Two Inspirational Running Weight-Loss Stories
The number of ways in which running can positively impact on a person’s life is mind-boggling. For some this impact is small, but crucial. Perhaps it’s an hour of me-time when frustration levels run high, or an opportunity for a quick catch-up with a friend over a lunch-time running date. But for others, the positive impact of running is completely life-changing.
Meet Mark Andrew Fletcher and Madelene Loots. These two individuals have, with the help of running and some dietary changes, lost a combined total of nearly 220 pounds (100 kg). And with their extremely busy schedules, both Mark and Madelene are living proof that there is no excuse for not taking charge of your own health. Here are their inspirational running weight-loss stories.
Mark Andrew Fletcher
Mark Andrew Fletcher (54) is a practising attorney and devoted family man with a wife and two teenage daughters. And although he was a provincial cricket player back in the 1990’s, he found himself unfit, overweight and having developed type 2 diabetes by the beginning of 2015. So prompted by a recommendation from his dietitian, Mark decided to take action and set off on a journey to better health.
With the encouragement of his secretary, who also embarked on a running journey at that time, Mark started right back at square one. Together, they jogged from lamppost to lamppost, taking 100 m walk breaks in between, until they covered 2.5 km in total. They kept at it though, and slowly but surely started to increase the distance that they could run non-stop. Mark also made some drastic changes to his diet, including cutting out all sugar and especially fizzy drinks.
These changes certainly paid off. Today, almost 80 pounds (36 kg) lighter, Mark has a 10K personal best of 58 minutes and has completed a number of half marathons and trail races – things that he says he never would have been able to do before taking charge of his health.
But how does he fit running into his busy schedule? Mark commits to three training runs per week and regards them as set down in his diary. One of these runs is his local parkrun on a Saturday morning, something that Mark encourages all fellow professionals to register for and get involved in.
And last, but not least, Mark attributes his running and weight-loss success to having a good support network. His wife, also a runner, and two daughters help him stay on track by making sure that he follows a healthy diet. They also often remind him how far he’s come and together they enjoy the adventures that running has enabled Mark to participate in.
Madelene Loots (29) gives new meaning to the term “super mom”. Working a full-time job as a teacher to special needs learners, and also mom to three toddlers aged four and under, she epitomizes a no-nonsense, no-excuses approach to exercise.
Madelene also started her running journey in March 2015, weighing almost 132 pounds (60 kg) more than she does today. And although uncalled for remarks from others made her really negative at first, she just kept at it.
Determined not to give up, Madelene soon discovered that running is “slimming and seriously addictive”. With the help of her amazing support system, she trains six days a week, and mostly at 4 a.m. while her kids are still asleep.
Her advice to busy moms is just as no-nonsense as her own approach to getting in shape. “You will never have enough time [to train] unless you make time. Parenting, sick kids, a busy life and things to do are just not good enough excuses.”
This attitude, combined with a healthy diet and sessions with her personal trainer, has helped Madelene achieve the unthinkable. She has shed nearly 132 pounds, completed numerous half marathons, rocked her first full marathon and motivated and inspired hundreds of people in the process. And, knowing Madelene, we know that the best is yet to come.
So in which ways have running positively impacted on your life? Or have you allowed it to impact your life at all? If you haven’t, we challenge you to get up today, get your physician’s approval, and get moving. A couch to 5K program is the perfect place to start. Be warned, though: It’s not going to be easy. And running is definitely not always fun. But the secret is to keep at it. And as Mark and Madelene can no doubt attest to, it will be worth every, single ounce of sweat.
So what are you waiting for?