How long have you been running?
I have been running for three years.
What prompted you to start?
I wanted to recognise myself in the mirror again.
How often do you run?
On average, I try to run three to five days per week and cross-train at least twice a week.
What is your routine?
If the weather is nice, I wake up early two to three days a week to run. If the weather is not permitting or I get home late from a game, I run during my prep period.
Do you race? If so, how often, and what kind of races?
Yes, I love races because they keep me motivated. I try to run at least one race per month except during basketball season. My preferred distance is the 10K, but I also run a lot of 5Ks. So far, I have run one half-marathon, and I plan to run another one this year. Eventually, I would like to give the marathon a go and try out that distance. I am also signed up for my first Ragnar Relay in October.
Do you engage in other sports or activities? If so, what and how often?
I like to play golf whenever I can fit it in. I also did HIIT training five days a week for a year, but now I am struggling to fit both weight lifting and cross-training into my schedule.
What’s the most rewarding part of running for you?
The most rewarding part of running for me is knowing where I started, and seeing where I am now. Running has shown me that I am capable of whatever I put my mind too. I love feeling muscle instead of mush, and I can credit that to running.
Please describe your weight-loss journey, including your before and after weights.
I started out at 117.5 kilograms, but I stand at six feet so I carried the weight well even though I was morbidly obese. I gained most of the weight after I quit playing college basketball and after I had my daughter. I kept the weight on for too many years, and I was so tired of not recognising myself in the mirror. Then one day I decided to go for a run because I was making my basketball players run 1.6 kilometres and record their times. The first 1.6 kilometres I completed took me 21:00, but then the following week I was able to "run" the entire 1.6 kilometres in 19:21. I was on cloud nine—I was so proud of myself.
That’s when I finally decided to change my eating habits. I started consuming 1,200 calories per day and logging my food intake on MyFitnessPal. I also started keeping track of my runs on Runkeeper. I didn’t tell anyone about my weight-loss journey—not even my husband. However, after I lost about 22.5 kilograms people started to ask questions. It motivated me to work that much harder, but I still didn’t admit that I was trying to lose weight. I truly believe that keeping my weight-loss journey to myself and being consistent was the key to my success. In nine months, I lost 50 kilograms and dropped from a size 18 to a size 12. After losing the weight, I started incorporating HIIT workouts to help tone up and build muscle. Three years later, I am a size five or six, and I have kept off the 50 kilograms that I lost.
What is the secret to your weight-loss success?
The key to my weight loss success is consistency and keeping my plans and goals to myself. I have learned that you need to consistently stick with your efforts to see progress. And that’s the toughest part—permanent change is hard. So I try to make the best decision I can every single time I have a decision to make.
How do you stay motivated?
To stay motivated, I continue to set goals for myself, and I also try to make it fun. I run races in new locations to see new scenery, I find new running gear so I look forward to using it on the run, and I try to embrace the things that are outside of my comfort zone.
Do you have any favourite motivational quotes?
“You cannot out run your fork.”
“You are what you continually do.”
“If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, you are correct.”
What are your current short and long-term goals?
My short-term goal is to incorporate more cross-training into my weekly regiment, and my long-term goal is to run my first marathon.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
As a coach, I felt I needed to set a better example for my players. I feel my efforts help to motivate my girls to work harder on and off the court.
This article originally appeared on Runner’s World.