Running With Celeste

I joined “Area Voices” blogging community the summer of 2009, and quickly noticed there was a blogger in Alexandria who frequently wrote about her battle with a healthy body weight. Celeste Edenloff was a seasoned veteran of weight gain and loss, and chronicled it in her blog entitled “Confessions of a fat girl.” The stories she wrote could have been about me! Although I’ve come to learn that many of us overweight people share similar tales of guilt, shame and frustration because of our repeated failures at weight loss, I still felt a connection to Celeste and the dieting battle she was fighting.

Both of us were members of Weight Watchers, and the organization emphasizes support for one another, so that’s what we began doing. I wrote about running my first 5K and she cheered me on. Celeste wrote about beginning an exercise program a few days a week and I applauded her initiative. I trained for and ran my first marathon in the spring of 2010. Celeste began running and ran her first 5K a few months later. We eventually met in Fargo that October at the FM Mini Marathon, where Celeste and her husband Al ran the 5K and I ran the half marathon with my friend Jessica.

All runners have periods where they are tired out and feel like they are getting worse rather than better with each workout. Celeste went through a period like that during which she didn’t think she was meant to be a runner and contemplated trying other activities instead. I don’t know what finally convinced her to keep running, but I was thrilled to read about the 10K she completed the next summer! I noticed something had changed for Celeste during that time, and activity was now permeating every part of her life! She was running! She was walking! She was biking! She completed races every weekend! She even changed the name of her blog to “Confessions of a (former) Fat Girl!”

Celeste has since completed a half marathon, and is currently training for another to commemorate her and Al’s wedding anniversary! I can’t help but wonder if a full marathon may be somewhere in her future!

Last weekend I traveled to Alexandria for several reasons, and one of them was to run in the same 10K as Celeste. She’s totally enjoying running these days, and after reading so many of her posts about the Holy Moly Ole race series, I wanted to share in the fun too! It was great to talk to Celeste again, and to see how she’s transformed from a reluctant exerciser into a confident, strong runner.

By the way, how do you think the two Weight Watcher members did during the 6.2 mile race? We both set personal records in addition to winning first place in our respective gender and age groups! Not too bad for a couple of former fat people, huh?!

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