I have struggled with being overweight for most of my life. In 2010, I was at my highest weight, had no energy and was experiencing a lot of aches and pains. I had spent the last 20 years focusing on being a Mom and hadn’t taken very good care of my own health. I decided it was time to make a change. I committed to dieting and exercising, and in a little over a year, I had lost 110 pounds. In 2011, I ran the Buffalo Half Marathon, in 2012, I rode the 62.5 mile ride in the Ride for Roswell and in 2013, I completed a Spartan Super Race in the Tri-State area. I was in control of my eating and was enjoying all types of exercise. At 47, I was in better shape than I had ever been.
I took a promotion at work and at first it was great. I loved the new challenge and liked what I was doing. But after about a year, the stress of the job was increasing and I started dreading going to work. I began to slip away from my good eating habits and wasn’t exercising as much as I had been. In March of 2014, my best friend of over 20 years took her own life. I didn’t want to admit it, but my life was spinning out of control. Before I knew it, I had gained back almost 90 pounds and wasn’t exercising at all. I had never thought of myself as a “stress eater”, but I was. I was eating way too much of all the wrong foods and had quickly slipped back into the bad habits that I had worked so hard to overcome.
Luckily, I was given the chance to take a new position within my company. I knew I needed to take this opportunity and use it as a starting point to get back to the “healthy me”. I tried to diet a couple different times but just couldn’t seem to stay on track. Last August, a girlfriend and I went to Fleet Feet to buy some new shoes and she noticed the flyer for the “Ton of Fun” program. I have to admit I wasn’t as enthusiastic as she was, but we decided to join. It turned out to be the best decision I had made in a long time.
I have just started my third session of “Ton of Fun” and to date I’ve lost over 57 pounds. I’m exercising regularly and finally feel like I am in control again. The support and encouragement of all of the Fleet Feet staff, as well as the other “Ton of Fun” members, have been invaluable. Each week when I go to weigh in, I know I will be greeted by a friendly face who will cheer me on no matter what the scale says. The Facebook page is also a great source of support as I read about others who are experiencing the same challenges and frustrations as I am. I have also been attending some of the Monday Night Community Workouts. It’s a great boost to see so many people of all ages, shapes and sizes coming together to work out at their own pace - no one judges, only supports and encourages!
I know that eating well, exercising, and staying healthy don’t come easy. I will always have to work at it, but I also know that Fleet Feet offers a wide variety of programs to help me do just that. I will be participating in the “No Boundaries Program” for the first time this next session and am looking forward to working toward being “a runner” again. I will be forever grateful to all of the Fleet Feet Team for their enthusiastic support and I hope to continue to participate in the many programs they offer. Look out “50”, here I come!