A former emotional eater learns to love herself again. – By Lisa Abdellah
Name: Cheryl Green
Home Town: Table View
Occupation: Senior Clerk, SAPS
Time Required: 9 Months
When a loved one committed suicide, my family and I struggled with our loss. Emotional eating became my way of coping; and as a consequence, my weight ballooned to a point where I wasn’t just uncomfortable in my clothes, but also in my own skin.
That’s when my life took a turn for the worst. My newfound hatred for my body negatively impacted my moods – to the point where I had to take medication for depression, and my doctor warned me that if I didn’t change, I’d end up in a clinic.
RELATED: The Healthy Runner’s Diet
Though my tipping point was when a work colleague asked if I had a secret I wanted to share with him, and pointed to my stomach. I knew exactly what he meant, and I felt embarrassed.
I dusted off an old pair of running shoes and went for an 800m jog, but my knees weren’t ready to withstand the impact of my extra weight, and sadly I ended up on crutches. Unperturbed, I set myself New Year’s resolutions: to get fit, and lose 15kg. I ran on the treadmill at first, before progressing to a 5-K fun run; and I learned how to manage my schedule, so that I always made time to run.
RELATED: 6 Common Race-Day Fuelling Mistakes
I have running to thank for losing 24kg. To date, I’ve finished over 30 races, including two half marathons. I’ve learned how to set goals, and achieve them, without doubting myself; and I can honestly say that getting up each day to go for a run is no longer a struggle.
But my biggest reward is that running has helped me to love myself again. My depression is under control, I’ve stopped taking medication for it – and when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, I’m a role model to my kids.
Inspired by Cheryl’s story? Join the club and start your weight-loss journey with the Run It Off Plan below. What are you waiting for?