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It has been almost 2 years since Julie set her goal to lose weight. Planning her meals and watching her diet played a huge roll in achieving her goal. She hired a trainer, and set a goal to run a marathon!  I hope you enjoy her story, and it inspires you. My basic motto that I live by is:  Dreams are a vision, but a goal is meant to be achieved!

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Julie’s Story:

Sadly, like too many kids today, I struggled with being overweight from the time I was in second grade. I was very petite prior to that. The first time I recall being aware of the fact was when I was about 10 years old. We went to visit my grandparents. I overheard my grandfather suggesting to my mom that she put me on a diet. However, it wasn’t until my high school years that I really took notice. I started running during our physical education class. My P.E. teacher happened to be the girls track coach. I enjoyed it. A friend and I would drive out to Woodlawn Lake after school and run a couple more miles each day. Throughout high school, I enjoyed designing my clothes. Running kept the weight off to some extent. When I went off to college and decided to major in fashion design, weight became a huge focus in my life. I did some running but mainly starvation was the mode of weight control. Well the story goes on for many years. Gaining 50 pounds with each pregnancy then struggling for years to drop the weight. I’d always said “oh, someday I’ll run a marathon”. I had enjoyed running over the years. Most of all I liked the results I got. I knew that it would take intense training and focus on nutrition. So I convinced myself that the best time would be once the kids were off at college. I could focus on training and nutrition then. Three years ago I found myself once again at 154lbs. Now for a 5 foot petite frame that is quite a bit of extra weight to carry and try to camouflage. I wish I’d made that decision sooner. I think I would have been a better example to my children if I had trained when they were younger.

In 2008, My daughter’s sophomore year in high school, I met Tammy . She encouraged me to start training. She encouraged me and believed in me. At 47 I really didn’t know if I could run anymore. I’d started running a few weeks prior to meeting her. I could run half a block. So, I set the goal I would run a marathon before I turned 50. Now we had to find a race. The course had to be flat. The season had to be comfortable enough to run, and none of this crazy Texas weather. We found it in Duluth Minnesota in June 2011. The average temperature for that time of year was around 70 degrees. The reviews were good. The race was “Grandma’s Marathon”. I am a grandma, and I’d be running it before my 50th birthday which is this coming February. So, Tammy, Leslie and Kathy decided to train AND run Grandma’s as well.

It was a gradual, long training. My main focus was to prevent any injuries. I did the “Bold the Cold 5k” in January 2010. That same year in April we did “Big Sur 21mile walk/run” in Big Sur California. In July, I ran the “Too Hot to Handle 5k”. In September we did “The Proud 5k”,”Tour De Fluer” 10k and “Nashville Women’s half”. October held “The Leap Foundation 5k”. In November, we ran the “Ft. Worth half”. Each race kept me motivated in my training. I could see my time improve even if I was doing a walk/run. I was getting stronger. It also helped that I lost 35 pounds in the process. It has also helped relieve menopause symptom

June 2011, Duluth Minnesota… I was nervous. What if I couldn’t finish? The temperature was a perfect 58 degrees. After training in 100 degree weather back home this was awesome. Well I crossed the finish line at 5 ½ hours. My goal was to finish under 6 hours. Yes, I know that is slow, but I finished! The feeling when I crossed that finish line was so intense. I was so proud of accomplishing my goal. I was teary eyed, lump in my throat, the whole bit. “I did it! OK!” “OK, never again!”

However, during that race I met Joy Johnson. She was a tremendous inspiration. She is 83 years young. This was the 13th time to run Grandma’s. She has ran the New York marathon the last 25 years. I want to be like her when I grow up!

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