, stressed, and whatever i was doing became real shit. I screwed up everything : family, friends, my body, my mind. Till the point i became a deeply depressed “smoking cigarettes for breakfast-thinking only to the next drink” guy. I also experimented some panic attacks and i wouldn’t wish it even to the worse enemy.
This untill i thought: that’s enough. In 2011 i dreamed about a big trip on my bike. I worked 9 months to save the money and organise it. In the meantime i re-introduced some sport in my life, doing some jogging, some hiking and some climbing, just for the sake of being outdoor.
Oncei was close to start the trip, named Into the Wind, i promised myself to completely change my life once back home.
The trip has been a true dream, and achieving that goal has totally changed my life. Once backI found the courage to leave my safe but hated job. I started a new career being self employed, but i did it by doing the mistake to start it too early with not much planning. So it went well in the beginning, until the stress killed me and i gradually went into a big failure. From riches to rags. Life screwed up and no idea of what i could did. I was very down.
About a month since i stopped my business, i decided to go in UK with the goal to stay few months and learn a bit of english. I went there with only one luggage, and i don’t know why i did put my forgotten running shoes in it.
The first period in uk was hard, being a kitchen porter part time. One day i told myself: Elia, you got 2 options, going to the pub after work and waste money to smoke, drink and complainabout life, or move your fucking ass and raise.
The morning after i took all of my cigarettes and chopped in the bin, and i said LET’S GO OUT FOR A RUN.
That started it all.
I gradually went out 3 times a week. I also thought i wanted a mountain bike from long time, and i bought a cheap one as soon i could. So i started to run run run, then a ride in the woods, then run, then a ride. I was a happy child. It’ impossibile to describe what i felt after 2 months, i was feeling….reborn.
I became full time in the restaurant, so I decided to give me a goal to motivate me to continue. So i entered my first Half marathon. It has been hard but wonderful and i dedicated it to my grandma who was going to become 100 years old the day after.
I decided to stay in Uk longer, and instead of looking for a job i started to think “what would you like to do”? And i was thinking about to do a course to learn how to fix bikes, or something related to sport as i dreamt when i was a youngster. One day, magically the local bike shop offered me a job. So sport became also a job in some way!
In the meantime, Something inside myself was calling me. I realised it was the curiosity (i’m a curious bastard) about run a full marathon. It was strange. I mean, that makes you seriously involved with running. “What the hell has running to do with me?” was my question. Ok, i ran a half, but my favourite sports are totally different. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
So, it was May 2014 and i started to have look about marathons. And surprise…..I found an INLINE SKATE MARATHON in Berlin. WHAAATTT? My brain stopped to think, i just booked it. I asked my parents to send my old inline skates, and then i started to train in this new discipline, fitness skating. I clearly remember the first day, the workout table said “5km” and i was like “really? Only 5km? come on!”. At the second i was totally sore, brilliant. So it became a hard work to get me back on those 8 wheels things!
And i DID IT! In September 2014, i completed the Berlin Inline Skating marathon.
That started a total Madness. I entered a new world inside myself. I decide to push forward as i never done in my life, it didn’t matter what i had to face.
In october 2014, i had this thought: why not challenging me to do 3 marathons in 3 sports in 2015?
And then i started to plan it instead of only thinking it. Many variables in “real life” were involved, but i didn’t care and i focused on it. As soon the idea became a project It seemed impossible, and discouragement was part of those days, but i kept going. And set it up!
So the challenge became Running marathon first, in Rome March 2015. Then A MTB marathon in June, the sellaronda HERO which is even the hardest single stage MTB marathon in the world (i discovered it after i entered actually, total panic LOL).
And then again Berlin InlineSkating marathon. The sport goal was just to survive it, not much performance involved because i knew it was going to be harder than i expected (which was already hard in my mind).
I wanted all of that effort could count for someone else, so i have been able to make the running marathon for charity, a project which i named “All The Smiles Lead to Rome”. I wanted to share my challenge to raise money for a group of Clown Doctors, people who go in the hospital and make the people smile.
Well, i can possibly write a book if i describe everything of the events, you’re probably thinking “come on man cut it off”.
So i limit myself to say: i did it. I did it all.
I cried on the finish lane in Rome, cause the last part of the training was full of problems and i thought i couldn’t do it, but i did and i couldn’t believed it.
I achieved the charity goal, which was hard because i was managing everything online from uk to Italy, so the trust of others has been magic and never forgotten. I dedicated it to my mum, the person i mostly fucked up with till that time.
Then the MTB, the hardest. Not enough training, no skills, no experience, not an ideal bike. I fought like a warrior until half race, when i stopped. I was ready to quit the race, i was destroyed and could’t even think i was only at half. I also crashed so it wasn’t a good moment. But i continued. I still don’t know how. Also a thunderstorm destroyed me more during the last miles of the race, and i don’t remember much a part a cow (lol) and when the sun came back to warm me up. I finished it but missed the official timing for 8 minutes, so i’m not in the list of the finishers (i’ll be back there one day!). I dedicated it to my Father.
And than Berlin, the end of the story. When i passed the Brandeburgh gate (it’s close to the finish line) on my loved inline skates, i wasn’t able to realise i really did it all. I dedicate this event to 2 new little lovely girls who came in this world (my friends’ daughters).
And that’s the story.
What’s going on now? I actually came back home after 3 years in UK and all of this, because i decided to bring my new me here, close to the people i love and to live in this never enjoyed amazing place.
My focus is to find a job i like (becoming true while i’m writing, but too soon to shout “success”), but also having time to keep going with sport. I got a silly idea in my mind, and it’s becoming true.
I want to challenge myself to complete 3 Ultra marathons in the same 3 sports, and do it for charity with a bigger and more involving project.
It’s a work in progress, and it’s all slow and messed up, but i keep going: now i know how to do it.
I'm currently 255 and lose some then gain it back. I try to follow WW but I love food. I did my first tri 3 yrs ago and got hooked. My good friend is my inspiration. I'm doing my first half marathon in March (slightly terrified) with said friend. I enjoy adventures and the journey.
Kathy started her fitness journey at 14, by joining the cross country team at her high school. She returned to consistently running and completing longer distances after her daughter was born in 2008. Running was a place to find herself and create new goals and challenges. In 2013 she started doing crossfit which gave her the strength and motivation to further pursue her fitness journey with triathlons and mud runs. Without exercising, competing, and her community she would be lost! You can follow her @kathyboraski on twitter to continue to see how she challenges herself!
My fitness journey started 3 years ago. I was skinny but I wasn't healthy. I ate whatever I wanted and felt like crap. I decided that I needed to change. I was tired of being an unhealthy skinny person.
I did some research and hired a personal trainer and nutritionist. One of the best decisions of my life! I started eating healthier and lifting weights along with my running.
I started to feel and see the results. Not only was my body changing, my mind did too. I wand getting stronger both mentally and physically. I loved it. I was gaining confidence and self-love. How amazing is that?!
I was gaining weight in a healthy way. I was getting stronger in a healthy way. I was feeling awesome. My pace was quicker, my body was toned and I loved how I looked in the mirror.
My journey isn't like most, I wanted to gain weight. Does it make my struggle and less? No. It just makes it different. I'm proud of who I have and will continue to become.
I love me!!
I am so psyched to join The Herd! Here's my story:
Last year I turned 43. I wasn’t critically unhealthy, but I wasn’t exactly fit, either. The gym, working out, or any sort of consistent aerobic activity was not on my agenda for a really, really long time. Like, decades.
I was tired of feeling tired all the time. I felt like I needed to get moving before another year ticked by and before it was too late. In some ways, I felt like maybe it already was. I downloaded a Couch to 5K app, but I didn’t expect to get very far with it. I had never been a runner, had always been someone who hated running and never understood what anyone ever got out of it. Besides, I was too old to start running. Right?
But I did stick with it. I wasn’t exactly a running superstar, but I was doing it. About 12 weeks after starting, I entered a small, local 5K race in September 2016. This was a huge step. I was about to reveal to the world that while yes, I could sort of run now, I was nowhere near “the best” at it.
As it turns out, I finished that 5K in fourth place out of twenty-four in my age group. Sure, my time was still pretty slow compared to more experienced runners, but I felt like a winner because I did it. I ran a 5K. Something I never, ever thought I would do. Ever.
I’ve since run another 5K race on January 1, 2017, and I shaved 2 minutes off my first 5K race time. So I feel like I’m moving in the right direction.
And then what happened?
It seems that a reality check on what happens after you lose a significant amount of weight is scant at best. There a few things that ìtheyî forget to mention when rallying for you to lose all that weight that you have carried for a good portion for your life.
Let me preface this by saying that losing 60 pounds, regardless of the side effects, is worth every single workout, every single thought out meal, every single good decision and commitment, every single day. Itís just that once you get there, you see that goal weight on the scale and you are, no doubt, elated beyond belief, but that only lasts so long until you are looking at the loose skin hanging from everywhere.
You are looking at boobs resembling some sort of sad deflated water balloon and that ís while you are standing up! What they resemble while bent over is just disgusting. Just disgusting. Your belly has gone from a muffin top to a jelly roll. No matter what your BMI, no matter what your weight, no matter what your muscle tone, no matter how skinny you actually are, the insult is, you will forever have this jelly roll hanging over your pants. Period!!
You vacillate between a reality check and body dysmorphic on a daily basis. Guess what? That ís not fun and it grossly resembles that which you were seeking to leave behind! Youíve been dieting for two plus years and now you are supposed to switch to some kind of maintenance mode, but what the hell is that??
I have no idea. I KNOW, I KNOW I shouldn't put my naked self on the scale every day. I KNOW that weight fluctuates and isnít reliable! So guess what? My morning routine consists of peeing and stripping before my morning coffee and stepping on that asshole scale! Some days I laugh, some days I donít.
So, there it is. What is supposed to be beautiful and feel really great, isn't always. I feel fantastic in most of the clothes that I put on. I feel wonderful when I catch a passing glimpse in a mirror or a picture of myself. When the belt tightens another notch, wow!! However, take my clothes off and look down at those skin bags that once held billowing DDs and the melted wax looking belly just laying there, belly button frown and it's sister stretch marks, and fantastic and wonderful are definitely nowhere in sight.
Funny thing is that for as long as I can remember, I wished so very hard for smaller boobs. I dreamed about having enough money for a breast reduction, seriously! I hated my big boobs. There was nothing great about them or the back pain they caused me. They did nothing but restrict me. Restrict what type of tops I could appropriately where, restrict what kind of bra I could wear, restrict me to a bra while sleeping and ultimately restrict my self esteem. I am elated with their disappearance for all of those reasons. Why must everything be a trade off though? I'll never have a boob lift or a tummy tuck to get rid of all that loose skin. I'll never have that perfectly flat stomach, ever.
That ís my reality check. I have to find the path to feeling comfortable in my own extra skin. Where ís the weight loss 101 on that? Where are the countless websites and programs and products to get you to that? Oh wait! There aren't any!! Just a vast array of before and after images of women who actually did have some or more than some surgery to complete the job. The job that a many could never actually do.
The last 5 pounds. It seems to have become a torture game for me. I have become fixated on the number and I am supposedly real freakin determined and committed to seeing it on the scale. Yet. Yet, I self sabotage weekly. What the hell is up with that?? Some sort of mind fuck I do to myself. Almost daring the scale to go up if I have that ice cream or that candy or that piece of bread. What am I so afraid of?
About 5 years ago I knew I need to loose weight. I could no longer use the excuse my clothes were shrinking. I worked at it (exercise and counting calories) and lost 30 pounds. It felt so good!
In the meantime I was watching people run and thinking I could never do that. In the fall of 2013 I moved into an apartment with a friend to cut costs. A friend that was a runner. Finally in the summer of 2014 I convinced myself I could do it. With her help I got myself fitted for sneakers and picked out a couple of outfits. I downloaded the C25K app on my phone and started running. For the first couple of times my friend went with me but most of the time I did it on my own. In September 2014 I ran my first 5k race. Since that time I've built up my distance until this fall I will be running my first full.
My weight has fluctuated a lot over the last coupe of years. Right now it's almost back to where it was when I started all this five years ago. I'm hoping that with training this summer, actually I hope before then, that I can get those pounds back off. I want to be fit. I want to have energy. I want to run.
Back in 2008 I was close to 270 pounds and very sedentary. I used to work overnights in retail pharmacy for a few years and that didn't help much. I switched back to dayshift where my diet would consist of Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, Burger King or Wendy's for lunch and probably the local Fried chicken or Lake trout place for dinner and my hydration was diet soda. I was a pharmacist that stood for 10-14 hours a day and God forbid I should have a lunch break or actually get to go to the bathroom in peace!!!
When I changed jobs and started working in a hospital pharmacy I realized I had to start buying scrubs in a size 3x and no longer did I have "rolls" but one big ol roll...I could probably have sat down and had my meal on my stomach. I saw my reflection in my window on day and didn't recognize myself so I started WW to change. I started walking on my lunch breaks (we got them in hospital..WHOA) and just started with a loop of the parking lot at first then eventually working my way up to a couple of loops around the hospital campus. As I lost weight I started working with a personal trainer and decided I wanted a goal to work for and knew I wanted to do a triathlon and saw something about Irongirl being an all women's triathlon that I could participate in. Knowing NOTHING about triathlon! I signed up in February with the race in August. I had already lost about 20 pounds. I bought a hybrid bicycle and joined a running group where I learned about running intervals. I continued with the trainer and WW and lost a total of 70 pounds up until Irongirl.
I struggled with the swim because I never swam that far consistently freestyle but I never grabbed a kayak. On the bike I would stop halfway up each hill to take a break, then I'd start again...and I finished..then I'd jog some of the course but ended up walking a lot of it but I finished!
Since then I've completed over 20 triathlons, including 2 half iron-man distance triathlons, 12 half marathons, 1 marathon, 3 century bike rides and I've participated two years in a row in a charity bike ride raising money for a patient navigator for young service men and women diagnosed with cancer at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center where I rode with 20 other cyclists and 10 support crew, among them we've had usually 5-6 cancer survivors themselves either as support or riding, from Baltimore to Key West over 8 days and visited Cancer Centers along the way!
I relate to Heifers because I'm a back of the packer. I've finished last in many a race and I don't mind it. I take pride in it because I'm out there doing it while many cant and I remember that whenever I get down on myself about being slow. I still have the ability to do it. And until the day I can't I'll be out there, shlogging my way, enjoy every full hour, minute and second of the course, squeezing every registration dollar out of that landscape and course and earning it!
PS..if the pic comes out it's from the bike portion of Ironman Lake Placid 2016. I raced but ended up DNF because I got kicked in the head a couple of times during the swim and stopped at medical on the bike with a concussion. Oh well! Another time!
I have probably started writing ‘my story’ a minimum of 30 separate times in the process of preparing to send this to Melissa. To say this has been a difficult task is an understatement. For starters, I am a horrible writer. I am in awe of anyone that can whip out a blog post like it’s no big deal. On top of that, I don’t feel as though my story is much different than most everyone else, so trying to find something compelling to say makes things that much harder.
I think like many people, I have always struggled with my weight, my personal value, my self-esteem and my own self-worth. I surely can beat myself up with the best of them! Running became and is still the outlet that keeps me semi-sane. I ran my first race 14 years ago with a friend of mine because we thought it looked fun, it really wasn’t…it was hard, it was cold, and I wasn’t sure I could finish it.
Fast forward 14 years…I quit smoking, quit drinking and am still running. I have completed 5 marathons, too many ½ marathons to count, multiple Spartan races, Ragnar Relays and a Tough Mudder. I love to kickbox, and try new physical activities to keep me motivated. I am attempting my first Ultra in a little over a month, and am both excited and terrified at the same time! I still struggle with my weight, my personal value, my self-esteem and my own self-worth. Some days I wonder if I’ll ever figure out how to just be happy with me. I think I’ll just have to keep on running in order to try and figure it out!
Not only has running and exercise brought some sanity to my life, it has brought me in contact to some of the most amazing people around, some of the best friends a girl could ask for and most importantly, activities that my daughter and I can do together! Sharing these experiences with her is absolutely the highlight to this ongoing journey!
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this phenomenal group! Proud to be a Heifer!
About me: I was always the active, skinny kid who got made fun of more than anything else. I did track and field in middle and high school and kept the high activity level up when I went to Basic and after being medically discharged that is until I had my first kid.
When I had my daughter due to her at the time "mystery disease" later diagnosed as NF1 I stopped doing everything. After having my second child I worked with an amazing doctor and office staff who had me running 5ks again and eating better. Now that kid 3 will be 3 in a few weeks I'm working even harder to get fitter and stronger. I've been working on it for almost a year now and it's a slow process that sometimes makes me want to quit but I don't. I'm so happy I met Melissa on Twitter and she drafted me into this amazing Heiferhood!!
My story? In my simplest version: childhood/teenage years junk happened and the classic body image disturbance/eating disorder manifested its ugly self.
By 22 years old, I’m married and have turned into a fitness junkie, gym rat, run-a-holic all while still battling body image/eating disorder. By 26 years old, 135 lbs, Baby #1 happens, gained 60 lbs and only lost 30! Miscarriage for pregnancy #2, then Baby #2 arrived at 30 years old, gained 35 lbs.
Kept the severe post-partum depression to myself and over the next 18 months, I lost 80 lbs! Between depression and the “divorce diet” I dropped down to 120 lbs. That’s another story. At the lowest weight in my adult life, I don’t look healthy at all and let’s throw some girly problems leading to surgery that resulted in requiring blood transfusions on different occasions in the mix, too. Oh and did I mention I’m an RN and continued going to school to finish my Master’s degree during that time frame? So because I took care of folks like me, I didn’t want anyone taking care of me but me. That’s another story.
Moving on, let’s fast forward approximately 6 years (2010), I’m now remarried for 2 years. He’s the most wonderful man, we both came with 2 kiddos, and life is settling as best it can for those that know what the blended life includes. More importantly I’m physically and mentally in a much better place. Wait – not! Depression comes back with a vengeance. There was a trigger and that again is another story. This time, instead of losing weight, I gain 15 lbs in 2 months. Related to frequent med changes/adjustments. Time marches on and I pull through.
The gym and running are never consistent and since then I’ve been stuck plus or minus 10 lbs any given year since then. I’ve made it to my 40s, now I have bad knees and girly problems again. Goodness gracious, does it ever end? Spring of 2015, I go for a casual run to simply enjoy the outdoors and soak in nature. After the run, while I’m relaxing browsing through #running tweets, I stumble across @Earthathon. I’m fascinated, sign up, and join Team #UnitedSnails. It’s everything that I had hoped for. Encouragement. Support. Camaraderie. I’m almost done.
November 2016, I’m slipping away again. The knees have received cortisone shots, I’ve developed vitiligo, and have a hysterectomy scheduled after Thanksgiving. Getting to the point, @MelissaKahn7 is Team #UnitedSnails but also using #runheiferrun. Intrigued by the hashtag, I checked out her website. Read her story. Interacted via tweets/general motivational support. Early one morning before the birds started chirping there she was tweeting. I reached out to her regarding my current situation and frustration. She validated that I was not alone. I knew I wasn’t, but like many of you, it’s hard to not feel alone while fighting or struggling with personal battles and demons. Melissa became my friend. She opened the door to #runheiferrun, a community she established that gives us hope. #runheiferrun’s community does not see gender, age, race, ethnicity, politics, etc. We are a community of fun loving heifers who “get it” and want what’s best for each other. #heiferBelle, our mascot, loves to hang out. She enjoys witnessing our journey to success with hope and one another cheering us on along the way.
Today, 2/14/17, I set a goal and I’m going to meet it. #heiferBelleSD and I will share progress along the way. C’mon, join the Herd.
I spent the first almost 31 years of my life avoiding any activity that made me break out into a sweat. I was the girl who failed all the physical fitness tests in jr high and high school. I walked the mile time test while my crotchety old gym teacher yelled obscenities at me and my “clique” that trudged around the track like turtles.
As an adult, I didn’t do so well with my changing metabolism. I found myself living and breathing the Atkins diet when it was all the rage. I lost a lot of weight, sure, but I definitely didn’t pass my labs at a routine physical 2 years into my low-carb/high fat lifestyle.
At the age of 30, I decided it was time for me to make a change. I had to get active, even if meant feeling a bit junky about it at first. I had several friends who ran anywhere from 5Ks-marathons and if figured if they could do it, I could manage at least a 5K. So I got myself some old tennis shoes, signed up for a gym membership, and properly overtrained myself like a true beginner with no plan or guidance. LOL.
I made it to through the finish line of my first 5K, however and was instantly hooked. I had only ever intended on doing that one race just to say I had done one, but it quickly became a lifestyle for me.
I spent 4 years running, and even trained for quite a while with a certified running coach. I wasn’t “overly fast” by any means, but I was putting out times that I never thought possible for myself given I couldn’t run a mile for the first 31 years of my life. Unfortunately I spent more time running than I did paying attention to my overall health and wellness. I thought because I was now a size 0-2, I was “healthy” but in reality, I was at a massive calorie deficit daily, I was getting injured constantly due to lack of proper nutrition and overtraining, and I found myself freaking out over any injury. Not because I couldn’t run, but because I was terrified of “getting fat.”
Fast forward to some big changes in my life that occurred between 2013 and 2014 (I adopted a baby boy and became a mom for the first time, I left my job of many years for a new opportunity that turned out to be my worst nightmare, and I was adjusting to what felt like my entire world being turned upside down). June of 2014, I found myself driving in a blind fit of sheer terror to our local hospital one morning. I called my husband and told him I was dying and to meet me in the emergency room. I pulled the car up to the front of the hospital and a nurse had to come and pull me out of my car and into a wheelchair. I remember crying hysterically over and over apologizing for me being out of control. It took 4 people to hold me down in order to give me an injection of medication to calm me down. They were legit worried I was going to either stroke out or have a heart attack. I was in a full-on panic attack, which I’d never experienced to that magnitude before. The next 4 months were the hardest of my entire life. I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, panic disorder, anxiety, and clinical depression. I wasn’t able to leave my house for 3 months, I was forced to quit my job due to intense terror at the thought of even driving there. I remember one Saturday I spent 5 minutes on a bench at Target hyperventilating while my husband picked up a prescription at the pharmacy for our son. I could no longer run my normal route around our house because I couldn’t get past my driveway without feeling like I was going to collapse. My son was removed from my care and I was under strict orders from my therapist that I was not to be alone with him. Not that I was going to hurt him, but that I was more likely prone to neglect him in a breakdown. It.was.horrible.
I had always been the girl who could achieve anything. I was the strong one. Nobody had any idea the struggles I’d been dealing with for all my life. In fact, I’m not sure I was even aware of my own anxiety. I kept pushing weird thoughts away until my mind and my body didn’t allow me to anymore. I’ll be the first to admit there were nights spent lying on my cold bathroom floor, shaking uncontrollably, ripping hair out of my head to try and divert my attention to the pain instead of my insane thoughts I couldn’t control. I would cry myself to sleep on a towel just praying that God would just release me of my pain and my agony and that I’d just pass away in my sleep and let my family finally live a life in peace.
After extensive therapy, and starting on low-dose antidepressants, I got control of my life for what I felt like was the first time EVER. It’s been 2.5 years since my mental breakdown and I can honestly say I am better than ever. I feel as though I’ve literally been given a second chance at life and I intend to enjoy it fully. I am happier than I’ve ever been, I no longer sweat hardly anything at all, I’ve learned to welcome challenges in life instead of dread them as they present a means for personal growth. I look back now on the time I spent in so much pain and agony and I am truly thankful that it happened to me for I know that if I can survive that, and come through it a much stronger and better person on the other side, that I can do anything. It has been a huge blessing for me to be able to share my experiences with anxiety and depression over the past 2.5 years. I feel God put me through this for some higher purpose in life and I intend to be open to whatever comes my way.
With that being said, the depression and the weight gain caused from my medication has put a huge damper on my training. I literally haven’t run a single training cycle since. It’s been 2.5 years since I laced up my running shoes, did any cross-training, or even attempted to run a mile. My fitness is almost non-existent and recently I learned I’ve gained 60 pounds because of it. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life and now I’m pre-diabetic. As someone who was at one time a size 0-2 and very active, it’s hard to see those numbers.
I have since started an actual weight loss program, I have adjusted some of my medication with my two providers to ensure I am doing what I can in that respect to reduce side effects, and I’ve created an easy 6 day a week training plan to get me back into the game. It will be slow and it won’t be half marathons which I used to rock out all the time, but it’s going to be the biggest comeback ever and I am thrilled that I have a new found set of running buddies to share in my joy as I take back control after all these years…in a HEALTHY way!
I will always probably struggle with some form of mental illness the rest of my life. It never just disappears, but I know the first step towards healing is to maintain a positive attitude about it and keep realistic and attainable goals at hand which will only serve to further personal growth in all of it.
And…happy to say I’m well on my way to losing the 60 pounds with over 10 lbs lost already!
"Hey I'm Ellie, I'm 33 and live in Wales,UK. I've been running for 5 years now and more recently triathlons. I love the swim and the run, the bike is just so tough for me. Anyway, I'll take you back to why I want to join the herd. Back in 2003 I met my ex husband and was struggling with, not only my weight, but my mental health. I didn't want to admit at this stage I was very ill. I used food as a crutch for everything, my food and my pyjamas never talked back; never said a bad word to me, the supported me.
I got married and subsequently divorced but lost my weight in the interim period. The whole separating period made me realise that Eleanor Rooservelt was right, no-one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Easier said than done. I took up running in 2011 to stop me stewing on my emotions, my failings and somehow liked it, I shan't go back now. This is very much the tip of the iceberg but on the whole I'm in a good place, I've a job I love and I've just qualified as a swim teacher with my coaching courses booked. My ultimate goal would be to Age Grade for GB at aquathlons but I'm a long way off that right now, in terms of my weight I'm forever falling off the wagon but I'm human, I'll pick myself up and start again. Looking forward to supporting the herd in whatever way I can."
I began my fitness journey in 2002 shortly after meeting my Boyfriend. I was always skinny and underweight (undiagnosed celiac and hyperthyroid plus family induced eating disorder); at the time I was 5'11" and 105 lbs.
I fell in love with lifting weights and walked everywhere. After several years of that, I was able to gain 50 lbs (and shrink 2 inches)!
After walking a couple half/marathons, I decided to take up running. I joined a learn to run group in April 2013. Who knew running had so many benefits? I used to be quite defiant about running laps in grade school! I've flipped off many a gym teacher! I've met so many awesome people thru running and life would be bleak without it.
Okay, Melissa asked me a while ago to write “my story” but I was a bit hesitant and as I write I hope you will understand why. I was a smoker until 2004. I quit smoking on a trip to New York where I was running a half marathon. Yes, I planned to run a half marathon while still smoking. I know, dumb idea. Well the last cigarette I had was before we left for New York. When I got home I realized I really enjoyed racing. I then started running and since then I have completed numerous 5ks and 10ks, 1 triathlon, about 15 half marathons and my first full marathon last year. I will be running my second (Chicago Marathon) in October. My Dad is my inspiration as he is 82 and is still competing in 5ks, 10ks and triathlons. He was very fast in his prime and used run a lot of full marathons. Anyway, I have dealt with some health and weight issues over the past few years and am nowhere near where I want to be weight wise or speed wise so I felt like I did not want to share because I was embarrassed that I have gained so much weight and have been unable to lose it. I struggle with an eating disorder as well as depression which not too many people know about so that is very hard for me to share as well. In 2011 I lost quite a bit of weight and was healthy, happy and running strong and at my fastest. Life, work, bad relationships and depression caused me to slowly gain the weight back and now I am at my heaviest weight ever. It makes my depression even tougher to deal with. The more weight I had gained the more depressed I became and the more depressed I became the more weight I gained. It is a vicious circle that I am trying so hard to break. Although it has been an uphill struggle I am working hard to try to lose the weight and get healthy again. Reading over everyone else’s stories I know I am not alone with my struggles and that is what finally gave me the push to write this.
My Weight Loss Journey
My struggle with food, health, and weight has been a lifelong journey. My first memory of my struggle with food, health, and weight was at the age of 10 years old. I was in fourth grade. I remember thinking that I was bigger than my peers, my mom had to cut the sleeves of my shirts to fit them over my arms, and I constantly thought about food. My first memory of my compulsive overeating was also at the age of 10 years old.
I had won a king sized Reese’s peanut butter cup package and my mom had asked me to save half the package for my brother. I agreed. Before getting home, however, I quickly inhaled the entire package knowing full well that I was going to get in trouble, but I did it nonetheless.
Fast forward two years and I was lying to my mom so that I could get my “sweets” fix. I told her that I needed a large package of candy for a class party. I then stashed it away in my room so that I could sneak a piece every so often to get “my fix”. Soon enough she found me out and questioned me about why I lied. Quickly I started babysitting so that I’d have my own money to go out and “get my fix.”
I stayed pretty busy and active throughout elementary, middle school, and high school keeping somewhat physically active. Once in college, however, I quickly found “the freshmen fifteen” and then some. There are two things I remember: 1) my doctor telling me at 176 lbs. and 18 years old that I needed to lose weight 2) telling myself I would never get to the 200 lbs. mark. Unfortunately it did not take long into my adult years to find that 200 lbs. mark and surpass it.
Before getting married at 20 years old I tried to quickly shed some pounds, but to no avail. Two months into my marriage I was thinking how I could find a few bucks without my husband knowing what I bought so that I could “get my fix” of sweets. A couple months before my one year anniversary I was trying the latest fad diet so I could shed some weight before our one year anniversary trip. Two years into my marriage I practically starved myself to shed a quick 26 pounds while going to university and working. Four months later I found those 26 pounds and a few more. I knew something had to change if I was ever going to overcome this battle with food, health, and weight.
I was on the computer and found myself typing in some words into Google. Soon I came across an organization called Overeaters Anonymous (OA). I had mixed feelings about OA. Did I really need something like this? Perhaps I have found the answer I have been looking for? The only way to find out what OA was all about was to attend a meeting. I promptly looked up my local chapter, called someone to confirm their meeting times, and attended my first meeting spring 2007. I left the meeting on a high. For the first time in my life I felt as though there were others who understood my constant struggle with food, health, and weight; mainly food.
Soon I found myself purchasing all of the OA materials I could get my hands on, applying the principles in my life, and turning to the other OA members in the local chapter for encouragement. I was by far the youngest in the group, but I felt accepted nonetheless. Similar to AA or NA, OA has their own 12 steps for compulsive overeaters to follow. A compulsive overeater, as defined by OA, is someone who has an unhealthy relationship with food. This compulsive overeater can starve themselves, binge, hide food, eat in secret, obsess about food, etc. Clearly I was, and still are, a compulsive overeater.
Although I am not currently a part of a local OA chapter, I do still remember and apply some of the OA principles to my everyday life. I acknowledge that I have a disease and must ask my higher power, God, for support. If I slip up with my recovery I try to not let it get me down. Instead, I remember that it is one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time. I also recite the serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
After I found OA I never struggled with food, health, and weight ever again, right?
Wrong. About a year later, during my divorce, I turned to my drug; food. I ate when I was sad, when I was angry, when I was grieving, etc. Quickly I found myself at an all time low. I was living in a foreign country, trying to grieve, and turning to all of the wrong things in the process. I was low emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
In my darkest days I found myself walking to Pizza Hut, trying to hide the pizza on my walk back so that no one would see me, and then locking myself in my apartment eating nearly the whole thing all by myself, all alone. I had a gym membership, but rarely went. I found every excuse there was; it was too hot, I had a headache, there was no time, I had nothing to wear, etc. When I returned to the states 13 months later my friends and family were shocked by what they saw.
That year for Christmas, December 2009, my family bought a Wii as our family Christmas present. When I stepped on the Wii Fit Plus Christmas morning I was shocked by what I saw; 214 pounds. How did I let myself get here? What was I going to do to recover from this? I wasn’t sure, but I knew it had to be something or else I was going to die at a very young age.
The very next morning I started watching what I ate (making better choices) and exercising regularly (walking, biking, strength training, etc.). Slowly, but surely the weight started coming off. By June of 2010 I was already down 25 pounds. In March 2011 I was down another 10 pounds, but now I needed something more to help keep me motivated and continue moving towards my goal to be healthy.
In the winter of 2009 I had started training to complete a sprint triathlon in the spring of 2010. This plan, however, was put on hold when I moved to Honduras in February 2010. Fortunately, while in Honduras I continued working on my healthier life choices of watching what I was eating & working out at the gym. Summer 2010 I felt really good, but knew I still had more work to do.
In March 2011, after turning 27, I realized I needed something more. On Sunday March 27 I woke up and asked myself, “What about the triathlon training?” I quickly got on the computer and started researching triathlons. That same day I found a training plan on beginnertriathlete.com and headed out on my first training run. I started out with running 3 minute increments at a time. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
The next day I had my first swim training and by Tuesday I had my first bike training under my belt. The fire was lit and there was no stopping me. Before I knew it I was running 3 miles Saturday morning followed by 75 minutes on the spin bike. Soon I was down to less than 10 pounds to go before getting to my goal weight. The greatest part was that from March 27th to July 9th my goal was not weight loss. My goal was training for the most physically grueling thing I had ever done before. In fact, I hadn’t even realized how good of shape I had gotten in until I arrived back home to California and saw everyone’s reaction to me.
Little did I know that the triathlon was going to light a fire in me; a fire to run. After the triathlon I asked myself, “Now what?” I knew that I needed a goal in order to remain motivated to exercise. I’ve found that it’s more difficult for me to regularly exercise without having something that I am working towards. I therefore, set October’s Victoria 10k race in Torreon, Mexico as my new goal. Much to my surprise, however, my first of many 10ks came on August 28th.
I quickly became addicted; addicted to the high of running. I enjoyed running in the “carrerras” in Torreon because they were 1) cheap, only about $8 USD each 2) mostly came with a cool finisher medal and t-shirt 3) it was something I was able to do with my running buddies 4) made me feel accomplished 4) kept me on a path to a healthier me.
From July 9th through the end of 2011 I ran one sprint triathlon, six 10ks, and five 5ks. I was trying to make it to 11 races in 2011 and I made it! I was able to start 2012 a whole new me. To celebrate this whole new me I tried something new, a trail run. The 10k Resolution Run on January 1, 2012 was one of the toughest runs I had done yet, but I pushed myself and I placed first in my age group of 20 – 29 year olds. I was on a role and there was no stopping me!
Next, I set my sights on a much bigger race; the Lala Marathon on March 4th. I had only started toying with the idea of running the full Lala Marathon on December 7th. Earlier in the fall I was thinking that I would just stick to a half marathon, but soon I got the crazy idea that I could do more. Could I prepare my body to run 26.2 miles in a mere 13 weeks? I thought, “If I am able to complete this marathon then I will have gone from 0 to 26.2 in 49 weeks!”
At first I started with 9 miles, then 11, then my first half marathon 13.1 (in training) on January 6, then 15, 17, and finally my longest training run, 18 miles, on February 11. With 3 weeks to go until my marathon I trusted my training plan. Now came time to taper. I had completed the most difficult weeks of the training plan; the long runs. Still I questioned, “Can my body go an additional 6.2 miles past 18 miles?”
Finally the day I had been working towards for the last 13 weeks finally arrived. I went into the marathon telling everyone that my only goal was to finish, but truth be told, I had a different goal in mind. I was aiming for 4 hours and 30 minutes, but knew that it might be closer to 5 hours. Half way into the race, 13.1 miles / 21k, I was at 2 hours and 4 minutes; my fastest half marathon yet! The question was, “What was going to happen to my pace during the next 13.1 miles?”
I am so proud to report that I crossed the finish line at 4:32:45! When the finish line finally came into view I couldn’t help but throw my hands up and soak up every last stride, cheer, applause, and sensation. After I crossed the finish line I bent over, put my head in my hands, and started to cry. I, someone who only started running 49 weeks prior, just finished a race in which few have achieved.
My journey from a 214 pound unhappy woman to a 150 pound triathlete & marathoner has been a slow, but steady 26 month journey. How did I do it? Simple. I started moving and I never looked back. To me the trick has not been a magic pill, or a magic trainer, or a magic drink, or a magic surgery. My answer was exercise. When I exercise I feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself I eat less. Plain and simple.
Am I scared that I will once again be that 214 unhappy woman? Yes, a part of me is. Can I keep up with my current healthy lifestyle? Absolutely! My trick will be to keep a goal in mind. With a goal, I am unable to say, “Tomorrow I will exercise.” I know that when I put in the work I can show up to the starting line ready.
This summer I am celebrating my 10 year high school reunion. Now, at 28, I am so much more confident, healthy, and wise than what I was at 18. If I could go back and tell my 18 year old self anything, I would tell her to continue exercising no matter what. I would say, “It doesn’t matter if at first you can’t jog, just walk. It doesn’t matter if at first you don’t know how to use the equipment at the gym, just ask. It doesn’t matter what anyone may tell you, just believe in yourself.”
In the last 10 years I have gone through college, a failed marriage, a low, traveling the world, living abroad, and then a complete life transformation. I am where I am today because of my wonderful parents, brother, friends, and most importantly God. I was once hopeless, but now am hopeful. What’s great is I know that this is just the beginning. Honestly, I can say that I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.
“I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
**As of 2017, Stephanie, also known as RunStrongRun, has completed a total of 12 full marathons and countless half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks. Besides being a wife, stepmom, and teacher, Stephanie fills her time with blogging at runstrongrun.com and volunteering as a pacer with Beast Pacing.
There really isn’t much to my story, except that I started running and fell in love with it. I bought a FitBit in March 2015, and quickly became obsessed with getting my 10,000 steps a day. About that same time, my daughter started doing the Couch to 5k program. I had tried it a couple of times but never made it past the first week. I decided to go for it again. Besides, running would get me to 10,000 steps that much quicker. :) To my surprise, I made it all the way to the end of the program and ran my first timed 5k race in June of the same year. I was crazy slow, but I finished. I was hooked. Everybody knows running is good for you physically, but I benefit more from what it does for me mentally. One of my favorite hashtags to use is #runningismysavior. And it’s true. Running saves me from myself. I feel more grounded and level-headed when I get my miles in. I’m still crazy slow, but I’m so thankful to be able to get out there that I don’t worry about pace anymore. In Sept of last year, I joined a gym and started working with a personal trainer. I love that too, but running will always be my favorite. I got married when I was 18, and had my first child at 19. For so many years my time was dedicated to taking care of others. Now it’s time for me to take care of me. :) My goals for this year are to run/walk 1000 miles, and I’m registered for a half marathon in May.
I'm Stefan, 38 years old 5'8, 230 lbs.
I'm joining today because I went back to where I started in January 2016. I was down to 215 lbs. in April. But from there, I recovered in the worst sense of the word. I noticed it for a couple of months but wasn’t able to stop it.
I want to get below 190 lbs. That’s a good fighting weight.
I can sum up all the motivation in one sentence: I'm a father of a 3 year old boy and will have twice as much fun by the end of January.
That's brings lots of stuff with it:
I wanna be around to spoil some grandkids in exchange & as revenge for all the terrible things my kids will have done to me until then.
2) Being able to compete with them
I am at least semi-proficient in all sports involving a ball. Every boy picks up one of those at some point. I want to be able to challenge and teach them when they do and when they grow stronger.
3) Being a role model
Lack of discipline is bad. Having such an obvious flaw - as overweight - doesn't allow me to convey this message to my kids as believably as it could be.
4) Fat kids have fat parents
I hope not to offend anyone here, but that's my personal observation. I can't recall to have ever seen a fat kid with normal-weighted parents. And if I did, I’d guess that a high percentage of them suffer from an illness. From how I remember school, it is safe to say that it's not easy for a fat kid. Fat kids are likely to be bullies, because they have to compensate for something. Or they are the ones being bullied - for nothing but being fat. Not good either way. The risk is too high. So if my kids get fat, I want it to be the result of their own actions. I don't want it to be the result of my way to eat and (not) exercise.
5) Feeling better about myself
It's not what I am concerned about, but if changes to your body composition don't go hand in hand with a better feeling about yourself - more confidence and being more comfortable in your own skin - then something is wrong with you.
That’s enough about my motivation. Let me give you some hard facts on my past year of dieting and exercise. I used a habit tracker all year and have data available (as % of days from January 1st to November 30th):
Didn't eat any carbohydrates: 50%
Didn't eat any sweets: 35%
Didn't eat anything past 9 pm: 73%
Did 3x15 pushups and a plank for as long as I can: 45%
Did either a 7 minute workout or 30 min on the elliptical machine: a shaming 1.3%!
Here's my strategy:
I'd like to go with a no (or slow) carb diet again. I could use some more variety in my dishes though. I want to include a cheat day (Saturday) where all bets are off.
Did the pushup & plank thing the last 3 months straight and want to keep at it.
I should include exercise in the evening: Either 30 minutes on the elliptical machine or at least a seven minute workout. Not sure how often though. I'd like to go with daily, but the data tells me that this will be tough to follow. I am also unsure about the time. I would prefer the morning, but if my son wakes up early, I’d have to change plans or skip exercise entirely. Therefore the evening is better. But by then, my ability to resist my laziness is on the lowest possible level.
Any comments appreciated! Especially tips on how I can go about working out regularly, what to do and how often I should shoot for.
February of 2017 has just ended and I was successful in the first 2 month of 2017.
No carbohydrates outside of Faturday
No sweets and no eating after 9pm for 2 months straight
Added 50 kettlebell – swings (35 lbs., 3x per week) to my exercise routine
Increased the morning pushups to 3x20
Weight down to 210 lbs. (-20 lbs. for the year) while being more muscular.
Now it is time to stay on track and support others as well, if I can. Please let me in :-)
My name is Vicki. Twenty years ago I gave birth to a healthy bouncing baby boy. My second child after 7 years of trying. I was elated!!! 17 months later we learned our baby, Luke, had an 'uncommon' disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a disorder which affects the motor neurons and basically means that all voluntary muscles weaken and waste away. He would never walk or, now cannot dress himself or even roll himself over in bed. This, for me, meant I'd be lifting and carrying him a lot. And so began my journey to stay healthy and be strong and fit and able to lift and carry my son.
I started running because I liked the way it felt and I think of my son, Luke. He can't run so I do! He inspires me and I am encouraged by his determination.
5 years ago I was trying on clothes to out to dinner with my husband and had my 'oh shit, wtf am I doing to myself' moment in the dressing room. I melted down and balled as I came to the realization that the size 16 was snug and I might need an 18! At 5'2, that's not a good size to be (at least for me).
I started myfitnesspal because I was too cheap to pay and fail at weight watchers again. The weight slowly come off and I began meeting some moms from my sons school to go on walks. We started a little group we call 'Finish the Race'. A group of 6 moms trying to get healthy, we would meet up to walk, do yoga, and share in the health journey. Our group of 6 moms walking became 6 moms running and we now have over 140 women here on the west side of Cleveland mostly runners, all different paces, all with same journey-a healthy lifestyle.
5 years later, I've managed to keep the weight off, have become a runner (never was before), have ran countless 5ks, 10ks, halfs, & 4 marathons. I love getting inspiration from others and hope I inspire someone along the way.
Here's a pic with me 5 years ago and a pic on the right from a few weeks ago.
Here's to the health is wealth journey!
I love your Mooovement! I began running at 38, looking for a way to lose weight. After 2 years, I hit a wall and stalled. After several months of lethargy and 35 pounds, I have returned to running. I want to be part of a strong group of sassy go getters who help each other stay on the path and stay motivated.
I also write a blog about my journey www.running-blonde.com and can be found on Twitter @runningblondie
My story.... I've been a lifelong recreational runner since college ...so for about 30 years.
It's my zen meditation break during the day. I need it to maintain my sanity.
I've run lots of races for fun, 5K's, 1/2 Mary's, and two full marathons (Chicago and Madison). Gonna do another 1/2 in May --- Flying Pig in Cincinnati for Team R4V (Racers for Veterans). It's my running charity of choice, they do great work--- rehabilitating wounded veterans physically and emotionally through sport .
So I'm a supporter of your group.
Your story is amazing, and I love your passion for helping others.
The group is an amazing vehicle to provide a safe space and camaraderie for people making life changes through exercise and nutrition. Thanks for putting yourself out there!
Growing up in a small town in Oklahoma it was pretty hard to fit in ...my body shape and height were always bigger than the other girls my age. Now to say I was "big" was not even the case I was just bigger than the majority. When I was 13 I dated a guy that was 8 years older than me. One of those moments in my life where the guidance of my "on and off again" mother came into play. I was so in love with him and I took anything and everything he said to heart. It took one time for him to mention "You look like you have put on some weight" for my life to change. From that moment on anorexia entered my life.
Now as an adult I have noticed that even though I have moved past this bf and have been truly blessed, his words still haunt me. It will take nothing to curve my appetite and eating nothing at all is a common reoccurrence in my life. These factors cause my weight to fluctuate and just recently have I been able to get it somewhat under control. There comes a point in our lives where we need to learn to embrace change, ignore what others say and love ourselves for who we are. I am not my past and I am not about to give up under any circumstances. This "Heifer" is about living life to its fullest!!
Running saved my life. It really did. In January of 2014, my divorce was finalized, I was back living with my mother, and thought life as I knew it was over.
Then my friend Kate and I, who was an old co-worker of mine, reconnected after I had made mention that I was interested in running and had always wanted to "those crazy things," like triathlons, half-and-full marathons, and OCRs.
From that point on, we started training. And I started dropping weight fast and naturally changing my eating habits. I was 100lbs overweight when I started running - Now I am proud to say I have lost 73lbs (naturally) during this journey and want to lose 100 in total (or more!)
Countless 5ks, 2 10ks, one 1/2 marathon and 2 OCRs later... And now I can also claim I am a proud member of the Heifers! Looking forward to making new friends and being part of the Herd!
I'm still very much a work in progress, but I'm pretty proud of where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going. You see, all this extra weight is insulation, as I'm sure is the case for many of us. I was date raped at 16, sexually assaulted by a family friend who had been like a grandfather, and after my dad died when I was 22, food became my security blanket. Prior to that, I was a pretty damned good athlete who never worried about gaining weight, but the year my dad died, I gained 65 pounds. Yes, in a single year. Food became my go to when I was sad, worried, happy, angry...you get the idea.
Flash forward a couple decades, and find me miserably unhappy. My marriage fell apart, though we've remained good friends, I left teaching (and don't regret it a bit) and have struggled to find a new career, and while I finally found my missing puzzle piece in a 6'4" ginger named Kevin, I found out exactly how men view overweight women, and it's not kindly, despite the fact they don't possess perfect bodies themselves.
A few weeks ago, I hit threshold. I was DONE watching from the sidelines, done being relegated to plus size sections of clothing stores, just flat DONE. So, I joined Weight Watchers because their new way to track points made sense to me. It's easy, and I don't feel restricted in any way. My desire to be an athlete and compete came roaring back, so I set a big, ostentatious goal for myself and I registered to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2018. Along the way, I've got 5k and 10k races as mini milestones planned, and discovered a lovely, locally owned running store who is very welcoming and encouraging to beginners.
I joined Weight Watchers on Feb 6, and as of today I've banished 14.2 pounds. This Heifer is ready to write her own success story!
I started doing half marathons 2 years ago April. I needed to lose some weight and get myself in shape. I enjoyed the first one(sort of, and a few days after I was done) I have done 9 now. I put my name in for a charity bib thru a sponsor exemption for Boston and got in.
This will be my first marathon. I also got into Chicago this year. I will be retiring from marathons after that. My goal was to do one.
Hardest part of the training...that is a good question. I don't know if i consider myself a runner. I don't have a love of running necessarily. I definitely don't read up on running. I am following the Hal Higdon training program for the marathon, so that is about as formalized as I get. On January 1, 2015 I weighed in at 224. It wasn't muscle. I was my ideal weight if I was 7 feet tall. I would do a few miles at a time a few times a week at most, but no goals. My wife has run a number of marathons and halfs. She did 14 halfs in '14 and I was at most of them. I am competitive by nature (not with her), but it was getting harder to sit on the sideline. She was doing the Little Rock full that year so I signed up for the 10k. I struggled, took me an hour, but the medal was nice to get and crossing the finish line felt good. I decided to do the St. Louis Go Half Marathon 6 weeks later.
I didn't have much of a training program, but i finished in 2:17. I decided to do the STL rock n roll in October of that year. A few weeks before that race I signed up for and did the MO Cowbell in the St Louis area. Did it in 2:11 and then went on and did the cowbell in 2:09. I kept training and did the Fly With the Eagles in Illinois and did it in 2:06 in Feb of 2016. After I did the Cowbell in 2:11 I said if I ever went under 2 I would sign up for a full, knowing I would never have to keep that promise since 2 seemed so far away..take almost a minute off a mile when I had been training...no way. I am safe. Never have to keep that one.
Well, I did the Alton half in march 2016 and did 1:58. I was very emotional crossing the line. It was a release I didn't feel like I had control over, but a great feeling. Later in 2016 I went down to 1:53 in Wausau Wisconsin. I started training for the Buffalo/NIagara Falls full that was going to be in October, but only got up to 15 miles. The time commitment was more than I anticipated. I didn't let anyone know what I was doing either so it wasn't real.
I have done 2 more halves since Wausau, both times with my wife who is battling an injury and had pneumonia (more later there) We did the Frozen Feet in STL and recently the Miami Beach half. I haven't tried to PR since I started my marathon training. So how did I get myself into the Boston Marathon?
Remember I said I was looking and training for the Buffalo/Niagara Falls marathon....well if I did one it was going to be a good one. Not some race around STL. It was going to be epic. International if I needed to. I put my name in for the Chicago lottery and then at our fantasy football draft, a friend who works for John Hancock mentioned they have sponsor exemptions. He thought they had 30 for people outside Hancock and about 2000 applied, but why not give it a shot. I was the dog who caught the car. I got the call in October. Now what?
I am running a marathon and it is Boston and no I didn't qualify, but the charity I chose has benefited from our $4000 in donations so far. So in December get the notice I got into Chicago. So from 2015 when I swore no marathon after that half in March to 2 in 2017. I am now 46 lbs lighter.
The hardest part of training is not the getting up at 4:30 to run or the 20 miler tomorrow I have to do which will be the farthest I have ever run, but it is my wife having had a string of injuries and then pneumonia which has kept her sidelined. She is the runner and the talented one and she has struggled to get her miles in while I am out running and have been relatively injury free this whole time. She is doing Big Sur 2 weeks after Boston. So we will be on both coasts for marathons. I am scared to do a full. I want to finish more than anything in the world. I want to feel the elation of crossing the finish line. That is what gets me up at 4:30 in the cold and on Saturdays to run. So i really don't have a story or a life changing event or battled back from a disease or injury.
I was a fat guy who is competitive, that ran a 10k in Little Rock 2 years ago, and liked the feeling of finishing and getting a medal. I guess the rest is history as they say.
“It’s cancer” was not what we were hoping to hear from the gastroenterologist. I had a tumor lodged in the bottom of my GI tract, between my rectum and anus. I was 40 at the time. We had a 4 year old son and our infant was in the carrier next to my wife and I at the doctor’s office. Suddenly I was overwhelmed by having to meet with a litany of doctors, confirming diagnosis, laying out the strategy, and then of course, going through it. the date was May 20, 2010.
Within a week, I started meeting with surgeons, and started a regiment of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. This was to shrink and destroy the tumor. It was a daily process and after a few days, I could feel the effects of it. I was tired. I’d leave work at 3:00 to get this done, then return at 4:00 for an hour to wrap up and leave. After 6 weeks of this, my body healed and I prepared for the surgery in early September. During this time, I continued to play ice hockey, and the support I received from these guys was top notch. To digress, I was far from the most skilled player on the team, but I was the guy on the team that played hard every shift of every game and forced things to happen for our more skilled guys.
Before the surgery, I had an agonizing decision to make. Given the location of the tumor, the surgery would require the removal of my rectum and the surrounding muscles. Therefore, I had to get a colostomy bag. For those that don’t know, this is an artificial exit put in my abdomen for my body to dispose of my poop. How would I be able to play with my kids? Would I have a normal life? Would I be able to have intimate time with my wife? Not only that, this was major surgery. After my surgery, I was out of work for 8 weeks on disability. I had 2 separate week long stints at the hospital to care for infections that were extremely painful. Once I finally felt better, it was time to begin chemotherapy. This was a series of 8 two week cycles where I’d go for 5 hours to get infused with medicine and then take home a cartridge that was connected to my chest and keep it there for 48 hours. Then go back and have it removed. I felt nauseous, tired, weak, and the side effects were pretty painful. I had neuropathy which made my fingers and toes sting when confronted with cold. I had the chemo done over the winter. It was hard and painful. So much so, that my program was cut from 12 to 8 sessions.
So now, 11 months later, I was done with everything. It took me a few months to recover from being knocked out from chemo and surgery, but a year later I began to play hockey again. My life at home returned to normal. my older son started to be able to play with me. my little guy was now old enough to play with me. it was a dark time. I’d often lay awake crying, wondering if I’d see my boys grow up. Would I be able to grow old with my wife? I’d never want her to be lonely, so who would be in my kids life is something were to happy to me? it messed with my head.
I have no history of colorectal cancer in my family and after some discussion with the doctors, this could have been caused by environmental factors. I ate a lot of red meat, seared on a grill. I enjoyed drinking, a lot. I did not exercise much, other than playing hockey. But after each game, I’d wash it down with a few beers and buffalo wings. I needed a change.
I saw a friend of mine post on facebook that he signed up for a sprint triathlon. I didn’t know that there was anything shorter than a half ironman, so when I looked at this, I decided that this would be a good way to get back into shape. Six weeks of training later, it was race day. My family came to support me and I needed it. I barely made it through the ¼ mile swim in the atlantic ocean. But I finished, in tears. I did it. After getting home, I started looking online to learn more about other triathlons. I targeted an Olympic distance race in my town the following season. Another success. Now I’ve lost some weight, gained some confidence in myself and my kids saw me work for something. I signed up for a half ironman the next year. that was a struggle because I the last month of training, my wife had surgery and I was working nearly 70 hours a week. I was unprepared for the race but finished anyway. Everything seemed to beimproving in my life. Until the next week. The pathology report from my wife’s surgery showed she had ovarian cancer. Fortunately it was caught very early and the surgery removed everything. Nonetheless, now she had to go through chemo. Unlike when I went through it, our kids were now 8 and 4. Old enough to understand. She also lost her hair which scared my boys. After the chemo ended, she too recovered. Life was good. We still go through our follow up protocols to make sure we stay clean.
Then a funny thing happened. When I was looking at the triathlon websites to plan out the following season, my 9 year old son asked me, “daddy, why don’t you do an ironman?” I told him that it would be a major commitment and that it would be hard for me to do and would maybe miss some activities. He then said “but you tell us that if you want to do something, you do it. if you have to work hard, you work hard and get it done. You can do it”. I spoke to my wife and figured that it would be a good thing, and I wanted to do it. we decided to make it a family vacation because the family was involved the whole way through.
I registered to race Ironman Mont Tremblant in 2016. Without going into the details of the training, it was really rough but rewarding. My parents came with us, my brother brought his family all the way from Oregon to support me. and I’ll never forget the words, at 10:42pm, on August 21, 2016. Mike Reilly announcing, “Greg Kalt from Stamford, Connecticut, you went through radiation, chemotherapy, you beat cancer, Greg, you ARE AN IRONMAN." Their motto is true, “anything is possible”.
You just have to want it. And thanks for my son Jesse to remind me that I did want it.
And now I want to do it again. Maybe this time, Mike will announce it in French!
I started running in 2014 to lose weight. I lost 70lb in 10 months. I then started nursing school and like a lot of people in school, I've gained some weight but I keep working at it. I am currently training for my first half marathon which I'm signed up for in June! Happy running! 🏃🏻♀️
No exciting story - just enjoy staying healthy and active for physical and mental wellbeing. Also to provide a good example for my young boys. Played 4 years of college basketball and senior year volleyball as well. Focused more on running later in life.
Recently joined Tyoga Running Club (TRC) and they are a wonderful bunch of trail / road runners. About to run Syracuse road Half Marathon next weekend. Followed by Chattanooga TN trail Full Marathon on April 1st.
My name is Terese Robichaud. I'm 56 years old and I have a beautiful daughter, Erin.
I've fought the weight fight since I was a teenager, and I finally feel like I'm winning!
Last year, I was (mis)diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Having known for many years that I also have polycystic kidney and liver diesease, that diagnosis terrified me. My doctor told me it was urgent that I lose weight. That day in July, 2016, I stopped eating processed sugar and started Weight Watchers.
Turns out I was NOT pre-diabetic, but I am still thankful for that diagnosis. It became my 'why' for loving myself and caring enough about ME to get healthy.
As of today, I have lost 55 pounds, and I'm still losing.
I am at a point where I need to increase physical activity, but I hate most exercise! Any suggestions would be appreciated!
The attached pics include current pics and 'before' pics from my daughter's wedding in February, 2016.
Thanks for inviting my to join The Herd!
I am a forever fat girl who's engaged in running off and on over the past few years. I ran my first 5k in 2012, and haven't managed to run one again since. Last summer I was back up to jogging 2 miles, but then I started school for a second bachelor's degree and haven't had the time or the energy to start back up consistently. I also deal with some Achilles tendonitis which can make running on a regular basis difficult.
I'm supposed to run a 5k with my Mother-In-Law for her 60th birthday at the end of May, and I'm looking for advice, inspiration, and hopefully I'll be able to find a balance again. I'm turning 30 this year so I really want to make positive changes that will hopefully I can carry on for the rest of my life.
My body has always been very forgiving. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. No matter what I put into it (or didn’t), no matter how active I was (or wasn’t), no matter how much I worked (or played) or how little I slept, my body always forgave me.
I knew how to take care of myself, but I didn’t do it most of the time. I grew up with a parent who was an emotionally abusive addict, so I didn’t exactly emerge into adulthood with a huge amount of self-esteem and self-love.
The “big crash” came at age 38. I’d had my heart broken, was in a severe depression and was having trouble at work because of it. One of my best friends, who also worked with me, suggested that we do the 5K that was being sponsored by the university we worked at. I agreed. I told her I wanted to finish in under an hour. She asked what my “dream time” was, and I responded 47 minutes. On race day, we mostly walked, but she would push me to run to the corner or some other landmark occasionally. I was glad to have her support, because I really wanted to quit halfway through. I crossed the finish line in 46:58, shocked and on a total “runner’s high”, and the first thing I said was, “Let’s do it again!” I’ve done about two dozen 5K and 2-mile races since then.
Eating right is still a work in progress. I love food, I love to cook, and I have a huge sweet tooth (as well as teeth for potato chips, bacon cheeseburgers—y’all know how it is…). I feel my best when I have a balance of lots of fruits and vegetables, with lean protein and whole grains. However, I give myself permission to have a treat at times and not feel guilty. I probably stay with my “plan” 80% of the time. I also enjoy a good craft beer or glass of wine (or two).
I am blessed with a good support network. Once I started focusing more on my health, I found myself meeting and spending more time with others who were doing the same thing. The friends I’ve met online, especially through “running Twitter”, have been great cheerleaders as well—and with everyone scattered all over the world, it’s likely that there’s always someone online to chat, even at 3 a.m.
My biggest challenge is time. Between working in university fundraising and doing part-time consulting work, I don’t keep a consistent schedule. I try to do meal prep on weekends (in between 5K races and university athletics events, usually). I also try to walk at least a mile on the university campus on my lunch break; fortunately, I live in a place where the weather permits this year-round. I keep reminding myself, “I don’t have time NOT to take care of myself.”
I still have occasional issues with depression and self-esteem—when Melissa asked me to share my story my first thought was, “Me? How could I be anyone potentially inspiring or anything like that?”—but at nearly-42 now, I’m healthier and happier than I’ve ever been.
Steffanie ... working hard, playing hard, and loving life on Florida’s barrier island
I have a long history...
When i was 27 i blew my knee and sat and ate for a year, (prior to that i was about 165lbs...from eating nothing and exercising all the time)...waiting for the operation. I was then over three hundred and had developed diabetes. It's mostly been my struggle..i gave up. I took crappy jobs that i hated and i hated my life. I had several work related injuries throughout my work life..and all i did was work and sleep and eat..no fun! I was able to, through the years, get down from over three hundred down to about 185lbs..where i was stuck for about five years. i tried the dr. fuhrman 'diet' program and i lost down to 165 but found long term i didn't want to continue...too much of a food addict..it is my thing.
At forty, i had a work accident...at one of those jobs...and it changed my life. I had a mti..mild traumatic brain injury, the accident exasperated my anxiety and also added to the already present, widespread, chronic pain. it changed my life for the better however because i was free to think about what i really wanted out of this life. when i was 30 i also graduated from university but never followed through with a 'better' job...i tried one shortly after graduating but hated it too. So now, as i lay on the couch in pain and with something i can call a headache but can't explain to those who haven't had a brain injury..i thought..what now?
i am disabled and after two years of workers comp stuff i was let go..not a lot of income from the gov't but the time to rediscover myself. I was able to take yoga teacher training...yoga saved me...prior to my figuring out i wanted to take the training, i tried several gyms but walking in as an anxiety, crying, mess...one was welcoming and that's where i discovered yoga. three times a week, that's all i could do for about a year..i'd drive over ( i was lucky to have a car at the time and had recovered enough to be able to drive) i would take the class and i would come home and sleep. so i managed to finish the teacher training in June last year and taught a few classes on my own but found the prep time still too exhausting.
Also though, with my recovery..i was walking on the treadmill..i started only being able to walk two minutes at a 2.5 speed...that is when i remembered that as a young adult i had wanted to do an iron man...i have been able to run for awhile now but keep having reoccurring injuries..like i fell forward last September and it set everything back again...i had two of my beloved pets die, June of 2015 and Jan 2016 and i stopped everything ..pretty much until i started the yoga training in march 2016...like i said..i believe yoga has saved me. so...now for several months i have been trying to run again..only to have yet another injury ...foot this time...was doing bike classes in toe shoes...and i aggrivated the metatarsal ? I have a bunion and a broken toe next to it...i'm frustrated but determined...last October i signed up for an 8k..yes, it was a month after i fell..but i'd already signed up before i fell..and i signed up for a 5k on April 8th...only to now have a foot problem...it's like the universe doesn't want me to run but i am determined to start there ...i think it's my strongest thing...due to my anxiety as well...and it has irritated and created hip bursitis and other stuff...so here i am...out for April as well and wondering what the future holds as i recover yet again...i've had other recoveries with ribs and stuff that have lasted a time where i've been in bed...but i have a dog now..and he requires walking and so far so good with that and the foot taping...i will make the fullest recovery i am able and sign up and be able to do the 8k in october this year...that's my next goal. my health is a challenge..due to my grief of losing my beloved female cat and my other female cat..leaving me in a house of male pets..lol..i grief ate and i jokingly tell people 'i ate my cats' because my beloved was 4lbs and my other girl was 16lbs...but then i had to take medication and then insulin so i'm up an uncomfortable forty and not being able to sort out the hunger/diet part and the pain and the rest of it...i am just trying my best for now...i know it will get better and this is only temporary...set backs make us stronger right?!
Anyway, that's pretty much my story!
I am a positive and mostly happy person, was often lucky in life and still consider myself to be lucky every day, just for being alive and being able to do whatever I want. In 2012 I had a burn out because of the job I had and had to quit working for nearly 4 months. That was a heavy incision and if my husband wouldn't have insisted on me going to see a doctor that monday instead of still forcing myself to go to work, I might just as well have ended up much worse.
The very first day the doctor gave me the sick note, I bought myself a pair of running shoes and started running - to be able to feel myself again and lose the overwhelming feeling of panic which became my company the last months. It worked for me and once again I consider myself lucky because I refused any medical treatment and got out of this situation thanks to sports. Since I used to be a competitive swimmer from my childhood up to young adolescence I always knew about the power of a healthy body in connection with a healthy mind, I just had forgotten about that. Life gave me a strong reminder which will last, I am sure.
After nearly 4 months I went back to work in the same firm which is a quite small and nice one, reducing my working days from 5 to 3 days a week and no more traveling around germany the whole time. At the moment I am very happy with what I do and our customers appreciate me a lot. My husband works in the same firm and also cut his working schedule down to 3 days so we do have a lot of time together and enjoy it; we play in a band together and restorate our house ourselves.
In 2008 my husband and I started a vegan lifestyle so not only my eating habits had changed for the better. I experience so much more energy since then, I need less sleep, I recover faster and I heal more quickly. What is most I do not have to oppress the bad conscience I had before when eating animals or animal products since I knew about the environmental consequences and the cruel treatment so there's another source of energy at my disposal.
One point bothered me from time to time: I am not slim or skinny. Ever since I quit swimming, I have been slightly but just slightly overweight. (BMI of 24) Four weeks ago I read a book which put me in a complete new frame of mind and straightened out a lot of false beliefs - I started counting calories the very day I finished the book and have lost 4 kg since then in 4 weeks. So I am finally on my way to a new me also on the outside.
In 2013 I quit smoking with the help of an internet portal and a very supportive group of people with the same goal and I never quit quitting - I really feel like I never smoked at all and don't miss a thing. That was another experience that showed me how much better I can achieve my goals being part of a group and that is why I love being part of #theHerd - I love supporting others and highly appreciate being supported myself. Even if it is "just virtual" and not in real life, I have the impression that #theHerd is an amazing bunch of people who would get along great in real life as well.
Thanks for having me and don't hesitate with any questions you might have. Stay awesome and keep on rocking!
Greetings from Germany,
Hi! I'm a mom, a suburban "farmer" with a pretty diverse menagerie, an illustrator and owner of a small-but-growing paper goods company. I wear an insatiable wanderlust in my heart, which I indulge with my best friend (cheesy, yes, but that's my husband).
I lost about 55 lbs. 8 years ago. It started off accidental....I went from being self-employed in a mostly sedentary job to employed in a position that required a lot of activity. As people around me started to notice the weight coming off, I adopted new eating habits and better exercise routines to keep the loss coming. I discovered running after years of saying that I hated it and would never be "a runner". I was wrong, I just found out that other people's judgements and "rules" for what constitutes a "runner" were a barrier. I decided to make my own program...do it MY way. Run until I really felt that I couldn't run any longer, make new goals for myself, enter races and just try to train for the distance, etc. It worked. I do love running, I love races. I struggle with balance now because my young business requires a whole lot of hustle and infringements on my time come unexpectedly (things that must be dealt with ASAP) but I'm learning to navigate those better and am looking forward to regaining my routine, my distance, and my time. (and maybe along that road, come closer to my fittest body, circa 2009/2010) It's SUPER important to me that it not be about weight, though. It's about love of the sport, being strong, being healthy, and with all of those in mind, about how I ultimately feel. I'm glad to be part of the group!
I am wanting to lose about 80 pounds. Working at McDonald's doesn't lend itself to success. You have done a great job with your weight loss and are a true inspiration.
It wasn't until just a couple of years ago that I became a runner. See, all my life, running was this awful, evil word in my vocabulary and growing up, I think I would even try and fake sick any time we had to do the mile run for gym class. I played softball since I was in 4th grade and fortuanately there wasn't a ton of running in practices. I hated running. I could never understand what people saw in it and what joy it could bring. In college I started to "run" here and there for something to do and to try and keep fit. My relationship still not there though with running.
After college I got a real job and I got married and started putting on weight. Like a lot of weight to the point I no longer recognized myself. I was horribly uncomfortable in my own skin. I had very little self esteem to begin with and got zero validation at home...which lead to more eating and more weight gain. This was a horrible spiral of events that just got out of control.
I have gone through some major life changes, one including a divorce and through these life changes, I began running. Why? It was something to do and pass some time and I found out it gave me time to think about things in life. Nothing crazy, just a few miles and it started clearing my head and I began validating myself.
I went to the beach a couple of years ago and went for a run on the boardwalk. Something magical happened on that run. Everything clicked and it no longer felt like I was running. It felt like I was flying. I felt free of my burdens, my past, my mistakes, my insecurities all my..."issues". I ran 5 miles that day. That was the longest I had ever run in a period of time. I got these tingles all throughout my body and I now know that it was a runners high.
This run had occurred about a year after my divorce and it just created this "ah ha" moment that will forever be stuck with me. I can close my eyes and I am right there in that setting. I can even smell the ocean. After my run I had sat down on the beach to stretch. As I looked out on the ocean I began to cry, but these tears weren't of any type of sadness. I realized how awesome I was and that I don't need someone to validate me. I survived some ugly times in my life and it was all in my past. The only thing to do now was to keep moving forward. In that moment, I became a runner.
It wasn't shortly after that, that is idea of "I want to run a half marathon" popped in my head. I found a friend who set me on my path and in November of 2015, I completed that. Crossing that finish line was unlike anything I could possibly describe.
I chase that feeling every time I run now. Every run is different and sometimes I don't get the tingles and many times I do. I run to clear my head, listen to my heart and process what life challenges are thrown at me. With running, my eating habits have completely changed. I am making much healthier and wiser choices. My body has changed and so has my weight. I don't focus too much on the scale anymore because I finally realized muscle weighs more than fat. I've learned how to properly fuel my body and I like to play around with foods and how my body reacts to them.
So what now that I have run that half? I keep setting higher and higher goals. This past year I ran my first full marathon. I wish I could go back and tell my high school self that one day she'd run a marathon. I never in my wildest dreams ever would have imagined myself running anything of that magnitude. Something else that I knocked off the 'goals' list was completing a triathlon. I have all this new found confidence and I just want to continue to push myself and see where my limits really lie. It is amazing to set these goal and figure out how to reach them.
Running wasn't always in my life and now that it is, I can't imagine my life without it. I think it's a safe bet to say that running even saved my life.
I'm Charlotte from Canada.
I started this journey of running by volunteering at a water stop at a local fundraiser run for a youth drop in 2012. Even before this I got the running bug from my dad when I was younger. Fast forward to Mid July 2013, I entered a contest to learn to run and take part in a local race. The draw was mid August, before they picked the team I got ill, ended up being admitted to hospital. The Monday came, they picked the team. I was told by mom that I wasn't going to learn to run and I realized I was picked for the team. I knew the person who was putting team together and told her the worse thing possible would be me cheering on the team instead of taking part. In the back of my mind and with help of doctors (turning heads at every point) I would end up having surgery on day 5 (a Friday). It was smart chunks of activity that got me focused on the goal. 71 days later I walked my first race in 50:54 and haven't looked back. I've been part of this team since 2013.
My longest distance to date 13k, a cancer fundraiser (Terry Fox) across the Northumberland Strait (between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) in 2015, my shortest race done has been 3k. My journey up to now has had many lessons, opportunities to be humble and teaching moments. Proudly running 5/10k races gives me enough of an opportunity to grow and share. With each step I send love & hope. Because we are able.
Hi i’m Andrew, 33 from the UK, and as I write this I’ve been running for just 10 weeks.
I’ve struggled with my weight all my adult life but never had the “get up and go” to make a difference. Every New Year’s Eve me and my Dad would make a bet to see who would lose the most weight that year. We’d start off well the first week (as no one feels like eating after all that food consumed at Christmas) but then it would just all fall apart by February.
This year I’d had a particularly gluttonous Christmas during a family holiday. Looking at photos I felt awful. I was at my heaviest and just looked ill.
For some reason, something clicked in my head. I had to lose it all. I couldn't keep living like this. Weighing just over 17 stone (240 lbs) I wanted to at least lose a stone and be able to love my body again.
I also took some inspiration from other running bloggers when I started. A lot of the information I first came across was from people who had been athletes for years and I struggled to find anything from people like me who were just starting out with a lot to lose. I decided to document my progress on video and with blog posts to share what It was like to start from zero.
I dusted off some trainers I had, found a couch to 5K plan and on January 24th went out for my first run. It was a minute run and minute walk 8 times over. I got home and felt awful. It was so hard. I thought then when it was time to go out again, I wouldn't be able to even leave the house.
But I did.
I kept on going.
10 weeks later and I’ve run 5 x 5K distances, an 8K and 14K distance and completed my first Parkrun. Those longer runs came out of nowhere and were real “Forest Gump” moments that I just wanted to keep going. I’ve now lost 15 lbs too , a trouser waist size and feel that little more comfortable jumping in front of the camera.
As I said earlier, at first it was hard to find people like me. But with sharing my story and patiently finding others I happily found all my fellow Heifers too!!!
Running has been the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. It gives me so much happiness when I’m out there and really helps clear the head of any negativity.
My goals are to just keep getting fitter and healthier. I will inevitably run races and go the distance but as long as i’m healthy and happy i’ll be fine! :)
I'm a short, middle aged housewife from Mississippi who just happens to love to run.
I didn't always run. As a matter of fact, I've only been running 5 years.
My weight loss began from a huge medical scare in which I almost died. It really was a pretty spooky thing! When I began to recover from that incident, I discovered I had lost 30 pounds! I thought to myself that was a pretty sweet deal and decided to actively try to drop a few more pounds. I was 4'11" and 275 pounds.
After purchasing some cookbooks for diabetics, I began to teach myself how to cook using herbs and spices instead of adding a lot of fats and sodium. I never dieted. Every day I allowed myself my two favorite daily treats: a Nutty Bar and a beer. I know me well enough that if I had "illegal" foods, I'd fixate on them and eventually cave and binge. Learning moderation and smart eating and then beginning to move more was a huge game changer for this kid! It also saved my life!
I started running as a promise to my sister to do the C25K program with her and as an extra "Oomph!" in my efforts to drop a few pounds (eventually 170 pounds).
When I started running, I was a few months shy of my 50th birthday. Now, at 55 years old, I've run many 5K's, 10K, a few 12K's and lots of Half Marathons. The more I run, the more I've discovered my love of long distance running. I've run over a dozen marathons and 4 Ultra Marathons.
Currently I'm preparing to begin training for my second attempt at a 100 mile race as well as two marathons and a 50 mile race. *I probably need my head examined*
I live with MFH (My Favorite Husband) in the country in Mississippi. We've been married 32 years come this May. We have two adult children, two cats and of course, my pampered, necktie wearing pudgy pooch, Paxton.
I'm Lindsay and I'm Queen of the Bottom Ten!
I was never a sporty kid at school, and I was skinny until I went to university and suddenly had to control my own food, as well as pay bills, organise my own schedule and somehow manage to keep the house clean enough not to attract rats. With nobody to actually buy the food and prepare it for me, I started to put on weight. It took a while, and I went up and down a few times, but by summer 2013, I'd hit 220lbs and was hiding my eating.
I'm the only person ever to gain weight while suffering from ulcerative colitis (a form of inflammatory bowel disease which produces bleeding ulcers in the lining of the colon), but it means that I regularly see health professionals. The main medication for the condition is known to have a damaging effect on the liver, so I get tested twice a year for liver function. After one such test, the doctor pointed out (not particularly diplomatically) that I had poor liver function; what's more, it wasn't due to the meds, but to fatty liver syndrome. I burst into tears in the doctor's office.
The very next day, I joined Weight Watchers. The people immediately around me knew, but I live 400 miles from my folks, and I knew my Mum would hassle me if I told her about it, so I decided to keep schtum to my family. The weight came off alright, but i knew I would need another motivation to reach my target weight, so I signed up for a super-sprint triathlon. I figured I was already a decent swimmer and any idiot can ride a bike, so all I needed to do was learn to run. And I did. I did the triathlon, exiting T1 yelling at the marshalls, "THIS IS BRILLIANT!" and raising £300 for Crohns and Colitis UK. And then I did a 10km run event around the mountain in the middle of Edinburgh. I joined a cycling club. The following year, I did a couple of sprint tris, and an Olympic distance race.
2016 was pretty much a disaster. I under-prepared for a half-marathon, finished it fine, but acquired a knee injury shortly afterwards. I couldn't run, so I decided to focus on MTB to improve my bike handling skills. A couple of months later, I had a spectacular over-the-handlebars-superman crash and damaged the nerves in one shoulder. So that was swimming and cycling out. I did one triathlon all year, sank into depression and gained 35lbs.
Fortunately, I've got a bunch of women triathlete friends, and we never give up on each other. That's them in the pictures, mud and all. In 2017, we're each doing a few different things - marathons, triathlons, epic swims, sportives - and then we'll all get together in August to do Aberfeldy 70.3. We don't call it a half-Ironman - it's not a 'half' anything - it's a full 70.3 miles! I've got two Olympic distance triathlons first, the second one involving a 10km run up-and-down-and-up one of Scotland's biggest mountains. If I can do that, I can do 70.3. And I CAN do it. There's no doubt about that.
And why am I Queen of the Bottom Ten? Because that's where I always finish. Somewhere in the bottom ten. Doesn't really bother me, as the real miracle is that I got to the start line in the first place. But I do have a sneaking secret ambition: one day, I'm going to finish in the bottom twenty.
My name is Krystal and I enjoy doing many things. From cosplay, comic cons, Supernatural and Harry Potter to wrestling, NASCAR, football, and cooking or baking. Happily married now for almost eleven years. I have been a 'runner' since 2009/2010. My love for running started back in Germany (blessed to have lived there); I never imagined I traveled to Ireland with some amazing friends to run a half marathon.
Lost running, for one reason or another. If I had to guess it's my lack of time management. Haven't put in serious distance for a few years now. I do hope as I pick running back up that it will help me shed some unwanted pounds I put on the last three years. I am very self conscious when I run and struggle at times with that, but remind myself "this is for me, you are out here for no one else"
I look back and think the pounds start coming on due to lack of self control and stress eating. I am finding the balance again. Finding other things to do besides eat when I am emotional. I love food, but I know there needs to be balance. I am down 12lbs this year and am beginning to feel like myself again.
I do hope to complete a half marathon within the next year. I run because I enjoy it, it's not for speed and it's not to win a race. It is for me, JustKrys, I love looking back and thinking 'yep, I accomplished that.' It's an amazing feeling.
Hi . My name is Eric. I am originally from France and moved in the US 21 years ago and live in Buffalo, NY.
I played rugby almost all my life and served 15 years in the military, to say I always been pretty active until family life (I have 5 kids) took over . I also love to eat . I am 5'7" and my weight went up to 220 lbs . Since mid December 2016 , I made some change in my life.
I watch my portions. I am a big advocate of the palm , fist and thumb system (palm of protein , fist of carb and thumb of healthy fat).
I also started running 4 times a week , swim and bike twice a week . I already dropped 20 lbs . My goals this year are the Buffalo marathon, the American triple T, the Musselman and Ironman Chattanooga.
I only started running 4 years ago when I was 55 years old, and had not run for 38 years. After tearing my meniscus in a baseball game during my teenage years I gave up any sports that involved running.
My introduction to running came through a running club at work up here in Canada. I was asked many, many times by my co-workers if I would like to join, and I would just brush it offwith a "no thank you, but thanks for asking". Perhaps their persistence paid off as I eventually said "yes" and committed to a half marathon.
I knew I needed to get in better shape. My dad dropped dead at 47 of a massive heart attack. I was 15 at the time. Heart disease runs in my dad's side of the family. And a checkup with my doctor as I started running revealed I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He matter of fact said to me, "You do not want to be on statins and blood pressure meds the rest of my life" and gave me 6 months to get my act together. Whether it was the running, or my diet change, but my blood pressure and cholesterol greatly improved. As a bonus my mental health is much improved with my running. Mental illness runs in my mom's side of the family. I have lost family members to suicide.
Personally I have nothing against electronics while running, I just choose not to use them and run just for the love of running. I tried a runners app on my wife's smart phone a couple times and I was hard on myself and was beating myself up for not getting the times I was hoping. I was taking it too seriously and it was not good for my mental health. So I just run.
I love encouraging other runners, and find it much more satisfying if I can help a struggling runner get to the finish instead of another PR for me. It gives me great joy. Have really had no set goals with my running. Last year in the back of my head I was maybe "hoping" to run a 50k Ultra...and I ended up running 4 of them, which really blows me away.
I love writing and find it therapeutic for my mental health. My blog is https://theoldfellowgoesrunning.com/
It is great to be a part of this group. I am excited to be one of "the herd". :)
I started running a couple months ago to help loose weight. I have already went from 216 to 168 but I'm stuck.. no matter what I do I can't loose any more and considering I'm only 4'11" 168 does not look good on me.
As an added bonus to running I found peace when I run. I am an insomniac because my brain won't stop. But when I run and listen to my music I'm at peace and I am tired enough to get a few hours sleep. I like the feeling of accomplishment when I can up the running time between walking..makes me feel great.
I have never played any sports in my life & I've never been athletic. I initially started the C25K & completed the program back in 2011. I loved the way I looked & felt. I ran a few 5ks that year. One of the 5ks I did that year I placed 3rd for my age group I was so happy. In 2012, my daughter got stationed in Korea for a year & left me her 6 month old son to raise. I was so consumed with raising my grandson that I put myself on hold & stopped running. I put the weight back on and some. I tried running again August 2014 and stopped in February 2015. I'm 5'1 and weighed 186-187.
I didn't feel good, I'd get heartburn/acid reflux all the time and I didn't like the way I looked in clothes let alone pictures. I seriously thought about trying to convince my dr. into letting me get the weight loss surgery ...it literally consumed me ...I wanted to be thin...I wanted to feel good.
Fast forward to 2017 and I finally made up my mind to just start working out, start the C25K program again and eat healthier. So I set a date..January 3rd. The first week was the hardest. I didn't get my "mojo" back until one of my coworkers said to me "are you losing weight?". I see the weight loss on the scale but when I look in the mirror alls I see is an overweight person still.
I know this is a life long commitment/change and I can't stop exercising when I get to my goal weight. sometimes it scares me to think that I have to stay active 4-5 days a week for the rest of my life just to keep the weight off. That's me in a nutshell.
I am Mike. I have been married for 23 years and my wife and I have a fantastic 13 year old daughter named Becca. I am self-employed in online marketing working to connect Google with businesses as well as social media management and about a dozen other things we offer our clients.
In 2011, I was obese. I got tired of being out of shape, and I badly needed to make a change. I could take a flight of stairs, and I would be out of breath. That worried me knowing my daughter was 7 years old and I had difficulty keeping up with her. I downloaded the app called Couch to 5k. It takes anyone from the couch (inactivity) to running a 5k in 9 weeks. I had attempted the app before, but I have asthma and would hear myself wheeze when running, which was rather discouraging for me. I knew the next time I would try the app, I would use earbuds to listen to music so that I wouldn't hear the wheezing.
I went thru the 9 weeks, and around week 7, I was doing really well progressing along thru the app, so I signed up for my first ever 5k run to celebrate. I drove to OKC to run the 5k at the OKC Memorial Marathon. I loved my time there with thousands of people. I got to see the marathoners and half marathoners start their races, then a little later we got to run the 5k. To say I was hooked on running after that 5k would be an understatement. Ha.
I have dreamed of running a marathon for years (bucket list), so when I finished the 5k, I joined up with a local running store, Fort Worth Running Company, and they had a running group. In June 2011, I began training for my first half marathon which was the White Rock (Dallas) Marathon that December (6 months later). The training was going really well as I kept progressing weekly with my mileage, and after about 3 months, when I reached around mile 11 of my training, I asked some of our running coaches about skipping the half altogether and instead running the marathon. They said it was doable and just to increase my training mileage with the marathon group, so that I did.
During these 6 months of training, I ended up going from 245 pounds down to 200 pounds. It was amazing to me that I went from solid inactivity in my life, to running a 5k and dealing with my asthma and wheezing, to being able to run 26.2 miles.
On race day, it was 38 degrees from pretty much the start time until I hit the finish line. In addition, it rained the entire time the night before and for the entire time of the race. I was soaked from head to toe when I crossed the finish line, but I crossed it as a marathoner.
I was so excited about finishing that I signed up for the OKC Marathon four months later, but instead of running the 5k, I signed up for my second marathon. I've been on a roll since then so-to-speak.
After I finished my 16th marathon, I decided to jump a little higher in distance and go for my first 50k (31 miles) in 2015. After finishing two different 50k distance runs, I decided to push a little further and run in my first 50 mile race in February of last year. October of last year, I ran my first 100k (62 miles).
The next "logical" distance is the 100 mile run, right? Ha. Well, that's what actually happened. Lol. Two weeks ago, I ran my first 100 mile race in Kansas and I finished in under 30 hours. That was an amazing experience, and I am so grateful to have been able to run it.
My long-term goals include running a marathon in all 50 states and all 7 continents. I am only at state number 11 so far, and only have the one continent down, so my long-term goals of finishing them will actually be really long-term goals. Ha.
These are the number of Marathons/Ultras run by year:
2011 - 1
2012 - 2
2013 - 4
2014 - 8
2015 - 6
2016 - 12
2017 - 2
I'm blessed to say the least with a supportive wife and daughter who have been beyond amazing in their encouragement. I'm just so thankful.
Also, thank the Lord I haven't had any serious injuries over these 6 years of running. I run a minimum of 1 mile every single day (average nearly 4 miles a day overall) and have now for over 3 straight years with my current streak at 1117 straight days.
I am excited to run with The Message Marathon here in Fort Worth in a couple of weeks and being an ambassador for Run, Heifer, Run.
I've lost about 75lbs since 2012 through a total lifestyle overhaul--mostly because of my mother in law introducing road cycling to me. ❤
I completed my first century (100 miles) in just under 7 hours ride time Oct 1 2016 and I thought NEXT CHALLENGE! So I'm going to do a triathlon! So I've run a few 5ks and I've got my first sprint triathlon coming up in August. I'm running a 10k in May, and I'm planning to do a half marathon and an Olympic Tri next year!!!
This is the most challenging thing I have ever done, physically and mentally, but I am happier than I have ever been. I've still got 25lbs to lose until I reach my weight loss goal and can start maintenance, but I'm so close! I'm confident I can do it!
Around three years ago, my local newspaper published an article about a soup kitchen that desperately needed volunteers. I work three-12 hour shifts so I have four days off a week. Because of my depression and anxiety, myfour days off were mostly wasted away sleeping and I rarely left my home.
This article gave me a reason to finally get out of my house and help those in need. Working in the kitchen would leave me absolutely exhausted because of how out of shape I was. After several weeks of exhaustion, I had an epiphany. I realized that my over eating was holding me back from being the best possible volunteer to serve those who go without food on a daily basis. I started off by cleaning up my diet and limiting my portions.
I was too scared to step on the scale at that point because I had not weighed myself in about 12 years. After about three months, I started working out at my company gym. I slowly added running to my workout routine and fell in love. I completed my first 5k in 41:42. Two years later, my PR is 28:01. In just over two years, I have completed one Olympic distance triathlon, 3 sprint triathlons, one half marathon, 3 -10ks, and 11-5ks. I am proud to say I have PR’d every single time.
I have lost over 165 pounds on my journey. I am still a work in progress but I am so incredibly thankful to have finally found myself. I feel alive for the first time in my life.
I have a host of health issues- one being an auto immune disease which affects my joints. About 6 years ago my Rhem said, Janis you need to make some life changing decisions. I was a TIGHT size 28. I vowed I would not get to that size 30. So, slowly I made changes. Did my first (and only) 5K a few years back. It's not like I didn't do sports. I was a competitive figure skater growing up. Always a little chubby and NOT Olympic caliber.. more like good recreation skater but nevertheless I did compete and then I coached while I was in college in the early 80's to pay for college.
So, 2 years ago I moved out here to AZ from the Wash. DC area. I was down to a comfortable size 18. I went to see a new PCP who just knocked down EVERYTHING I had accomplished. You didn't lose the weight fast enough. You shouldn't be eatting carrots and bananas. My response was I didn't get to 300+ lbs eating carrots and bananas. Left the office totally defeated. Went home and binge ate for the first time in 5 years.
I did find a new PCP who I like but the weight started creeping on again. My doctor in VA was always encouraging to me. I've gained about 30 lbs and went up to a size 22. I'm now down to a tight 20 with hopes of getting back to that size 18 before I need to buy that mother of the bride dress in about 8 months.
Hopefully, I can find that good vibe soon. I do feel encouragement here from all your stories!
It was four years ago when my friend Julie was saying she had no one to run with on our local bike path. She wanted me to join her to train for a 5k. I ran everywhere as a kid but I'm in my 30's now and running and exercise were not a part of my life. I got off my butT and Julie and I ran that 5k and many thereafter.
I was hooked! We started training for a local women's half marathon. I cried as the famous runner Katherine Switzer put that medal around my neck. I've done 5 half marathons since then and once I even ran two in two weeks. I have two more races in the works. I hope to run the Buffalo half with Melissa in May! However, the doctors today seem to think I've injured my meniscus (in my knee) and now I may have to back out. There's ways I can be fit without running and I'm trying to think positive and hope for the best!
I am a 40-year-old mother of three I am desperately looking for a group where I can share my frustrations my goals my accomplishments and my failures.
I have friends who are younger than me in way better shape than me he can't quite understand the frustrations someone of my age and shape goes through. I am looking for a group where I can post things concerns questions I'm looking for a group who will support me and pick me up when I'm down and where I can do the same
Immediately from the name, I knew I belonged here! This heifer completed a half marathon 10 years ago. Then, on the way to training for a full, I was knocked out of running by a pelvic injury.
I'm determined to do another half this year. Chronic pelvic pain be damned! :)
I am also going to relay a triathlon (I can never bike again, so can't do one start to finish.)
Thanks so much for letting me into this encouraging group. This heifer is glad to be here!
Hi my name is Ruth. I am 29 married with a 6 years old daughter. I have been on this journey since last year April. I originally lost 23 lbs eating organic foods. And then gained 12lbs in which i have finally released. I am now 198 and I am working towards my goal of 150 lean. With organic foods and work outs 5 times a week.
I stumbled across the Herd and the Head Heifer herself on Twitter. She was posting some funny but true statements about running and fitness. At that time I was just restarting my fitness journey, decided being a walking, talking twig wasn’t how I wanted to live anymore and hadn’t run a single step in over 5 years.
With her encouragement I am now up to at least 2 miles, almost daily, sometimes on the elliptical or the recumbent bike but getting it in none the less. She has been a constant encouragement in my running life and in my life in general when I need it.
She is the person I can text “keep me accountable” and she is on top of it, even demanding to see sweat soaked selfies! I would be nowhere close to even a mile without the herd and the head heifer. Her story alone is incredible and the positivity she gives other people is amazing.
Through joining the herd I managed to start to find myself again as well. Somewhere along the years I had gotten lost and was basically just my titles (mom, nurse, etc). People would ask what I like to do for fun and I had no answer. Who doesn’t have an answer for that?!?! Me, I didn’t; I had been lost and floundering and didn’t even fully realize it.
Through the herd I have found my love of running again and incorporate it into my daily fitness journey. It makes me happy, it gives me peace (for however long I’m running) and it gives a part of me back. I owe a HUGE thank you to Melissa aka Head Heifer of the Heiferhood for helping me find a part of myself I knew was lost but couldn’t find on my own. Thank you for the encouragement to even begin again, the encouragement to keep going, listening to me vent about anything and being a great person. I’ll forever be a part of the herd!
The picture on the left is how my journey began. I'm showing off an early Christmas gift from my wife. It was an Up24 fitness tracker. It got me walking to get a bunch of steps so I could beat a friend of mine, which eventually led to running. I started out doing the Couch25K app, dreaming to one day complete a 5K and at the time I thought was a long race.
The picture on the right was from this past December when I just completed my 2nd Marathon in less than a year. It's been almost 2 years between the photos, over 60 pounds gone, so many friends made, so many victories and a lot of failures.
I have completed 5 half marathons, countless 5k's, 10k's 15 k's and a Spartan Sprint. I just woke up one day and decided I wanted to be around to walk my daughter down the aisle and play with my grandkids. I talk about it a lot and some may be annoyed on my personal Facebook page, but I don't care.
If sharing this over and over influences just one person to make a change for the better than it is totally worth it. I'm currently training for my third Marathon in Vegas his November. Once that is done, I will be training for my first full Ironman in Chattanooga in September 2018. The best part about all this is it's contagious! My wife has completed her first half marathon last year and has lost over a 100 pounds!!
My 7 year old has done a few 5k's is very active swimmer. My 15 year old son has done a Spartan Race.
I would like to take a minute, or twenty, to introduce myself. I am Jenheifer. I have been sitting quietly in the background, only speaking out when asked to do so, since the calving of this group. Most see me as the girl of little words. However, for those that know me well, I have much to say. In fact, I am quite the open book, one only has to ask. I lost my zest and eagerness for life in about my mid-twenties. Until about two years ago, my sole purpose for living were my two children. I poured everything into my children. My children defined who I was. My life was very toxic and it was killing my soul. I was no longer someone that I recognized. Long gone was the outspoken extroverted girl. I had become this quiet, introverted girl, that watched as everybody else lived their lives in the world around me. Depression and anxiety were now a part of my life. I was a medicated, emotionless zombie.
I was tired of not feeling and decided that I needed to retake control of my life. I took myself off my medication and went through living hell for about a week (Not recommended but was a process I needed to do on my own). What I found on the other side was a life of sadness, emptiness, and dysfunction. Things needed to change, “Success is my only motherfucking option” (Eminem). I had to change this for myself and my children. I poured myself into my Associate’s program and my health. I began to discover, define, and fall in love with myself again. What was even harder was the reality that being free of the negativity and toxicity meant removing parts of my life. Through this I rediscovered my tenacity, strong will, and fight. I was fighting for my life and discovered I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
I was no longer going to walk all over myself, by allowing others to walk all over me because I was afraid of causing waves.
In that first year of my rebirth, I learned the capabilities of my body and mind. The capstone for that year was my first ½ marathon. There is no irony in choosing to run the Phoenix Half, it was quite intentional. I decided then, that no matter the circumstance, this would become my yearly celebration of me. My Rise.
Blindsided by my heart, I discovered my smile in February 2016. Despite my desire to focus on my mind and body, my heart had another plan. My soul found the one that it loves, the one for whom I was made. My heart was whole. A life was breathed into me, I was awake. What would ensue would become one of the craziest years of my life. My focus for the year would become mending the shattered pieces of my soul, pushing past insecurities, fears, and learning how to be loved.
What I had learned about my mind and body (and had placed on the side burner) would be called upon again on December 05, 2016. Having been in a very serious car accident, I now found myself with a closed head brain injury, classified with a disability. What was ahead was nothing short of an uphill battle, it was more of a mountain. My mental capabilities were deeply affected and the headaches were debilitating. The hardest thing to accept were the mistakes. I don’t make mistakes. Not being able to train, I knew that this next ½ was going to fall far short of a beautiful thing. My doctor advised that I should lay low on the working out. She never said I couldn’t run a ½ marathon, then again, she may not have known that was the plan. “No matter the circumstances,” remember?!? Not wanting to drag my running partner behind (she had her own fights she needed to fight) I allowed myself to fall behind and get lost in the crowd. I quickly knew this was going to be a fight I have never faced before and I was going to need to go to a mental depth I have not gone to before. It was about to get real.
The headache began at mile 3 and shortly thereafter I found myself eyeing every medic and police officer, for fear that they would see what I was feeling and stop me. I was going to do this if I had to literally crawl. I made it across the finish line by myself and alone. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
I have recently married the man that breathed life into my soul. My life is now full of crazy surprises and I am loving every moment of it. This next ½ promises to be very interesting but hey, I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
My name is Jenheifer and I HAVE RISEN.
I'm 35, originally Dutch, but living in the Boston area for the past 4 years. Started running several times in my life, not to lose weight although I definitely could use that and it would be a nice bonus, but just because it makes me feel good.
But Boston winters get me every time, so basically I'm couch 2 5k-ing again now, with one difference, I actually signed up for a 5k this time 😊
Was listening to Martinus Evans podcast this morning (if you don't know him, check him out, I'm excited every Monday morning for the new podcast 😊), and this sounds like an awesome group, so here I am!
Hello! I follow 300 lbs and running and he was talking about your podcast. I just read your post on the runheiferrun.com page about the unicorn drinks and it cracked me up.
I ran a little recreationally in high school and I am just returning to running using the Run Your Butt Off program. I signed up for the Color Run near me in September, where the mascot is a unicorn 🦄. I work as a dialysis tech, paramedic and I am a nursing student.
My other half is doing some of the workouts with me and it's been a lot of fun. Thank you for the add and the welcome!
Hi, I’m Maggi from PA! I was pretty thin during my teen years (although I didn’t realize it at the time) but somehow managed to balloon to over 200 pounds. That’s when I decided to do something about it.
Arthritis, cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease all run in my family. I wanted to do something about it BEFORE I got one of those issues. I originally started out by taking cardio kickboxing. Then I decided to sign up for an obstacle course race. Had no idea what an OCR was but it looked fun!
I looked into it AFTER registering which is probably a good thing because had I known what I was getting into, I never would have done it! That was followed up with a color run, my first 5k (yes, I did an obstacle course race before a regular 5K!) Eventually I got into hiking, mixed martial arts, and all kinds of other activities. I even began to love going to the gym and I lost about 50 pounds. I even wrote about my journey in a story that was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life.
However, I then wound up with vertigo for 2 months. I could barely turn my head without getting dizzy. If any of you have ever taken time off from working out, you know how hard it is to get back into it.
Things just went downhill from there and I gained all the weight back and then some. It is almost 2 years later and I am finally getting back into a groove. I’m back at MMA and back at the gym. Not sure if I’ll be doing a 5k anytime soon, but I do plan on trying to get into running again (although mine is sort of wogging….walking AND jogging!). I am so glad I found this group and hope I can be an encouragement as many of you have already been to me.
Hi! I'm a 35-year-old mom of two fantastic kiddos. This year my husband and I will be celebrating 20 years together, having been married 15 of those years. He walks in the room and still gives me butterflies...I know, gag. But had to add that, because I still see hearts all around when I mention him to anyone.
The kiddos sure keep me busy, but a fun, active busy that I've found I love. They always want to go on that run with me, on their scooters or bikes, and I love introducing them to this world now! Fitness has never been in my life really, but I am so glad I jumped in, because I can't imagine my life without running in it now. (still crazy those words are coming out of my mouth!!)
I started a weight loss journey 1 year ago. After losing 50 pounds with diet alone, I hit a huge plateau and was told the remaining 30 pounds wouldn't come off unless I add in some exercise. Dragging my feet I signed up for a 5K and decided to try running.
I surprised myself. I never in a million years would have thought the words, I love running, would ever come out of my mouth. But they do, and I look forward to my run days! I'm only 7 weeks into the C25K program and my first 5k is May 20th! I've already signed up for another one, The Color Run, in July! Hopefully, my love for running continues and I hope to keep registering for more and more 5k's to keep me going!
Worried I would lose traction and bail, 3 weeks ago I started working at the YMCA, very part time. I figured I might as well throw myself in with a bunch of people working toward what I'm working toward too, in hopes to keep my motivation! I really enjoy working there so far, and it's helped keep me going. I'm an accountant by day, and YMCA employee one night a week and a couple weekend shifts a month. HA!
I look forward to more support from fellow running friends and am so glad I found this group! I have so many questions and some days need that extra motivation from some friends who "get it" and will keep pushing me. (that's you guys! )
In 2007 after 8 years of marriage, I found myself getting divorced. Being married was the first time in my life that my weight was not an issue, at 5’5 I averaged 135-140 and felt pretty good. I had struggled my whole life with weight, being the fat girl, being bullied and having very few friends. During my teenager years I began to suffer from severe panic attacks and depression, which lead to more over-eating.
For me there was always a link between eating and depression or loneliness. By my late 20’s I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and initially treatment helped me to begin losing weight. I met my ex-husband and for the first time ever I wore a size 6. It was the best I’d ever felt about myself.
So due to the divorce, my life changed and since then I have gradually been gaining weight. My hypothyroidism has been unstable and unfortunately I began early menopause 4 years ago. It has triggered severe migraines, vertigo and really intense hot flashes.
Two years ago I hit 196 pounds and it really destroyed me inside and out. I decided to begin a walking routine and a moderately low fat diet. I struggled with the walking and over-heating but for 5 months I worked up to 3-4 miles at least 6 times a week. I lost 4 inches off my hips and around 9 pounds.
Winter turned into spring and summer and I had to stop. The heat was too much and my body just couldn’t adjust. Slowly but surely I gained the weight back and then some. I was up to 204 until recently. I’ve lost 2 pounds modifying my diet and eating habits. I just began walking again and hope I can figure out a way to do it through the warm summer months.
I am at a point now where I feel like I’m ready to commit to losing weight. My goal is to shoot for 65 pounds. This group is very inspiring and motivational. I’m ready to get healthy and stay healthy. And so, here we go …. Walk heifer! Walk :)
I seriously just started changing my food habits Sunday, April 23, 2017. My starting weight was 404.7 pounds.
I weighed myself Friday and had already lost 13.2 pounds bringing me down to 391.5 pounds.
My goal for now is 195 pounds, so positive support about getting off your butt and moving is way more important to me than dissecting every morsel that goes into my mouth. I'm not dieting, I've decided to embrace a healthy lifestyle, mind and body.
I decided to reengage in running in 2014, at the same time that I joined Weight Watchers.
I think I was at my heaviest (for me) at that time, weighing in a bit over 190lbs.
I reached my weight loss goal in about 10 months and, ran my first half-marathon that fall in San Francisco.
I have successfully maintained my weight loss and maintained a good activity level up to now.
It’s a challenge, weight loss has always been a struggle for me and can appreciate everyone’s personal journey.
I'm fairly new to the world of running,
I just starting participating in races about a year ago. I've recently graduated up from the 5k to a 10k course this past weekend. I am certainly not the fastest heifer on the course, but I leave plenty of dust nonetheless.
I have lost almost 45 pounds over the last year, and hope to shave at least 20 more off my waist line. Here's a picture of my and my best friend at this past weekend's race.
I heard Melissa's interview in the 300 Pounds & Running podcast.
I lost 50 pounds 5 years ago after treatment for cancer. Part of that weight loss was walking and a little running. I've regained a bit of the weight and have more to lose. And I'm determined to run a half marathon before I turn sixty…in another five years.
Currently going through some little health issues, but determined to rebuild health, lose weight, and make the dream happen.
As for me and my journey, it's probably a lot like everyone's - divorced dysfunctional family upbringing, then girl seeking her absentee father thru relationships with men, until I finally realized I had to find happiness in me first.
Did a lot of soul searching, praying, and evolving for years. I had to accept that there are things beyond my control and things that will not ever change in other and be ok with that. I found happiness on the inside of me. It was there all along. Funny how that works.
I'm a very happy woman these days. I fill myself with positive things each day thru music, prayer, people that inspire me and people who accept me exactly for who I am today. I've found true love after all these years and can't feel anything but blessed. Everyday I try and be the best me I can and be mindful of others.
The day I realized I was big was when I couldn't do two flights over stairs and I went home and told my mum who confirmed that I was big. I brought diet food the next day.
Thus, beginning yo-yo situation. Back and forth and always over 200lbs. I began racing casually in 2014 but my eating habits hadn't changed and I was still overweight. It wasn't until December of 2016 when the doctor gave me a $300 bill and told me that I was about to have diabetes and other conditions.
Then he said he needed more tests. I went off! I was like Hell NO! I'm not paying for all these pills and medical procedures. NO! I would eat better and race. That's what I've done.
I lost 46lbs in one year and I'm closing in on my goal weight. I've learned to eat food because I had no idea what I was doing. So learning was the exciting part. And as they say Knowing is half the battle!
The first pic is 2014
This last one was last Saturday
I found this group through my friend.
I've been running since 2014, lost about 50 pounds, but had some health issues that kept me from running for six months and I gained about half of it back. Now that I've had surgery to fix it, I'm back to running and have lost about ten pounds this month.
I'm married and dad to six kids. My oldest is 6, and I have a 4 year old, 2 year old triplets, and a 9 month old. Between my family and work, it's not always easy to get out and run, but I make the time 4-5 mornings a week.
Here's a pic at my biggest and a more recent one.
Hello everyone , I am a senior runner, i am 59 running only 5k due to some injuries.
have a bariatric surgery lost 100 pounds. i workout 6 days a week with weights. My goal is lofty. Maybe a half marathon maybe only a 10k.
We will see where my training takes me. I found you guys on Facebook, was intrigued by the name. i sometimes feel like that running.
I live in West Michigan.