The Calendar Date That Changed Everything

Written by Stephanie Laska, 2015 Berkeley Half Marathon Ambassador
Stephanie Laska works as a Medical Sales Representative for a Global Pediatric Nutrition Company. She has worked in pharmaceutical sales in the Monterey-San Luis Obispo communities in addition to the Central Valley. Stephanie holds a Masters in Education from UC Santa Barbara and holds three teaching credentials. Stephanie is 100% new to running having discovered the sport two years ago; she didn’t waste any time pushing herself to the limit. Stephanie won first place (Athena Division) of her very first Marathon in March — the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon, and went on to run the Big Sur International 21mi., and the San Francisco Full Marathon just months later. You may have read Stephanie’s story that was shared in the race brochure for the Big Sur International Half Marathon 2014. Through the discovery of running, combined with changing eating habits, Stephanie has lost 140lbs., or half of her body weight. Stephanie and her best friend/love-of-her life/running partner-in-crime, husband Bill, are raising their two elementary school aged children (both becoming runners!) in Turlock, CA.

It took me 3 months to get off the couch and change my life. I had lost 50 pounds through changing my diet.

DSCN0067However, my weight loss was at a standstill. I knew in my heart that I needed to exercise to break the plateau, but getting started was not easy. “Exercise? You don’t need no stinkin’ exercise!” my brain argued. What would I do? When would I have time? I work full time and have two little kids and a husband to take care of. There is not enough time in the day. And I’m already so tired.

A friend suggested putting exercise on the calendar ­­ THREE MONTHS from now. What? That doesn’t make sense. Like a dentist appointment? Yes, she suggested. Circle a random date on the calendar and write, “Go for a walk.”

So I did.

Believe it or not, that calendar entry haunted me every time I walked past it. Really? What would I wear? When would I shower? Do I walk before or after putting my make­up on? Where am I going to walk? I look back and think how absurd that all sounded.

stephanie_shoeBy the time that day on the calendar came, I was prepared. I made arrangements for the kids to carpool to school that day, and I headed down the street in my oversized stretch pants and old school tennis shoes. I was walking people! Elvis, I had left the building! Then the funniest thing happened, I started to cry.

You see I was having fun. I was shocked. I was enjoying myself! I started to cry because I couldn’t believe it took me so long to get off the couch. It wasn’t just 3 months of waiting for this calendar entry, but more like 13 years. Somehow with raising a family and developing a career, I had prioritized myself last. It took that single walk to put things into perspective.
stephanie
I started walking regularly. Within a few months I worked up to a jog. That jog started with the length of a tennis court and over time it expanded into a mile. A mile! The pounds started coming off again. I continued to keep at it with the new running journey that was in front of me.

That was two years ago. Since then, I’ve ran 2 full marathons, a 21 miler, and 4 half marathons. I’ve lost a total of 140 pounds. Get off the couch, people. I promise it’s worth it.

Learn more about my journey by following me on twitter @140lost

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