Elizabeth – From Fat To Fit

when I first encountered the Facebook running community, this lady’s story was one of the first I noticed. it resonated deeply with my own experiences, and is a truly inspiring example of what can be achieved.

so, let’s get this started in the usual way – can you tell everyone a bit about you, what you do, where you’re from?

elizabeth_from_fat_to_fitmy name is Elizabeth, I’m a stay at home mom from Richmond, VA, United States.

so can you tell us about your journey, your motivation, how you got started?

My main motivation has always been to be healthy and active so I could enjoy life with my family.

It was a culmination of events over the course of a year or so.  I could no longer fit comfortably in most booths at restaurants.  My kids wanted me to slide with them at the park, and I couldn’t.

I cracked chairs!

My husband is into theme parks, and I was too big to fit in a lot of the rides.  I also started to feel like crap almost all the time, and I had to finally admit to myself that it was my weight that was causing all these problems.

so if that’s what is driving you – can you share a little about what your goals are?

My ultimate goal weight is somewhere between 140-150 pounds.  I still have at least 20 pounds to lose.  However, my ultimate goal overall was to be strong and healthy, and I am.

I’ve improved my health by leaps and bounds.  I used to have high cholesterol and triglycerides, a fatty liver, borderline high blood pressure, stomach upsets, and now all my labs are normal and I feel better than I ever have.

that’s fantastic – can you give some examples of how things have changed so far?

In 3 years, I have lost over 150 pounds through eating healthier, reducing my caloric intake, and exercising.  My weight loss hasn’t been super fast, but it’s been steady and maintainable.
I am finally living a lifestyle that I can continue to live.  I’ve never been on a restrictive diet, taken pills, had surgery or anything like that.

along the way there are always challenges – what would you say has been your biggest challenge?

Eating.  Food has always been the hardest part for me.  I’ll be going along, doing just fine, and then I have a bingeing episode.

It’s hard to get back on track, but I always do.

I believe I am a food addict, and this is something I will have to manage for the rest of my life, but I will never give up.  Planning my meals and keeping my trigger foods out of the house is what works best for me.

with so many positive changes, what would you say has been your biggest achievement?

Other than losing the amount of weight I have lost, I would say that training for and running a half marathon in November of 2012 is the thing I am most proud of accomplishing.

So many people doubted me, and that lit a fire under me to prove them wrong.  I finished in 2:23:33.  Not a fast time, but I ran a steady pace the whole time and never stopped to walk, which no one thought I could do.

that’s awesome – other than the obvious (half marathon) what impacts have you seen generally in your life?

People tell me I have inspired them to change, and that makes me feel awesome!  My health is better and I think it’s improved my life because I am happier.

It’s hard to be happy when you feel like crap all the time.

and the energy.  I can run circles around most people and each day am able to get a lot done.  When you have good health and energy, you just enjoy life more.

What do we really have if we don’t have our health?

that’s very true – now alongside the positives, there’s always the negative. what have been the main drawbacks for you?

Feeling alone in this can be hard.

I mostly work out on my own, and not everyone is committed to living the way I live.

It’s hard at functions not to eat what everyone else does.  It’s hard to make myself  get up run while everyone is sleeping.  It’s hard to stay on the right track when you are doing it pretty much alone.

I also have people who are jealous and say hateful things to me (mostly people online).  Neither of these things are enough to deter me though.  I know what I want, and no one will keep from doing it.

The other thing for me is loose skin.  I have lost so much weight that my body will never be “bikini ready” without surgery.  Even though that sucks, it’s still not as bad as being morbidly obese, as I was.

so with all this going on, how DO you stay motivated?

You have to just keep DOING.

No one is motivated all the time.  I don’t wake up every single day wanting to work out.  Many times you just have to suck it up, and do it.

You have to decide you want to change more than you want to eat crap.

Reading blogs of other successful people helps motivate me, but the notion that someone else can motivate you is a false one.  It’s got to mostly come from within yourself.

You’ve got to know WHY you want to change so you can work toward it.

so on that basis then, if someone reading this is considering making a similar life change, what would you tell them?

I would tell them, “You CAN do it.”

I used to believe it wasn’t possible for me, and then I just decided I had to change.  I wasn’t sure where to start, but I started making small changes and they added up.

Success begets success, so as you keep plugging along day after day, you realize how much you’ve improved, and THAT is what keeps you going.  I would also tell people that it’s going to be hard.

I am not going to sugar coat it and say it’s easy.  It’s the hardest damn thing I’ve ever done and it takes a long time if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, but you can’t give up on yourself.  You can choose to do something about your health, or you can continue to let it worsen.

Think of where you could be a year from now?

DON”T GIVE UP.

your story is truly inspiring, is there anywhere online people can find out more?

My facebook page is From Fat to Fit

My blog is The Singing Bird

You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.  I’m singingbird80

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