Do you want to lose weight running and have your running before/after pic?
Here's how I did it; you can too!
If you want to lose weight and run well – let me say I’ve been through it, so I GET YOU!!
Hi, I’m Coach Amie – and as a running and private weight loss coach, I know you may think that I couldn’t possibly understand where you’re coming from with weight loss struggles if you’ve also seen that I’ve set World Records for multi-continent marathon running, won ultramarathons, etc.
Well, believe it or not… I can, because I’ve been there myself!
I’ve written about overcoming many issues to get to where I am in health, but previously I had just posted “current” photos.
I do this because I believe in moving forward TOWARD your goals instead of looking back at the past, but today, I’m posting a before/after pic and story because many people find it inspiring.
The “after” picture was taken at 2 AM before I ran a 100K ultramarathon (the day before my 43rd birthday!)
In the pic, I had just finished packing my drop boxes for that morning’s race (haha), and in full disclosure am 6-7 pounds bloated from carb loading for the race!!
As for the “before” picture…
I spent several years dealing with poor health.
Before that, I had been very fit, even setting the world records mentioned above for multi-continent marathon running.
However, I started to feel like “I can’t lose the last several pounds no matter what I try” and had other minor symptoms bothering me.
So I began going to many doctors to find a cure.
I now sincerely believe that “The mind leads, and the body follows,” as my Mom always said.
If you believe something is wrong with you, your body will follow, and you will find others who will confirm your self-diagnosis.
Then you focus more on the problem, and often, you get more of the problem. Why?
You tend to get more of what you focus on.
Therefore, it got to the point that I had been diagnosed with several ailments, some of which doctors said I would need to be on medications for the rest of my life.
The diagnosis included adrenal problems, thyroid issues, extreme allergies/asthma, food reactions, body aches, and depression.
I ran and exercised, but I was on such high dosages of medications that my thyroid gland (which essentially controls your metabolism) was entirely shut down.
Then, my heart rate would get so high that running was dangerous, so I had to stop.
This was frustrating because I’d always loved being so active for years.
The “before” photo is not even of me at my heaviest.
I was so tired of my symptoms not being under control or getting worse that I just decided to STOP going from doctor to doctor to find a solution to what I thought was ‘wrong’ with me and to take my health into my own hands.
So instead, I started focusing on what could be “right”!!
Despite everything, I believed I could get off all medications and be well.
Being Type-A, working too much, and having high levels of stress WILL drag down your health; we know this, but there can be a big difference between what we know and what we do.
So I decided to change my lifestyle – and could get off all the medications – even the ones they said I’d be on for the rest of my life!
However, due to the sudden shift of the medicines, my thyroid shut down, causing my metabolism to be zero.
I rapidly gained at least twenty more pounds (or so? I stopped weighing at that point as I didn’t want to know).
I found it even more depressing that jeans that had recently fit now didn’t, as I had already felt self-conscious about myself.
On top of that, others also laughed at me.
I started a new job around this time, and we had a work-related event on a small boat. Everyone else ate cake, pizza, etc., and I had a small plate with just some celery and carrots.
Some guy came up and loudly asked me, “Aren’t you the one that ran the marathons on all continents?”
Before I could answer, he added, in front of everyone, “Boy, you must eat a WHOLE LOT because marathon runners are normally THIN.”
I felt so embarrassed but tried to smile and commented, “Well, not really.”
I wanted to crawl into a hole, but on the small boat, there was nowhere to go while everyone laughed hard at his joke.
After I got off the ship, I just sat in my car and cried.
I was falling deeper into depression, wondering why this was all happening.
But looking back, I now think things happen for a reason: I’d been very fit for much of my life – a personal trainer, runner, group fitness and yoga instructor, swim coach, and triathlete.
So like many others – I professionally helped others lose weight and get fitter and healthier:
But I never truly understood what others went through with weight loss until I went through it myself.
I think it happened so I could have this type of empathy and help more people.
So, I started to focus on holistically remodeling my type-A lifestyle.
I was getting better rest and regularly mentally targeting my image of being healthy again.
I also learned more about eating healthy portions (meaning not only not too much – but also not too little) alongside exercise.
Even though I gained weight primarily due to medications, I had to lose it just like anyone else. And it was prolonged due to my thyroid gland returning to normal levels.
Due to the high heart rate issues that had not yet gone away, I had to start with walking.
I started just going down to the end of the block and back, but I made a schedule and added a little bit each day.
My feet, ankles, and joints would hurt as my frame was not used to the weight gain.
I eventually started alternating between running and walking a block, each at a time.
Then I transitioned to just running very slowly.
I can remember how happy I was the day that I could run my first mile all over again.
I joined a running club at that point, and so yes, believe it or not, I know how it feels always to be the last one finishing a designated route after everyone else has ended or even left and gone home.
Some even made jokes, which hurt me, but I turned it around and used it as my motivation to continue improving and kept going.
After that, I started running 5K races.
Though I finished in the lower half of the finishers, I was just happy that I could do it.
Making lifestyle changes, focusing on positive thinking and the vision of the life I wanted, and consistently healthy eating and exercise were the keys to my recovering my health.
In this way, I lost over 60 pounds.
I’m now even fitter and healthier than before I became sick and have accomplished more than I had ever thought possible.
I never thought I would qualify for the Boston Marathon, for example.
Now, as a pro coach, I have transformed my running and run a Boston Qualifying time with every marathon I run, even just running easier for training.
I’ve run ultramarathons, often ending on the podium, and exercises (such as planks, burpees, etc.) that I do when working out are also easier.
I’ve passed by the runners that used to laugh at me at what is now my leisurely jogging pace.
And I am still off all medications!!!
It can, at times, still be a rocky road to maintain total health as there is no such thing as perfection.
However, I keep on “Running with Life”: I still work on work-life balance, stress from running my own business and as a caregiver for my elderly Mom, and can struggle through depressing winters.
But rather than always expecting a flawless life, Wellness is more about discovering your path to health, staying on it for the long term, and finding strategies to get back to it when things come up.
This is what sets you up for long-term success.
I became a Holistic Running Coach because I can help people find their journey to their top performance and visions of themselves. It is my longtime passion and joy, and I’d like more people to experience that.
YOU can have the life YOU want.
Visualize it and make it happen!
If you want more inspiration, check out my friend Charles Ray Bell’s story of how he went from 300 lbs to a 3-hour marathon. He was one of the people who originally inspired me to start running over 100 miles a week many years ago.
Or check out ultra runner Traci Falbo’s story of how she lost 80 pounds and held the American Record and World Indoor Track Record in the 48 Hour event (242.093 miles).
And the Runner’s World story of the real Brittany O’Neill, who lost 80 lbs., changed her life, ran the NYC marathon, and inspired the movie “Brittany Runs a Marathon.”
You can reach your goals as I’ve guided many others: Click here to learn how to get help with losing weight and running faster!
Keep Running With Life – Coach Amie
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