She Can Run Faster at 27 than She Could at 17
This former college athlete stopped taking care of her body when she entered the real world. Then she started exercising again and lost 26 pounds
Before: 181 pounds
After: 155 pounds
Caren Kelleher, a 27-year-old from San Francisco, was a competitive athlete from age 11 until age 21. She swam in high school and played water polo at Emory University. After college she landed a job in the music industry. She sat behind a desk all day and attended work events at night—eating copiously and drinking heavily. A couple of years had passed when she finally decided to ditch her unhealthy habits and reclaim her fit lifestyle.
These shoes were made for walking.
The Turning Point
Caren’s wake-up call came in January 2008 when she learned about her high BMI. She had set herself up for problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. It was also around this time she realized how unhappy she was carrying all those extra pounds, and she missed turning to exercise as an outlet for stress. To improve her physical and mental health, she knew something had to give.
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She trained for a half-marathon and started doing reformer Pilates a few times a week. Those two activities alone helped her shed 20 pounds in 6 months. To lose the last few pounds, she turned to mobile apps, such as Lose It! and MyFitnessPal, to help her track calories and nutrition. “It made me feel good to watch my progress over time,” she says. “I don’t feel bad if I splurge when I’ve been good the rest of the week.”
Alcohol is the first thing to go if the scale moves in the wrong direction. Then she knows it’s time to load up on yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. She budgets money for fresh produce at the farmers’ market each week even if that means skipping a night out with friends.
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Because working out makes Caren a better worker and friend, she strives to keep fitness a top priority and doesn’t feel guilty if she spends Saturday morning bike riding or going to Pilates class. “I carve out time for myself and view it as necessary instead of self-indulgent.”
Falling out of shape made Caren accept that she couldn’t run as fast as she used to. Now she can run a mile in 7:05—faster than she could in high school—simply as a result of getting fit.
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Ask and you shall receive. “I try to find a one-week gym membership when I travel for long periods—even if it’s not advertised.”
Be deliberate. “Come up with a program that forces you to make decisions rather than tells you what to do. Every day I have to decide between eating healthy or working out harder. It’s a mindset change.”
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