How Running Changed Megan Marie – Weight Loss Transformation

Name: Megan Marie
Age: 37
Hometown: Connecticut
Occupation: Vice President of Product Management

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Start Weight: 351 pounds
End Weight: 145 pounds
Time Running: About a year

Before starting my weight-loss journey, I was a busy mom of two trying to balance motherhood and a career. I prioritized everything above my own health and wellness, which showed up in my food choices. Often, I leaned on fast food after a long night working or shuttling the kids around to various activities.

I wanted to be present and involved in all aspects of my life, but I was physically and mentally exhausted. Things like climbing the stairs to bed at night left me breathless. I suffered from sleep apnea to the point that my husband said I would stop breathing at night, and wake up coughing and gasping. My legs swelled to extremely large sizes. I worried about blood clots. Despite all of this, I was still afraid to go to the doctor for fear of judgment about my weight.

Everything was more difficult for me at my heaviest. I had been overweight my entire life, but when I saw 351 pounds on the scale in January 2019, I knew I needed to change. I was 35 years old, and I wanted to be there for my kids and be there when they had grandchildren. It was time to do something to help myself.

As I had many times before, I made a New Year’s resolution to the lose weight for good. But this time was different—this time, I was going to make sure everyone in my life knew what I was trying to do. In my mind, I knew that in order to be successful, it couldn’t be something I did in secret. I needed friends and family for support.

Previous weight-loss attempts began with huge calorie deficits and working out six to seven days a week. That led to me feeling exhausted and depleted, and ultimately, I would quit.

For this new journey, I made one small change at a time to build new habits and focused 100-percent on nutrition to start. There was plenty to work on. My diet previously consisted of processed foods made of mostly carbohydrates. So, I started by lowering my carb intake on a weekly basis, getting rid of processed foods and refined sugar. Before I knew it, I had accidentally started the keto diet.

I stuck to this diet for a year, losing 180 pounds. But I wanted to reintroduce carbs into my life and try to find a way of eating that truly could be sustainable long-term. That’s when running entered my life.

For my first year of weight loss, I walked daily at 6:30 a.m., but I had always wanted to try running. So, I downloaded the Couch to 5K app and repeated weeks one and two over and over. But for some reason, I had this mental block beyond that, and I couldn’t go farther distances. Then one day, someone told me that I just need to slow down to hit those distances. Once I heard that, I was finally able to finish the program in May 2020. I ran my first (virtual) 5K on the anniversary of my grandma’s birthday in July 2020.

Now, I run three times a week. Running for me is about building endurance, not speed, both mentally and physically. Mental endurance is all about discipline, learning to push forward even when you want to quit. Discipline leads to consistency, and consistency leads to results.

I also run because it makes me feel free of the body I was trapped in for so long. Running is the self-care time I had been missing in my earlier life. It’s the time I have to myself to decompress and think. It’s only me on the road, surrounded by my thoughts that I feel like maybe, just maybe, I can fly.

The hardest part of my journey has been reaching the end, the highly sought after “goal weight,” and being faced with the question, “Now what?” Once you hit that goal weight, what keeps you going?

I’ve had to learn to find new goals, new challenges, and running has been a huge part of that. I have lost over 200 pounds in 15 months. So many people tell me that they wish they could run, but they just can’t for any number of reasons. I want them to know that they can, and that it’s never too late to change their lives. Finding running has been like finally living the dream I’ve had since I was a child, like I’m free, like I can fly.

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