From the Heart: Kristin Coleman’s weight loss journey

Kristin Coleman before and after her 100 pound journey.

‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out’ ~ Robert Collier

Most of us find it a challenge to lose that ‘last’ 5-10 pounds, imagine losing 100 pounds. Kristin Coleman did just that, she lost one hundred pounds in 11 months.  After struggling with weight pretty much her entire life, as well as health issues related to it, she decided to make some serious life changes. Her weight loss journey helped her eliminate chronic medial issues and discover a love for running.

Kristin always struggled with weight. She was overweight in High School and her poor habits only continued after she moved out on her own. She grew up eating out a lot and often making unhealthy choices, which followed her into adulthood. She found it was easier to grab fast food instead of cooking for one. Add inactivity to the equation and stress from work and Kristin found herself struggling with depression, sleep apnea and asthma. She tried every ‘diet’ out there, including Weight Watchers, the ‘cabbage soup diet,’ and The Biggest Loser Diet, all without success.

Kristin’s first run: Friar Trot

Finally, Kristin and her BFF, also named Kristin, started a weight loss journey together with a program that worked for both ladies. At the Metabolic Research Center, she met weekly with a counselor, maintained a VERY restrictive diet and attended classes on nutrition and various topics related to healthy living. The program didn’t encourage a lot of cardiovascular exercise, in fact, they only wanted Kristin to work out 20-30 minutes every other day, or less. With such limited calories, there wasn’t energy for rigorous workouts.

Kristin at Cascade Lakes Relay

Kristin took up running in January 2011. She still had 20 pounds to go on her 100 pound journey and was curious about the ‘runner’s high’ some of her runner friends had talked about. She immediately loved the feeling. Running helped her with stress, made her body feel great and burned serious calories. As she lost the weight, she rewarded herself with shoes, fun clothes or a pedicure.  Her new reward and motivation became races. She started with smaller road races, her first one being the Friar Trot 5k in Sherwood and was excited to go farther. Her new size and desire to increase mileage kept her motivated.

A constant reminder of the journey

For her 40th birthday, she celebrated with a tattoo of a runner girl and the date of her first full marathon, the Eugene Marathon. Three weeks later, she tattooed 100# on her wrist to celebrate her achievement. Kristin never pictured herself getting a tattoo and she waited almost two years after losing the weight to do it, but it’s a constant reminder of her amazing accomplishment.

Losing weight and taking up running changed her life in so many ways. “It really showed me that if you set your mind on a goal that you can achieve it with hard work and dedication. Because of my weight loss, I no longer have some of the medical issues that I used to have due to my weight issues. I have way more energy and am willing to try almost anything now.’

Kristin makes up for her inactive years and some. She hits the gym (and my cycle class when I’m lucky) five days a week and tries to do at least one race a month. She picks events that support a good cause or sound like fun to run with friends. Kristin LOVES Cascade Lakes Relay, Spokane to Sandpoint and the Bend Beer Chase. She loves CLR so much they’ve made her an official Ambassador.

‘Can’t We Just Run Along’ teammate, Kristin

Her 2015 race calendar is started and she’s already run the first of the three part race series through Portland Running Company. The Hot Chocolate 15k in Seattle is also on the list. It’s become a tradition for Kristin and her mom. She’s also thinking about running six of the Rock-n-Roll races. Kristin eared the Triple Crown in 2014 with running Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. and she will, of course, be running CLR in August.

I love the passion this girl has and it doesn’t hurt she’s a diehard DUCK fan. She lives every day to the fullest and is excited for what’s ahead. She no longer struggles with sleep apnea or depression and her asthma is under control. I’m so glad I asked her about her 100# tattoo. I assumed it was from some Ultra she ran, I had no idea she lost 100 pounds. Always running with a smile, this girl inspires me to never give up and anything is possible with determination. Look for her at Cascade Lakes Relay and give her a shout out. If you’re thinking about running it and have questions, send her a note. No one is more excited about this relay than this girl. I haven’t committed to CLR for this year, but I have decided to use Kristin’s mantra in 2015. I will start the new year remembering to ‘Enjoy the Journey.’

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