February 13 2018
Colleen Kelly Alexander discusses the accident that changed her life and how she has rebounded in spite of the trauma to her mind and body.
POUNDS LOST: 75
I grew up tall and skinny in the South, where we are famous for good cooking, but not healthy choices. But it wasn’t until I had my second child that my weight became an issue.
I tried to lose a few pounds by working out on the treadmill, but the habit never stuck—in part because I thought running had to be a sprint. Because I couldn’t run fast or far, it was easy to get discouraged.
After I had my fifth child, I stepped on the scale to see the number 225 staring back. I knew it was time to take control of my body. Instead of trying to run and failing, I began walking around my neighborhood. As I became more fit, my daily walks turned into walk/runs. My oldest daughter would push the stroller as I ran ahead on a paved trail near our home.
A fire was lit as I noticed my pants starting to slack. I wanted to run farther and get healthier—and I wouldn’t let anything get in my way. I finished a 5k, then a 10k and finally worked my way up to a half marathon. A few days after my first half, I began training for a full marathon, when I suffered a bad fall. Even with a broken arm that required metal plates, I continued with marathon training. Last March, I finished the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon.
I’ve now lost 75 pounds through running and have traded my old size-20 dresses for size 7s. I’m grateful to have a husband that always told me I was beautiful, regardless of my weight, but I’m proud that I’ve become a healthier person for him and my children. I now know that it doesn’t matter how fast you are. As long as you’re moving, you are creating a better life for yourself.
I always have a bottle of water on hand so I can take a drink rather than mindlessly snacking.
NEVER DRINK DIET SODA
It will just make you crave something sweet.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
You’re bound to slip up sometimes. Remember, if you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself!