I first met Laura, the blogger behind Mommy Can Run, at a Fitness Convention in early 2014. We hit it off because of her sparky energy and kind demeanor. I saw her for the second time the day of the Boston Marathon 2016 with a bunch of other local run bloggers. I hardly recognized her. Her energy was the same, but her body much slimmer, her face brighter and her pace peppier as she was clearly lighter on her feet. When I finally caught up to her I was like…”what-what?!” She’s lost nearly 50 pounds, I wanted to share her story with you today.
Last month I published Roger’s amazing transformation and I loved sharing his story. I know change is hard, that’s why I’ve dedicated my life to helping people make more of it. And I don’t know what is more convincing, inspiring and confidence building than knowing people can do it. I’ve decided to interview more people, share more stories to fuel more motivation for change.
My primary criteria for interviews?
These are normal people. Just like you and just like me. People who one day thought and said “Hey, I can do better than this...” and made a commitment to change, for the better, and haven’t looked back. When I saw Laura in April, I knew I wanted to share her story. Her energy as simply too much for her old body. She had to break out and now it can keep up with all the things she wants to do. And she’s not even done yet, but she’s well on her way!
I can’t wait for you to read Laura’s story!
What made the day you decided to make this change, the day that changed the rest of your life? How was it different than any other attempt in the past?
I’ve been wanting to lose weight for so long, but I was really discouraged. I am a runner and I’d been through a series of injuries that sidelined me for a long time. I had a media event at the Corona Prison, where the California state prison guards took on the San Bernardino County sheriff guards in a Battle of the Badges. Many of the officers lost more than 30 pounds in 10 weeks. I really felt like I could do it, if they could. I was just so desperate to change my life, I signed up with Lindora for 10 weeks and did everything they told me to do. Something clicked inside and I was really ready to make the change.
I guess in the past, I hadn’t become uncomfortable enough. This time, I really wanted it and was ready to make the sacrifice to be uncomfortable enough to make the change, so I could feel better in the long run. What’s different this time, is that I’m ready for a lifestyle change, not a diet. This isn’t a crash diet. This is my new way of life. For the first time ever, I really believe that.
Have you tried to lose weight in the past? If so, how was this attempt different?
I’ve been a dieter as long as I can remember. After I had my daughter, it became harder to carve out time for myself. I didn’t plan ahead for meals for myself, I put others before my own needs. This time, I make time every single day to weigh in. I plan my meals. I plan my exercise. I don’t just do it because I want to be skinny. I want to be healthy. I had done Weight Watchers when my daughter was younger and I’d save up my points all day, so I could binge on one big meal at night. It was so unhealthy! I did lose weight, but as soon as I went off the plan, I ate like crap and I’d gain more weight than I started with.
Today, I eat throughout the day. I eat breakfast! That’s a big one! I’ve never been a breakfast eater. Now, I eat breakfast. I fuel my body throughout the day. I eat snacks between meals. It’s the first time I can remember eating like a healthy, normal person. What a concept!
What was your largest hurdle to getting started? How did you overcome that?
Fear. I was afraid I’d fail and afraid I’d succeed, only to gain all the weight back. I was afraid to change and honestly, maybe I just wasn’t uncomfortable enough to change. I was fearful that I’d invest time, money, and energy into something, then not be able to do it. Maybe, I was destined to be fat? I have a lot of discouraging things that happen when I diet. My body is very resistant to weight loss. Often I would give up when it got too difficult.
Maybe, that would happen this time? I am still afraid of all those things. I just have to trust the process. I have to trust that even if I don’t lose weight, being healthy is how I’m going to live long enough to annoy my child, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. My health was starting to show signs of obesity—high cholesterol, for example. I didn’t want to see where it was going to go next.
Being healthy and thin had to become more important to me than eating with abandon. Now, I really think things through. I don’t deprive myself, but I don’t let food rule me. Also, I use a food journal and try to keep it as honest as I can. I can look back on what I did wrong, what’s working, and what’s not.
What has been the largest hurdle to staying consistent for so long? How are you continuing to overcome that?
Oh, boy! The toughest thing has been trying not to think about how far I’ve got to go. I have about 100 pounds to lose and I’ve lost close to 50 (48.3 POUNDS!). When I had lost 10 pounds and thought about the other 90 left to lose, I would really get depressed. I’d beat myself up for getting into this mess in the first place. It was overwhelming to think about losing so much weight.
I still get overwhelmed. 100 pounds is a lot of weight to lose. I can’t focus on how much further I have to go. I have to focus on the success I’ve had so far. I focus on inches lost. I look at before and after pictures—which are both inspiring and depressing! But, I am running faster. I’m wearing clothes I haven’t worn in 10 years. I feel better. I am getting complimented all the time. My husband is noticeably more interested in me 🙂 All of these changes have kept me going. I don’t ever want to be that same person again.
What has brought you the most joy/has been most rewarding since starting your transformation?
The journey itself, though very difficult, has been amazing! I love trying on clothes and expecting them to be too small and then seeing that they actually fit! WOW! What an awesome thing! I love the compliments I get when someone hasn’t seen me in a while. It makes me feel so good!
I love the sense of accomplishment I feel, knowing that I’m really doing this! What really has been so rewarding is seeing myself grow as an athlete. I couldn’t run a quarter mile without stopping in January 2015. I was doing 15-20 minute miles. I wasn’t even enjoying running. Now, I love to try to beat my previous time and I’m seeing 10-12 minute miles pretty often. That really is something! I’ve regained my passion for running!
Who has had the largest impact on you throughout this journey?
I would say that I’ve leaned on God through this journey the most. When times get tough, I go to God for answers. I find strength in letting go of control of things and knowing that things will work themselves out. My husband and my mom have been incredibly supportive. Of course, one of my motivating factors of my weight loss, has been to be healthy for my daughter. I have very supportive friends, neighbors, and family that have cheered me along the way. Even my doctor has been cheering for me. It’s an amazing support system I have and every one of the people in my life have impacted me!
It has also helped to read and follow others that have had tremendous weight loss successes. Those people inspire me! I have several people I follow on Instagram and love to see their before, during, and after photos.
Of all the races you’ve run, which course is your favorite? Least favorite?
So far, my favorite race is the AFC Half. It is such a beautiful race and I’ve done it 5 times through the years. It’s a challenging course, especially when the weather is crazy hot, but I love it!
My least favorite was Carlsbad Half Marathon. I don’t know what it was about it, but it was really a tough race. It was beautiful course, but it really challenged me mentally. There’s so many great races in San Diego and it’s touch to pick just one! When I lived in San Diego, I ran with the San Diego Track Club and they had us run a few really fun races and beautiful training runs. Oh! I do miss running near the ocean!
If you had to do it all over again, go back to day 1, what (if anything) would you do differently?
This is a tough question. I want to say that I wish I would have started sooner, but I have no regrets! This journey is mine and it has made me a much stronger person. I am hard-headed and truly believe I started when I did because it was when I was ready.
I do wish I hadn’t given away all my clothes that didn’t fit last year! I could be fitting into some really cute skinny clothes. On the other hand, now I HAVE TO go shopping!
You’ve already achieved so much, but looking forward, what are your future health and happiness goals?
In the past two years, I’ve quit drinking alcohol, I quit smoking, and I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds. My health has improved so much! I am so full of gratitude every day for the life I have! I have a fantastic husband, an amazing kid, and I have everything I could ever want. My goal is to remember every day where I came from and really honor this journey. I am finding that the secret to happiness really is about being grateful for where you are and where you came from.
I would like to lose another 50-60 pounds, to be at my goal weight. I would like to run more races and get faster at every one. I would like keep on this journey and see it to the end.
If you had advice for anybody looking to achieve a similar result, what would you tell them to do? How would you encourage them to get started?
If someone wants to lose weight and get healthy, I would suggest getting prepared. Find an eating plan that works and get the support in place. I go to Lindora, which is a medically supervised weight loss clinic. I weigh in Monday through Friday. I journal my eating 7 days a week. I plan my snacks and meals. If I’m going to the movies, I eat before I go and bring an emergency snack. If I’m going to be out of town, I pack a lunch for the day. Be honest. Be prepared. Be consistent. Believe in the process!
I would suggest talking to your primary care physician first. That way, all your blood work can be done before you get started. For me, it was a good way to get a baseline. My cholesterol was high when I first started and now it has normalized. There might be other conditions that might be hindering success.
The most important thing is to eat healthy as much as possible and MOVE! I don’t do much spluging. I follow an 80/20 rule. I am good 80% of the time and I’m human the other 20%. Find ways to get exercise in, by walking instead of driving whenever possible. Get a pedometer to get extra steps in.
Stop beating yourself up! You are not a number on the scale! You are a human being that is worthy! Don’t let it rule you! Do what you can and remember that tomorrow is a new day! If I can do it, anyone can do it!
If you have an inspiring story you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it!
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