Surname: Rita Lynn Coward
: 51
: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Takeoff weight: 285 pounds
Final weight
: 163 pounds
time is running
: two years

I’ve had extra weight (to varying degrees) all my life, but I’ve struggled with obesity for the past 25+ years. For me the fight was much more than physical; it also attacked me emotionally and psychologically.

Every time I tried new dietI was hoping that this would be “the one” who would help me achieve my weight loss goals. Unfortunately, those hopes were inevitably dashed when I was unable to follow the insane diet plan I had started.

Decades of defeat turned into a severe psychological burden that damaged my confidence in every other area of ​​my life. I withdrew from parts of life and refused to participate in life experiences. I didn’t want to be seen; I wanted to leave.


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In May 2018, I realized that I was 590 days away from my 50th birthday. This knowledge terrified me to the core! I knew that if I did nothing now to change my life, there could never be changes. However, I only had five more months of steaming in all of this awareness, fear, and fear before doing anything about it.

Around that time, my doctor told me that I was hypertensive, which means that I have high blood pressure and need to take steps toward a healthy lifestyle. I felt my life depended on it.

I officially started my weight loss journey on October 1, 2018 at 285 pounds. I started adjusting my eating habits. After trying many different unsuccessful diet programs before, I decided to give it a try listen to my body for a change. For me, this came in the form of eating when I was hungry and stopping when I wasn’t. I am not restricting my diet, but I also recognize that not all foods offer the same nutritional benefits.

This mindful approach to eating worked from the start, and I’ve stuck with it ever since. I also started walking on that Treadmill I work consistently every day to improve my endurance (by moving with the times) and strength (by increasing the pace and incline).

In the first two months, I lost 25 pounds and wanted to do more exercise. I settled on a couch-to-5K (C25K) plan but wasn’t fit enough to complete the prescribed 60-second interval during the first week of the program. My solution was to spend two weeks preparing for my own plan – I called it my Pre-C25K plan. On December 8th, 2018, I ran my first 30 second interval. The following week I increased the interval duration to 45 seconds and the following week my official week 1 of C25K began.

After that, I started running three days a week and followed the C25K plan. My only goal at the time (as a perpetual quitter) was to just quit the program. When the end of that plan was in sight, I decided it was only logical to actually do a 5K race, and not just the distance.

Just like that, my goals developed event by event. Run after three 5Ks I felt brave enough to sign up for a 10K race. After the free Garmin Connect training plans, I started running four days a week and ended up choosing the best way to celebrate my goal of getting fit before my 50th birthday Seattle 50th Anniversary Half Marathonwhich took place 11 days before my 50th birthday in 2019. I finished in 2:35:03.

A challenge that I had while Half marathon training was my hunger went through the roof. My weight loss stopped and I felt less energy so I chased mine Macros for a couple of months to make sure I got enough of the right things. Ultimately, I am eating mindfully again. This is what eating freedom feels like to me.

When winter came here in Canada, I cut back on my running because of the cold. My training is more strength-focused right now, with a few treadmill miles a few times a week in hopes of maintaining my fitness. From March I will start again with the training on the treadmill and dedicate myself to running outdoors again in the spring.

From all of this, I’ve lost 120 pounds over 14 months and I feel amazing. Running gave me back my life. I’ve never felt this way before – there’s no chance I saw this life at 285 pounds as a possibility. But now I don’t feel like I can be stopped. I feel like I can do anything – anything I want to work for. It just takes persistence and effort over time.

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