Location: Avon Park, FL
When I was a child, I loved to run. I spent hours out in the woods with my cousins, just running all over the place. Or riding my bike. I was so active. Those were the days before computers! The days when kids went outside and then didn’t check back in until it was time to eat. Thinking back, I think that started to change when I became a teenager. I was too grown up then to spend hours outside running around. I started to gain some weight and it just became a vicious cycle. More weight…less active…and on and on.
In 2013, I was 47 years old and hadn’t run since I was about 12. I didn’t think I could run actually. But we were up in NY for the summer, when one day in late May my sister showed me her running magazine where there was a “couch to half marathon” program for beginners, and asked if I wanted to do it with her. I’m still not sure what came over me, but I said “sure, why not”. And that’s where it began.
We signed up for a half marathon that August, and then we started running together in the mornings. The first day I could only run 0.67 mile without having to stop and walk. And even for that 2/3 mile I was gasping for breath. I had been walking on a daily basis but running was a whole new ball game. It took me about a month until I was able to run a mile without stopping.
All through that June and July we worked on the half marathon program. It was slow progress, but progress! And in early August 2013, we traveled to Lake George, where I ran in my first ever race, and a half marathon (13.1 miles) at that! And I finished it! It was very hilly, and I walked more than I ran, and I came in next to last place, but I crossed the finish line - in 3 hours 6 minutes.
That was just the beginning. Since then, I’ve completed:
Someday I would like to do a marathon. My sister and I have talked about doing one at Disney, which would be amazing.
For me, running has made all the difference. But any activity is good activity. I was losing weight by tracking my calories and just walking even before I (re)discovered my love for running.
Another thing that has come in handy was getting a fitbit to keep track of my movement throughout the day. I’ve found it very helpful. It uses my activity to provide me an estimate of my calories burned. I switched to using the Fitbit app instead of the Lose It app to track my food each day.
Beside logging my food, the other thing that has really helped me is weighing in daily. There are huge differences of opinion in this area, but for me it works. I used to avoid the scale. My clothes would get super tight and when I finally weighed myself, I would have gained ten pounds, or more. I found that much more discouraging. Tracking my weight on a daily basis keeps me on top of how I’m doing. I don’t get hung up on a number if I’m “up” one day, but if my weight continues to tick up over a week or two, I’m aware of it, and can make changes as needed.
It’s still a work in progress, but I am at the point now where I have lost enough weight that I am feeling the best that I have felt since I was that 10 year old kid running around in the woods. I have a little less than 15 pounds to go to get to my final goal, and hopefully I will get there this year, but if not, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other until I do get there!
It’s been an amazing journey so far!