So most of us make a New Years resolution to lose a few pounds or to get fit and since you all know my story so I thought I would share the story of 2 of my friends, both of whom have lost over 100 pounds and become marathoners. I know Katie from a group on Facebook and she is a bit of a role model for me and a source of inspiration. Darryl was in my marathon group this summer and he and his wife Lori are leading the next marathon clinic starting at the end of January. When I met Darryl, I though he must have always been a runner since he is so fit and fast and was surprised to discover his story and I think you will be too. I hope their journeys provide a bit of inspiration for you in 2014.
My wife decided after one particularly delicious and overindulgent Holiday season, that enough was enough. She told me that she was joining Weight Watchers and I was welcome to enroll if I wanted. Having been significantly overweight my entire life, I was extremely skeptical about my chances for success. On January 1, 2011 I weighed 245 pounds and had a 42 inch waist.
|Darryl before his weight loss|
By the end of October that same year, I'd lost 100 pounds and was down to a size 29. I have been able to maintain this weight, give or take a pound or two, for the past two years.
While I give Weight Watchers all the credit for getting me started, running has been the solution to keeping the weight off. I ran my first 2 half marathons in 2011 and followed that up with 2 marathons in 2012. In 2013, I ran a 30km race, 2 half marathons, and several 5 and 10km races. I'm registered for The Dopey Challenge (a 5k, 10k, half, and full marathon on 4 consecutive days) in Florida in January 2014 and plan to run my first Ultra (50km in Niagara Falls) in the summer of 2014. Did I mention that my wife runs as well and we do all our races together? I am well and truly blessed.
|Darryl and Lori after Around the Bay|
Losing weight gave me the confidence to start thinking "outside the box" with regards to what I'm physically capable of. And running has become the passion that I can't imagine living without. Every time I lace up the sneakers, I find myself shaking my head and wondering why it took so long to make the changes I so desperately needed in my life. But then I look down at my feet and smile...and maybe that's enough.
I started running again about 4 years ago. I had run in my youth and in University but had fallen out of the habit. I think I spent about 10 years leading a very sedentary lifestyle. I would see people out running and feel jealous, green and sick almost inside. I thought that "feeling" that "awesome high" was lost to me at 258 pounds and a size 22.
Then one day, after many many false starts, I walked into the gym. I started with 10 min on the treadmill, and then 20, and then 30. Soon I was training for my first 5km race. Someone suggested I sign up for the Army Run. I was stunned that they believed I could do it! I got hooked at that race, running my first 5km race in 33 min 12 sec at a size 18.
|Katie at her first race|
I didn't look back, from there I ran a 10km race, and then came back to run the Army Run HALF MARATHON the following year. It wasn't long before I made a lifelong dream of running a Full Marathon come true. I ran the best race of my life that day. Fuelled by emotion and messages on my ipod of my little girls saying "You can do it Mommy!," "Your strong Mommy." I think I cried the entire 42.2km. It was my best race ever and my fastest at 4:17.
Running and working out have become my safe place, my sanity saver, my identity in many ways. As hard as training for 4 marathons, 5 half marathons and all the other stuff has been; that part has always come relatively "easy" to me. I enjoy it and the pay off, that "high" ,is well addictive. Let's talk about that word "addictive."
You see long before I became a size 22, I was much smaller and fought an eating disorder most of my youth. I have an addictive personality, an extreme personality. When I was young I was bulimic, a very addictive binge and purge cycle. When I was a size 22 and sedentary, I was still addicted to food and binged without the purging. Then running came into my life and filled me with healthy endorphins, confidence, and a desire to perform well. That desire to perform well meant that I needed to take care of myself and I needed to eat well to fuel my body. I can honestly say that running has played a huge role in my recovery with disordered eating.
I always say that our family lifestyle has changed now that my husband and I are active. I love that the girls watch us race and workout and copy us. I am also so so very thankful that see me running to the finish line of a race and not binging and hating myself. So running is my happy place and I am so very thankful for it.
Here is a link to Katie's Blog Katie's Blog
|Katie after her latest marathon in October|