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.
Three years ago, I was 300 pounds, stressed and unhappy. One spring day, I thought it might improve my mood to take a walk outside. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. I started challenging myself to go a bit farther. It seems crazy now—I remember when walking just one mile without stopping was incredibly daunting.
As I became stronger, I started trying to run. In the back of my mind, I wanted to finish a 5K race. For the next four months, I really pushed myself. I also joined a boot camp class. The coach took me under his wing and encouraged me to reach for goals I previously thought were unattainable. It was great to have a group to work out with; sometimes we would meet for runs during the week as well. Because of their support, I glided through my first-ever finish line with ease.
After nine months, I had lost an astonishing 120 pounds. At the beginning of that year I wore a size 24—by the end I was a size 12. I celebrated by running a half marathon and was amazed when I finished! I’m not sure if I could have completed this journey without the help of the coach who believed in me. It only took one person to give me that confidence— now I try to be that woman for others to help motivate them to change their lives.
If you want a candy bar or a bag of chips, take a moment to think about it before digging in. Ask yourself: How will the junk food affect me? What happens if I don’t eat it? Can I find a healthier choice? Trust me—you can and you’ll feel better for it.