Cris Wade, 47, 6’1″, from Sacramento, California
Before: 235 lb., size 16/18
After: 165 lb., size 8/10
Total pounds lost: 70 lb.
Total sizes lost: 4
I never had weight problems until after I had children. Having two kids in two years—and leaning on a diet of fast food—made the numbers on the scale start to climb. By August 2008, I was 235 pounds, depressed, and low on energy. I realized that if I didn’t change, I would continue to feel miserable for years to come. So I went after something that seemed an audacious goal: running a half marathon. To complete one, I knew I needed to be healthier.
Starting from zero
My first step was tackling the two-mile loop in my neighborhood. I assumed a light jog would be effortless, but I struggled to make it past just two houses on my street. While part of me was humiliated, moving my body felt invigorating. Fortunately, my excitement won out, and I continued making my way around that same path daily, each time walking less and running more. I dropped pounds fast, thanks to regular runs and much smarter diet choices (I began swapping Taco Bell for grilled salmon and veggies). But I hit a snag when I suffered a hip injury right before my first half marathon in December 2008. Worried that I’d have to completely stop exercising, I was relieved when my doctor said I could still bike and swim while I recovered.