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From chronic illnesses to marathon runner: Lori shares her fitness journey

I was around 80kg at my heaviest and now a trim 51kg marathon runner!

I had been suffering from a number of health issues including 'pre-diabetes', hypothyroid as well as migraines, IBS, PCOD (polycystic ovarian disorder) which resulted in a sub-total hysterectomy some years ago. 

I was sick all the time and suffered a whole host of other energy draining discomforts that I had just put down to getting older.  I was on a number of prescription medications and yet I still hadn't made the connection that what I thought was a 'healthy diet' was in fact the main contributor to my ills. 

“When I was at my heaviest, I destroyed any photos of me out of embarrassment because I had always been fairly trim and I was now at my heaviest."

Soon after I watched a documentary and decided I wanted to change my eating.  After sticking with more healthy options for a while I noticed my IBS had gone, my migraines disappeared, my energy levels stabilised and I started to feel great. 

When it came to exercise, I did it on my own – no Personal Trainer. Just me and my X5 treadmill. I also got advice from nutrition experts and running forums I found through social media.

The X5 treadmill would see me still staying fit when the weather was unpleasant or when on some days I just didn't want to go out in public.

“My treadmill kept me focused as well as giving me a feeling of obligation to use it."

It was really a life saver on the days I was feeling less confident about my appearance or when my energy levels were a bit low. At least I could run as long as I wanted without having to make it back home if I got too tired while out on the road. When I was increasing my distances, the treadmill helped a lot when my joints ached or I was generally sore. It also helped with my goal setting as I could set a continuous pace and accurately time myself. Because it folded up and was on wheels I moved it around frequently depending on my mood and whether something good was on TV as a distraction.

“At first I hadn't realised that I had lost any weight, I just knew I felt better… and then my pants started falling off!”

I decided to weigh myself. It was at around 18 months from changing my diet and starting exercise that I documented my weight change with photographs and a new found confidence and drive to do even more.

I started entering fun runs which nearly killed me but was so rewarding. Once I achieved that, I then set my next goal to finish my first half marathon... it was then I realised I was hooked. I'd keep entering more races to see if I could better my previous times. Every time I achieved a goal, I would set a new one.

I don't think that most of us realise just how wonderful a healthy body is meant to feel until we have experienced it from both sides of the fence.

“I am 46 years old now and feel better than I did when I was in my 20s.” 

I actually enjoy exercise now and that sense of achievement I get when I cross the finish line ahead of my goal time. Running on a treadmill, is a great way to untangle one's thoughts and I have become a much more emotionally 'balanced' person as a result.

“I can go in and try on clothes and they will actually FIT! No need to buy size 16 jeans then take up the legs.”

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