When Lacey Raul was growing up, no one held her accountable for what she ate, urged her to exercise or explained the future ramifications of a sedentary lifestyle. After trying to lose weight the “wrong” way for years, Lacey shifted gears, lost 100 pounds and kept it off, the right way. In May, she completed her first half-marathon and finished with a very respectable time of 2:24.
More from Lacey in her own words -
Tell me when your weight struggles began: I’ve had weight issues my entire life. I was always the fat girl who never wore shorts, and couldn’t even run a mile in PE class. I was tormented and teased my whole childhood but never had the guidance to eat better or the push to exercise.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I was a fast food junky. It was always around, convenient and cheap. I knew the lifestyle was unhealthy but I was in denial. I remember specifically when I was about 25 buying a size 16 suit for work and thinking, I can make this work I don’t need to lose weight. I looked like I was in my forties. It was sad.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? After giving birth to my son I was in a size 18 and the skort (I still have it for motivation) was tight. I was 260 lbs and miserable. I decided once and for all that I wasn’t going to be an unhealthy example for my child. I was only 30 years old and wanted to be the healthiest version of me that I could be.
How did you lose the weight? I started walking at first and changing my diet gradually. I ate smaller portions and drank lots of water. Then I incorporated whole grains, fruits/veggies and lean meats. When I got down to 210 pounds, I really stepped it up. I cut out processed foods, started eating clean with real food and no sugar, except for fruits. I increased my exercise to five or six days a week including strength and cardio.
Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? One of my “ah ha” moments was probably when I was pushing myself so hard that I was over-training and I had to take a step back and realize this isn’t a race, this is me against me.
The biggest struggle was finding balance with food. It’s still a work in progress. But I know one bad meal will not make me fat, just like one healthy meal doesn’t make me fit.
My weight does not define me
The biggest triumphs are most definitely how I feel about myself inside and out. I can run with my son and fit on the slide, simple things that I wouldn’t have been able to do a few years ago. I am also a certified personal trainer and group instructor, which I never thought Id be able to say.
Advice you’d give to other people struggling to lose weight? I would say for them to make small changes at first, swap soda for water, whole grains instead of white starches, fruits and veggies instead of chips and cookies. For exercise, don’t get overwhelmed, just walk. That is a great place to start, and at least you are moving.
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July 20th, 2014