3 Women Share How Running Helped Them Lose Weight

"It's going to hurt, it's going to be hard. You're going to want to give up. But don't."

Hoping to provide you with some inspiration and some tips, we interviewed three women who incorporated running in their journey to achieve their ideal weight.
Here you can find our guide on how to lose weight with running.

Here are our three guests and their stories.

Toni, from 160lbs to 125lbs


In 2015, Toni decided it was time to get serious about her weight. Through running, she was able to go from 160lb to 125lb. Here’s how she did it.

What challenges did you face when your first started your weight loss journey and how did you overcome them?

The hardest part for me was food cravings and moderation. I would get down on myself for having one bad day. But one bad day won’t make you fat, just like one healthy day won’t make you skinny. Take it a day at a time, and remember it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet.

How did you change and adapt your diet and fitness regime along the way?

I was more cautious about foods to improve my runs, drinking more water to stay hydrated. You can bet that those runner “stamp” foods (banana, chicken, brown rice, oats, berries, etc) are key players in my diet!

How has running changed your life for the better?

It’s allowed me to have a release for stress, it’s allowed me to push myself, to test my limits, to meet people, and go on epic running adventures. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Are you still running now?

Yes! I have Ragnar PNW Passage this weekend, and Hood 2 Coast in August. My end of year goal is to get a sub two-hour half marathon.

What made you decide that it was time to get serious about your weight loss?

I no longer could recognize my body in pictures! There was NO WAY I was that large… it had to be the actual of the photo.

How long did your journey take and what was the timeline like?

I started Couch to 5k in October of 2015, and continued running through March of 2017. I was HOOKED! I did a handle of 5ks, 10ks, and three half marathons. I took nearly half a year off after I attempted to train for a marathon, but was no longer enjoying myself. I started back up in January of 2018, and did a half marathon and a hilly 10k in early Spring, shattering my previous records. (Half marathon went from a 2:30 down to a 2:04, and 10k went from a 1:06 to a 57:30)

What piece of advice would you give to someone to wants to lose weight and change their life?

It’s going to hurt, it’s going to be hard. You’re going to want to give up. But don’t. You turn off the demons inside your head, and prove that you are so much better than them. The only thing stopping you is yourself.

Marla, from 246lbs to 151lbs


After a series of health problems, mum of two Marla, got the wakeup call she needed to change her life for the better. A year and a half later, she’s still running and we asked her how she’s getting on.

What challenges did you face when your first started your weight loss journey and how did you overcome them?

The most challenging thing when I first started my weight loss journey was kicking my huge sugar addiction. I overcame this by taking baby steps. I slowly made changes and found healthier ways to make my favourite dishes.

How did you change and adapt your diet and fitness regime along the way?

Losing weight is all about trial and error, what works for some may not work for all. I had to find what works for me. Along the way I had to find foods that I loved and that also meant trying things out of my element. I found a way to enjoy my active lifestyle which in return kept things consistent. Consistency is key.

How has running changed your life for the better?

I have never been great at running growing up, I actually despised it. I made it a challenge to conquer my weakness and in return gain a healthier me. Running has brought so much joy to my life, I know this may sound silly, but as a working mom of 2 boys running to my jams helps destress and clear my mind. I have become so much healthier physically and mentally.

Are you still running now?

I have been running now for a year and half and do not plan on stopping anytime soon. I love it! It has become my me time.

What made you decide that it was time to get serious about your weight loss?

What started me on my journey was all the health issues I was facing with my excess weight. I was 29 years old at the time, pre-diabetic, high blood pressure, extreme gerd, bad asthma. I knew I could not live this way.

How long did your journey take and what was the timeline like?

I am always improving me. There is no stopping. It took me 10 and half months to lose 95lbs. I had my moments of struggle. But I kept my eyes on the prize.

What piece of advice would you give to someone to wants to lose weight and change their life?

Some advice, baby steps and patience. You did not gain this weight overnight it will not come off overnight. Get active and find ways to enjoy what you eat and enjoy an active lifestyle. Consistency is key, if you fall off, pick yourself back up, YOU and your health is WORTH it!

Ari, from 187lbs to 148.5lbs

After a bad breakup, Ari from Florida decided to start running to improve her mental health and fitness. We asked her how it all worked out 7 months later.

What challenges did you face when your first started your weight loss journey and how did you overcome them?

I faced a lot of self-doubt and negative thinking. I’d been “trying” to lose weight since I was 13 years old, “why would it be different now?” “Maybe I’m meant to be this big.” “Changing your weight won’t change your shitty personality,” so on and so forth. I recently got some much-needed help with my mental health issues, and finally was put on medication that helped me be much more motivated.

How did you change and adapt your diet and fitness regime along the way?

I started out with the Couch to 5k program, and once I “graduated” and was able to run 3.1 miles without stopping, I downloaded Runkeeper and did the plans on there. I’ve slowly added in a couple of strength training days throughout the week to supplement my running. I have a caloric budget of 1200 per day, but if I go for a run or do any kind of cardio, I eat whatever I burned since I’m already at a significant deficit. Before I would just eat whatever managed to fit into that caloric budget (lots and lots of ramen), but then I started replacing those foods with healthier options (oatmeal, fruit, whole wheat pasta, rice, etc) and it’s made a huge difference in terms of how I feel throughout the day and my running performance.

How has running changed your life for the better?

It’s allowed me to reach a place where I feel comfortable with myself. When I skype with my parents they say I’m “glowing.” I don’t freak out whenever I see a picture of myself on social media. My tachycardia isn’t a huge problem anymore and I don’t get dizzy from standing up too fast. I have the confidence that only comes from achieving what I once thought I could never do.

Are you still running now?

I’m still running now. I run a 5k at least three times a week and plan to increase that distance soon.

What made you decide that it was time to get serious about your weight loss?

I went through a terrible breakup in November of last year. I already deal with some mental health issues and that sent me into a spiral. I got help and decided that I needed to do something for myself and only myself.

How long did your journey take and what was the timeline like?

Like I said earlier, I’d been “trying” to lose weight since I was 13 years old, but only actually got serious about it in December. I started in earnest in mid-December and am still going strong, so it’s been about 7 months.

What piece of advice would you give to someone to wants to lose weight and change their life?

I would say that your focus needs to be on being healthy, not on being thin. It is absolutely okay to use vanity as a motivator; many of my reasons for losing weight are pretty shallow. But the goal is to be a better version of yourself, so eat right, move a lot, and take this chance to get to know yourself and your values. Treat your body well, it’s with you for life.


Hope these stories inspired you! Don’t forget to check 3 men who used running as part of their weight loss plan and if you want some help in starting your own journey, read our guide on how to lose weight running!




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