Runner #7 Jennifer

“Running helped me conquer depression.”

Jennifer struggled with her weight her whole life and spent much of her childhood and teen years in a constant state of insecurity. Jennifer’s dieting started when she first joined Weight Watchers at 18 years old. Throughout the next 2 decades she would go on and off the program countless times.

Throughout her adulthood Jennifer had faced down and kicked bad habits like smoking but continued to struggle with weight. Throughout most of her 30′s her weight held around 185 – 190 pounds – about a size 16 or so. She wasn’t happy but she wasn’t miserable enough to make real change. Then, she got pregnant. Pregnancy, gave Jennifer the “freedom” to eat whatever she wanted. That freedom came with a high price, massive weight gain and gestational diabetes. It was not the party she quite envisioned. After her son was born, she was miserable – everything hurt. Her knees and ankles felt the pressure of the extra weight. It was hard for her to get in and out of her car and flying became a nightmare. She suffered depression and a deep fear of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer due to her poor choices in nutrition and health.

Three months later and with only 15 pounds of “baby weight” gone, she decided to give Weight Watchers one last shot and vowed that no matter what, good week, bad week, ugly week she wouldn’t give up until she got to goal. The first year Jennifer lost 40 pounds, the second, she’d only lose 7 pounds. But she didn’t give up. That second year she wasn’t as diligent and she still wasn’t really exercising. Then she fell upon running.

After being inspired by a self-help book and seeing her friend, Angela, complete a half marathon, a funny thing happened. Jennifer decided to leap into running by signing up for a half marathon! This was an odd move for someone still fifty pounds over-weight, a non-exerciser and someone with (up until that moment) an aversion to running! That ‘moment’ changed her life. With a simple training program and a modest blog documenting her journey, Jennifer headed on her new life as a runner.

Ultimately, running helped Jennifer finally reach her goal weight and subsequently maintain a 100 pound weight loss. Since that first race, she’s run countless 5Ks, 6 half marathons and 1 full marathon.

Follow Jennifer’s blog: From Fat To Finish Line