In 2012, I started to see my quality of life plummeting even more than past years. I suffered from an episode of optic neuritis that left me temporarily blind in one eye for about a month. My vision never fully recovered. The optic neuritis and dealing with temporary paralysis, amongst other issues, led doctors to give me a prediagnosis: I had a 95 percent chance of having or developing multiple sclerosis.
In February 2013, I was 280 pounds. Within a three-year period, I was diagnosed with PCOS, infertility, glaucoma, anxiety disorder, and manic depression. That was my wake up call to turn my life around. After experiencing these life-altering and major neurological and reproductive health issues, I finally became serious about learning the right tools to transform my mind, body, and life after realizing that my life and/or my abilities could be cut short at any moment.
(Kick-start your new, healthy routine with Women’s Health’s 12-Week Total-Body Transformation!)
Weight loss was where I wanted to start, so I began running. At first, I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds, if that, at a time. I had to slowly build up my endurance, so I also incorporated weightlifting and started tracking my calories and food with MyFitnessPal and was a regular user of the Couch 2 5K programs throughout my weight loss.
Since the beginning of my weight loss journey, I have lost 150 pounds and currently sit at 130 pounds with excess skin. Running has been a staple in my journey and will always be a part of who I am today.
After four years of running, I feel great. I run two to three times during the week from three to six miles per day, unless I am specifically training for a longer distance race. On the weekends, I like to trail run on unpaved paths near my home and, up until 2017, I was racing at least once a month. This year, because of finances, it has been once every couple of months, if that. I do everything from 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and obstacle course races. I am working toward completing a full marathon eventually.