Meet Janine

I’m just your average 37-year-old mother of three beautiful children. Throughout my life my weight has fluctuated here and there, but never out of control. Although I gained 70 pounds with my first pregnancy, double the weight that doctors typically recommend, I had a healthy delivery and was able to take it off slowly in a matter of months with regular jogging.

Three months after my delivery, my life changed forever. I received news that my father had brain and lung cancer and had only six months to live. It was the most devastating news of my life. Between my newborn and my father’s terminal illness, I gained a whole new perspective on life.

My dad always had a special zest for life, always believing in me and supporting me in everything I did since I was a young child—my biggest fan. In his honor, I chose to live life to the fullest, and dedicated my first marathon to him. Before he died, I told him my plans and we both wept. He told me he’d be there for me every step of the way. And he was!

Until my second pregnancy, I continued to train for my next marathon. However, I needed to cut back because conceiving had become more challenging. After several attempts, a successful pregnancy came and went bringing another 70 pounds to lose. And again, I lost the weight through regular jogging, setting my sights on another marathon, but this time it was different. I was scared. 

While running previously gave me a sense of freedom, I now felt choked, literally. After the death of my father, life became increasingly stressful. Maybe I was just more sensitive because of the newborn, a new home and a growing family. I just couldn’t leave my worries behind like I once had.

I continued to train, and before I knew it, marathon day arrived. I was so excited. However, when I reached the 18-mile mark I froze—I couldn’t breathe. It was not physical, I was sure. I couldn’t figure out what was happening to my body, and the freezing attacks didn’t end there.

I decided to continue with my training and make up for that marathon with another one. I felt defeated, like the stress had gotten the best of me in the prime of my life. In attempting to balance the stress and the training, I gained 10 pounds that could not be taken off. I felt heavy when I ran, heavy in my heart. I felt like I was breaking concrete on every run. It was terrible.

Then one day, while I was running I bumped into Lisa . Was it fate? I met with her to discuss an endurance training diet, and in the process I learned so much more. She gave me a calming, nutritious, stress-recovery eating plan and taught me how to calm my nerves through food. I learned how to use mental imagery and to emotionally breathe through the suffocating moments while running, and in my life. I was off to a brand new start.

I logged what I ate, but not my weight—I decided to focus on the whole picture. After a week, my water bottle belt needed adjustment, and after another week, I knew something was clicking. I was happy again. I became stronger and more confident. I could fit snugly into my skinny jeans again. About three weeks later, voila! I had lost my 10 pounds.

I am so grateful for the time and investment I made into my food, fitness and emotional healing. I worked through my freeze attacks and breathing episodes, which I understand were stress-related. Instead of leaving the worry behind, the stress joined me on my runs. I am now enjoying jogging more than ever. And daddy, we have one more marathon under our belts. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for my calming plan. I feel complete again.