A Journey from 320lbs to Runner

I have lost 160lbs, here is my story…..

Back in 2003 I took a good look at myself in the mirror after not being able to fit in a roller coaster ride. I was so embarrassed that I could not fit and was told I was not able to ride. I knew I gained some weight but one could say I had blinders on. Lots of depression and just trying to make it as a single mom lead to long hours at work and as it should be putting my son first. I stepped in the scale for the first time in years and was shocked to see that it read 320 lbs. I was OMG what in the heck happened? How did I get like this? I knew right then and there if I wanted to be around in the future for my son I had to change and change now. being the type of person that needs a goal I said I will run all the races my grandmother ran when she was alive and will do my first half marathon by the time I am 40… and so it began. Reading everything I could get my hands on about eating right (South Beach Diet was awesome), what to buy and how to read labels (had NO clue about that before). Learned how to add spices and veggies so they weren’t so plain and boring. Started walking around the block because that was how far I could go and asked a lot of questions from people that new about nutrition. Found out I was hypo-glycemic so I had to change on how often I ate and learned on what was best and when. Slowly increased my walking and made sure I walked at least 20 min twice a day…found new places that were scenic to walk at and increased the time each month.

Over time things got easier where it became a normal part of my routine to workout and it didn’t feel like a chore. Added some videos but then you would get the dreaded stall on weight loss and using the same video over and over again..BORING… so I searched harder to change up my routine and found the Leslie Sansone walk at home videos watch out that really kicked up the weight loss and it was fun. I didn’t feel weird about exercising or that people were staring at me. Walking became a bit slow so I would jog a little then walk. Each day I would try to jog a little longer. Of course I had set backs with some weight gain and knee issues but then I would remind myself of what I was trying to accomplish and maybe show other people that it can be done… in 2010 I completed my first 5k and then 4 month later a 10k run took me a long time to complete but I did it I was 205 lbs at this point. After getting that first medal in the 10k I was hooked and knew I that the time was right to try a half… in 2011 I tried to complete my first half and never made it to the start. I thought you just got out and ran…got hurt and was crushed…

The wellness center I belong to holds a contest every year called the Lucky 13 were they take 13 people who have over come health issues and train them to complete a half marathon. In 2012 I was a lucky winner and got the training that I needed to do just that. at this time I was 185lbs. boy did I learn a lot from the gym trainers and running trainers… for 6 months I was all theirs and in Jan 2013 I finished my first half wearing a photo of my grandma on my sleeve and I had just turned 40 four months earlier. I now am a alumni that they call back each year to help mentor then next group. I mean that is what it really is about right? showing people you can overcome anything and achieve your goals… you learn so much about yourself along the way and you can share that with others..hug them when they need it and push them when you can see them slacking off.

Since then I have completed 6 half marathons and have not stopped training since. Weight is still a struggle for me and will always be a struggle. I bounce from 156 – 168 every year and when that happens I take a look at myself and see where I am not being vigilant about my diet. sure you can splurge once in awhile but for ME I need to be careful everyday. I have come to far to allow myself to go back. Running had become a HUGE part of my life. so much to the point I have my next goals in mind.. If I can finish my first Full in January and still get up and walk the next day, I am giving myself 8 year to qualify for Iron Man Kona…Yep by the time I am 50 I want to hear those words “Kasey you are an Iron Man”..

But if I stop to think about it I already am…I hope I can continue to give people strength and courage to not give up and follow their heart in their own journey….It is so worth every step along the way…

Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks again for your FB page. I love seeing the photos , hearing the stories and the sense of community…

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