I've been heavy my entire life. Even in my kindergarten photos, I was chubby. In late high school, I gained more weight. In college, I reached 260 pounds -- I think because I was on my own. I had a driver's license, a job. I could go out to dinner, eat when I wanted. Nobody was watching over me.
Being heavy didn't make me feel bad, though. I was pretty confident. I didn't realize I was as big as I was until I started looking at old photos a few months ago. It was pretty shocking.
About three and a half years ago, I lost 40 pounds. Then I got pregnant with my first child. I lost that pregnancy weight, then got pregnant again. After my second baby was born, I lost all but 10 pounds of that extra weight, so I weighed 230 pounds.
Two things pushed me to start seriously losing weight. First, I was done having kids, so I knew my body wouldn't be going through any more major changes. And second, my father had a heart attack at age 54, as had my grandfather. I knew I needed to take better care of myself.
My first step was to start the Couch to 5K program, which helps sedentary people work up to running a 5K race in just 9 weeks. I always thought runners were so cool, but to be one seemed like an impossible goal. A friend and I decided to try it together.
I had to start inside on a treadmill because I was too embarrassed to be outside. I cried that first day because I could only run for three 1-minute periods -- and you're supposed to do it eight times.
Eventually I worked through it, and we ran a 5K last October. Now I can run for more than an hour at a time. I'm hoping to train for a 10K soon, maybe even a half marathon some day.