Get rid of the seemingly magical success stories and the fad diets, and read Lindsey Newman’s true and inspirational story as told to Charlotte Andersen.
Real weight loss takes time, but it is time well spent.
I enjoy running, especially at night. There is nothing that has ever made me feel so powerful and free. At the beginning, I excelled at sports as a kid. Plus, I enjoyed any activity that required footwork.
I first started doing it in high school. Then it came pretty naturally to me.
My favorite ways to move include soccer, dancing and running but despite all my activities, my weight was a thing I struggled with. Even as a teen it didn’t come very easily for me.
I struggled with the scale
I never had a runner’s body. I was stocky, painfully self-conscious and short.
So one day, I was on the track team and practice was making my knees ache. I consulted with the school trainer for help and she told me that if I just lost 15 pounds my knee problems would be solved.
Unknowingly to her that I was starving myself just to maintain my weight.
I was so discouraged and mortified that I quit the team the next day. This led to the end of my night runs.
Things got pretty worse, when my mother died from cancer shortly after I graduated from high school.
I stopped running altogether as I shoved my running shoes into the back of my closet.
I started thinking about running again only in 2011, when I got married and had my own children. This time, it had everything to do with being healthy and nothing to do with a number on the scale.
Not only that, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it again. I wanted to be able to watch my kids grow up and some parts of me wanted to experience the freedom and power that came from a strong body.
The problem was, I was not in a perfect condition to run plus I was a size 22. I never allowed that hold me back. I bought a jogging shoes and ran pair of running shoes. I decided my weight won’t get in my way or let it stop me from something I loved.
It wasn’t easy running with my weight
My knee pain became worse. I got splints in my shin but I didn’t stop.
Whether it was just a couple of steps or a couple of miles, it soon became my “me time” and more than just a workout.
As soon as I turned on the music I started, it gave me time to reflect, to recharge, and to think. I realized how much i missed it. I also started to feel the freedom once again from running.
Let me make it clear…
It was NOT a quick process
…and it was not easy.
It took time to achieve this. I just got a little faster each day and I increased my distance . I focused on small goals at a time. I researched the best shoes for my feet, learnt how to stretch the correct way and also the proper running form.
I made out the time to get educated, then eventually one mile turned into two, it increased, then roughly after a year, I ran 10 miles. I still remember how I cried that day because it had been 15 years since I ran that far.
All my dedication paid off!
I realized that I can surmount any hurdle that come my way. Even goals I set for myself once I reached that milestone. I set a higher challenge for myself.
I signed up for the MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon in New York City that week. From just running, I had lost 50 pounds on my own. I knew if I wanted to continue to see progress, I needed to mix it up.
So I joined a coed gym
…despite my fear of them.
I tried everything, from TRX and spinning to boot camp, because I was unsure of what I enjoyed besides running. I found out that I still loved doing some of them so I did the ones I loved regularly and I cut Zumba and yoga since I giggle too much.
I enjoyed boxing but I got serious injuries in my arm, which I did 3 painful months of physical therapy. Then I hired a personal trainer who taught me the basics of lifting weights since weight training was my biggest missing piece of my health puzzle.
This made me feel strong and powerful
…in a different way.
Last summer I ran a grueling 8.5-mile obstacle race known as Spartan Super race with my significant other. I came in 38th in my group, out of more than 4,000 racers.
It was then I knew where I was in my journey to be a better version of me, get healthy and to lose weight.
It was not easy
…and none of it happened fast but I wouldn’t change a thing.
I went from a size 22 to a size 6 and when people ask how I did it, I just tell them I did it one step at a time. For me it is about what I can do and not about what I look like or a clothing size!
All images and story have been initially published in Shape magazine online.