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Women Who Move: Julie Ahern

JULIE AHERN
MOM
HAMSTEAD, N.H.
AGE: 28

I’m a typical mom. I am used to taking care of everyone and everything before I do anything for myself. That was until 2008, when I dropped a pen on the ground and my life changed forever.

After bending down to pick up the pen, I became incredibly dizzy. I went to the doctor, who informed me that I was experiencing vertigo. Going in for testing, I noticed the word “obese” on my chart. I couldn’t believe it. I’d thought of myself as chubby, but I never realized my weight was so out of control.

The dizziness eventually wore off, but the sting of that label stuck. I knew I needed to take drastic measures to get healthy. A few days later, I laced up sneakers I hadn’t worn in years and went out for a short run. I thought I’d be miserable, but I immediately fell in love. I went (slowly!) for three miles without stopping.

Running is now a part of my life. I wake up at 5:30 each morning to hit the pavement, and I get stronger and leaner every day. Recently, I ran my first half marathon in under two hours—a huge milestone for me.

I feel nothing but joy when I return home from a long run with sore legs, and I love being a positive role model for my kids. My two little ones now run cross-country in middle school! My husband’s even started joining me for my weekend miles. It’s never too late to turn your—or your family’s—life around.

MY BEST ADVICE: HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!

I always have a bottle of water handy. It’s so important for running to hydrate—and it helps with weight loss by curbing your appetite.