Real life From obe­sity to run­ning marathons

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

Em­bar­rassed by her size, this Aussie wo­man em­barked on an epic weight-loss jour­ney

It was a mor­ti­fy­ing mo­ment for Mel­bourne wo­man Marnie Ben­ney. At an an­nual check-up in late 2015, she weighed in at 138kg – and her doc­tor warned her she was a “heart at­tack wait­ing to hap­pen”.

Weeks later, the 48-year-old fi­nally built up the courage to go to her lo­cal gym, af­ter years of un­healthy liv­ing. But it wasn’t just her shock weigh-in and her doc­tor’s wor­ry­ing pre­dic­tions that trig­gered her over­haul.

“I was al­ready em­bar­rassed about my weight but when I got off the scales, I re­alised I’d have to put my train­ers back on,” she re­calls of her first gym visit. “I was so fat I couldn’t bend over to tie my laces. My part­ner had been ty­ing them for me for years. It was hu­mil­i­at­ing.”

Sens­ing her shame, Marnie’s per­sonal trainer did it for her. But that mor­ti­fy­ing in­ci­dent mo­ti­vated her to start her slim­down with a sim­ple goal – to tie her own shoelaces.

Re­call­ing how her weight crept up over the years, Marnie says, “I had mul­ti­ple roles at work and couldn’t keep my head above wa­ter, so I’d sit at home on my lap­top un­til 3am and eat. If I had fish and chips I’d have flake, chips, four potato cakes, dim sims and a fried Mars bar.”

De­ter­mined to reach her goal, Marnie em­barked on an in­tense ex­er­cise pro­gram – a blend of cross train­ing, per­sonal train­ing, run­ning, box­ing and weights. She also re­placed her kilo­joule-laden take­aways with healthy op­tions such as sal­ads, fruit and veg­eta­bles and lean meat.

HIT­TING MILE­STONES

Two months later she reached “a lit­tle mile­stone” when she could tie her own laces. And the mile­stones kept com­ing. Within a year, Marnie had shed an in­cred­i­ble 70kg – half her body weight. Thrilled with her new­found fit­ness, Marnie took part in a fun run be­fore set­ting her sights on a new goal – run­ning the New York Marathon.

Marnie smiles as she re­calls the “epic mo­ment” when she crossed the fin­ish line at the event last Novem­ber – just two years af­ter she first set foot in her lo­cal gym.

“If any­one had told me a few years ago that I’d run a marathon, I’d have laughed in their face,” she says. “Now I’m train­ing for an ul­tra­ma­rathon!”

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