I just saw this great article written by Rosemarie Hernandez Jeanpierre, who weighed 220 pounds but now only weighs half of that (115). Wow. I love stories like this. I’m going to Mendoza school later today to give the children medals for running in the Cowtown 5K race and encourage them to keep running and eating healthy food — two of my passions in life.
I was 9 years old when I started gaining weight. In the Philippines, where I grew up, it is very uncommon for kids to be overweight. I was the center of ridicule. This went on from elementary through high school. I felt so alone and isolated because of the way I looked. Food was the only comfort I had. I wouldn’t stop eating. I was so ashamed of myself. …
I got married and moved to the United States …. Heart disease and diabetes run in my family. My father passed away from a heart attack. My weight problem had been bothering me so much that I started suffering from joint pain, fatigue and severe migraines. …
At the age of 39, I made up my mind to do something about my health. One trip to the doctor confirmed one of my greatest fears: I was diagnosed with hypertension, pre-diabetes and high cholesterol levels. I was high risk for heart disease. I knew my unhealthy lifestyle was not without consequences. It was at that moment that I realized that I had to choose to be healthy and change the way I lived.
At first, it was really hard to step out of my comfort zone and face this challenge. But I was determined. I researched all about fitness and nutrition to educate myself about the right way to gain a healthy lifestyle.
I started going to the gym and doing cardio and weights and eating healthy. My food consumption before was approximately 6,000 to 7,000 calories of greasy fried food, sweets, bread and rice a day. Now my food intake is approximately 1,500 to 1,800 calories. My diet is high in protein and low in fat and carbs. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, baked chicken or tuna, wheat bread, and no-added-sugar ice cream.
When I lost half of my weight and began running marathons, I was in the best shape of my life! I never dreamed I was capable of doing it. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I was really good at it. So, I started competing and winning medals. Who could’ve known I would become an athlete?
This past year, I set a goal to participate in 52 marathons in 52 weeks and amazingly enough I completed 62 marathons or ultra-marathons. Embarking on this journey was very challenging, but through God’s mercy, dedication and hard work, I finally fulfilled this goal.
I want to help people who are going through what I went through to realize that life is what we make of it. We’re all capable of improving ourselves and achieving our goals in life, with perseverance, determination, faith and support from family and friends.