Name: Meredith Rice
Occupation: Payroll processor
Hometown: Melrose, New Mexico
Start Weight: 210 pounds
End Weight: 135 pounds
Time Running: 5 years
I was small when I was young, but all of that changed around junior high. I stopped growing vertically, and due to my love of food—especially chocolate—I started growing horizontally. I was not a fast runner or natural athlete, and others made it a point to point that out to me. So my senior year, I quit all but one sport, and the French fries and pounds quickly caught up with me.
After graduating college, I looked at the a scale and saw a number that, frankly, scared me: I was 210 pounds. After the shock wore off, I started questioning myself: “How did you let it get to this point?” and “What number is it going to have to be for it to be ‘too much?’” I was angry. Angry at myself for ignoring what my body needed, because I would rather sit on the couch and eat cupcakes. This was few months after graduation in 2013, and I decided to change right then and there.
The first thing I did was seek out a personal trainer. I went online and found one within my budget who sounded like a good fit for me. Those early workouts were tough, shaky, and left me out of breath—and that was just the warmup.
My trainer did ease me into it, and was very encouraging even when it became obvious that this was going to be a lot of work for both of us. We usually met to do strength workouts, which involved some core work—I dreaded planks—and things like push-ups, resistance band work, and bicep curls.
The other days, I was on my own with instructions for cardio workouts. She started me out with walks just to get used to spending time on my feet, then slowly and added in running.
I was discouraged at times throughout the process, but I just kept thinking, “My body didn’t get this way in a day, so it was going to take longer than that to get it back where I wanted to be.” I took one step, one workout, one meal decision, and one day at a time.
After eight months, I hit my goal weight of 130 pounds. It certainly didn’t feel quick a lot of the time, but I contribute that to not looking for the easy way out. If I thought too much about the overall goal, I would get overwhelmed by how far I had to go rather than looking how far I had come—“You mean I did more than a 30-second plank today? Nice!”
I also contribute a lot of my success to the people I had around me. Their belief in me and their encouragement was vital to my success. You could say they believed in me until I believed in myself.
This isn’t to say I didn’t fail along the way. After my wedding in 2016, I gained almost all of the weight back. I was so disappointed that I threw away all of my hard work, and decided the only thing to do was to start again. Now, I’m back at 135 and feeling stronger than ever.
[Discover how to run 10, 50, or even 100 pounds off with Run to Lose.]
Running was “the game-changer” during my journey. I had tried to lose weight strictly though diets before, but they never lasted. Running was something that I could do that could give me a little more leeway with food, so I didn’t feel like I was depriving or stuffing myself.
For my successful weight loss journey, I took more of a portion-based approach. This way, I could go out to dinner and not feel so limited or like I was depriving myself of anything. I did look at food as fuel, and on my run days, I gave myself a bit bigger of a portion. Basically, I had everything in moderation.
More than that, running became an escape and a form of therapy. While it was changing my body, it was also changing my mind. It taught me perseverance, and about listening to my body, both of which came in handy around meal time.
I really caught the running bug in 2017 preparing for the 2018 Disney Princess Half Marathon. That only grew after that race weekend. I loved the atmosphere of race day and the camaraderie within the running community. I didn’t feel out of place, as there are all types of runners at all different levels. I felt like the only person I was trying to beat was me.
Since then, I have ran a few more half marathons, even going as far as Paris to run. I run about four times a week, and am training for my first full marathon in April. I have become a bit faster, but for me, my running journey is about finish lines, not finish times, and I am going to cross as many of them as I can for as long as I can.
My advice to someone who wants to do this is to just start. Get yourself some good running shoes, build your support system, find what motivates you, and start. There are going to be some tough days, days that the last thing you want to do is run. But you will always feel better afterwards knowing you did, and are one step closer to whatever your goal is.
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