Becoming a Runner Helped Me Reclaim My Strength

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All my life I battled with self-image, self-worth and body issues.

I didn’t grow up overweight, but I ended up 200 pounds at 5’9” in 2011. My doctor told me I needed to lose weight or I could have a stroke because of my heart problems. I started running because my husband’s ex-wife was a runner and she was really skinny so I wanted to be like that.

Sad, I know, it took a very skinny irrelevant woman to make me lose weight. I found running hard because I was so large chested. It was painful and downright embarrassing. After going to a plastic surgeon in 2012, he said my breast reduction was medically necessary and I went under the knife. After having that surgery, it opened so many doors for exercising and getting my life back!

I started running a lot more, I started eating more healthy foods, cut out fast food and did a lot of research on what to eat. I ate vegetables and watched my calories. Everything was going great! Eventually, I lost 85 pounds!

People started asking me for advice on how to lose weight. What they didn’t know was I was very unhealthy. I developed an eating disorder. I ate less than 1200 calories a day, ran 3 miles and practiced yoga and other types of exercise.

I started to become obsessed with my weight and what I ate.

If I wasn't 116 pounds every morning when I weighed myself, I cut even more. I cried a lot. I didn't want to eat because I was scared of food in front of me. Scared I would eat and not be able to stop. The one thing that I was successful at in my life was weight loss, and suddenly it was killing me.

My hair was falling out. I was cold in 90-degree weather. My skin was dry. I over exercised but couldn't understand why running wasn’t getting easier.

I wasn't fueling my body enough to run! I went to my doctor and they counseled me about my low BMI. They threatened to put me in the hospital if I didn’t gain weight. And from that point on, a light switch went off inside me. I started eating more, having a better relationship with food and the scale. I started lifting weights in the gym and put running on hold for a year.

I got my weight up to a healthy 130 with added muscle and fat. Now, I’m a half marathoner and a weightlifter and I'm stronger than ever!

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If it weren't for my eating disorder, I wouldn’t be the strong bad ass woman I am today! I've now run 3 half marathons and I’m ready to take on my first marathon in November of 2018! Being strong is so much more important the weight, food and small clothing sizes! 

If you, or someone you know, has an eating disorder, ask for help. Below is a list of websites where you can get the help that you or someone you know needs:   (Anorexia nervosa and related eating disorders, Inc)