THE EARLY YEARS: At a young age I was diagnosed with clinical depression and one of the comforts was turning to food, unfortunately. It was a vicious cycle. It didn’t make me feel any better. I stayed the course and tried to stay happy, but it just fed into the negativity. I hid behind my pain with humor because I laughed along with them, but…
BEFORE THE TRANSFORMATION: I remember many a night in and out of college, you go to the 24-hour McDonald’s and there’s the 20-piece chicken McNuggets meal, which is so wrong. I look at it now and it’s just so disgustingly wrong. But I’d roll in there, get the 20-piece, and eat the whole thing in one sitting. I mean there were no boundaries. I didn’t have boundaries for myself.
THE TURNING POINT: It was my first job. I’ve been in banking for about three and a half years and it was my first bank job and we were getting geared up for a breast cancer walk and raising money for that. We were telling a customer about the walk. It’s a 5k. He looked straight at me and said, “Well, do you think you’re going to make it?” A complete stranger. He didn’t stop there. He said, “You might want to invest in some roller skates.” You hear comments, “It might be good for you to lose some weight for your health.” But other than that everybody was completely okay with Big Jelly Mark, and it was then that I finally said, “Well, am I okay with it?” That experience made me ask myself that question. Never mind everybody else. Never mind everybody else’s opinion.
THE PLAN: it was almost like my mind tricked itself to certain things being disgusting, too much sugar being just appalling. Grease was just — I couldn’t think of having another burger. it started with eliminating certain things. I drank a lot of beer and I started drinking more wine. I started drinking more water. I started drinking more natural healthy juices, having a glass of orange juice as opposed to a Sprite or whatever. You don’t have to give it up, per se. You just have to remove it from every day and you have to remember that this is not okay to have every day.
GETTING A MOVE ON: I started running probably a little before March, and after that I bought some running shoes in April and I had always done the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, but I’d always done it as a walk. And this year I did it. I finally ran the entire way. I ran a 5k and that’s my first 5k. It was the same breast cancer walk that I started the journey out on. So it’s special to me. I run like there’s no tomorrow.
TOOLS OF MY SUCCESS: Running shoes. Little changes in food choices that make a big difference.