Weight Loss Transformation Noelle Lovoi — Running to Lose Weight – Runner’s World

Weight Loss Transformation Noelle Lovoi — Running to Lose Weight  Runner’s World

Noelle Lovoi struggled with weight loss after having her first child. When she started running with a stroller to the park, she learned to love running, her healthier …


Courtesy of Noelle Lovoi

Name: Noelle Lovoi
Age: 36
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
Hometown: Spokane, Washington

Start Weight: 200 pounds
End Weight: 135 pounds
Time Running: 6 years

When I became pregnant with my first son, I thought it was a free pass to overly indulge for 40 weeks. Naively, I had the first-time-mom mentality that I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted and didn’t have to work out because it would all magically fall off after I had the baby. The 60 pounds I gained put me at 200. And it did not just fall off after my son was born.

That’s how I found myself crying in the women’s dressing room three months after having my son. I was buying size 14 jeans—I had always been a 6 before kids—and I knew my delusions of magically dropping the baby weight weren’t going to happen.

I didn’t have money for a gym membership, and I needed something I could do with my son. Pushing my son in the stroller was the perfect solution. Running was hard enough for me, and adding a stroller was even harder. But it didn’t feel like exercise; instead, it seemed like a time we could be together, explore our city, and make new friends.

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It wasn’t easy. I live in a hilly area, so the first half of our runs to the playground were always uphill. I had to tell myself, “Run two blocks and you can walk a block,” and I’d repeat that until we made it to the park. I remember the first time I made it the whole 1.5 miles to the playground without walking. I felt victorious.

As I kept running with my son, my husband and I found local running groups to join. I started running to the playground every day, and I kept seeing my pace drop and drop. I entered some local 5Ks where I kept seeing shirts with “” on them. They all looked super fast, and I made it a goal to work as hard as I could to get fast enough to qualify to join the team. A year later, I was on the team and had my first official speed workouts.

The more I ran, the more I wanted to be better and healthier in all aspects of my life. For starters, I realized I had to pay better attention to what I ate, not only for weight loss, but to perform better while running. I had to teach myself to cook, and embraced eating real, whole foods. This really helped me get from 200 pounds to the 135 I am now.

I also feel amazing mentally. The sense of self that running gave me is what made it click for me. It became what would help me physically, but also mentally, as I figured out my new identity as a mom.

Since my first son, I have managed to keep the weight off. Even when I got pregnant with my second son, I was fortunate enough to run through my entire pregnancy, up until the day I went into labor. Running became a way of life for my entire family, and has be the staple in my health and fitness journey.

I still have lots of goals for myself, but the biggest thing that keeps me going are the women I hope to motivate, encourage and inspire. I’m very active in our local chapter of . Supporting other moms to get out and run has become a huge passion of mine. I lead a weekly stroller group run, and have found some of my very best friends through that group.

For anyone that wants to go on a similar journey, I would tell them that all it really takes is putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t worry about speed or distance, or comparing yourself to other runners. Just try and get out there every day.

Finding others to come alongside you is also a great motivator, and I always recommend people look for local running groups and clubs to join. The running community is truly like no other, and really is so accepting of everyone no matter where they are at on their journey.

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