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How One Woman Accidentally Became A Runner

Erin Fryer gave up a lifetime of dieting and found a way to love being healthy.

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Weight was a constant struggle for me growing up. There were times when I was chubby, and there were times when I was quite thin (thanks to the brilliant only-eat-1,000-calories-a-day diet…what genius came up with that anyway?).

While my weight fluctuated, I seemed to always be on some kind of diet—low-carb, calorie-counting, low-fat, low-sugar, I could go on—but that was only one aspect of my struggle.

Related: I Stopped Overeating And Started Running

As a young girl, I was envious of the plethora of stay-at-home-moms who would navigate the polished streets of my suburban hometown, each of them running with what looked like little effort and made me long to discover how they made it look so effortless.

After years of gaining and losing weight (and of course those delicious college years living off of pizza and beer), I finally found my stride—literally.

Around New Year’s two years ago, I knew I needed to make a change. I decided to try the one thing I avoided all of these years—eat healthy and exercise. I did NOT go on a diet; instead, I aimed to change my lifestyle once and for all and fully commit to a healthier me.

Related: How One Runner Ditched More Than 100 Pounds

I purchased Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution and embarked on the three-month program. I lost 12 pounds, but more importantly I began to discover my groove. A few months later, I was walking my dog and decided to run for short distance, just to see if it was easier now that I was in a little bit better shape. Next thing I knew, 10 minutes had passed and I was still going, barely out of breath. That doesn’t seem like much, but for someone who could barely run for 5 minutes without having to stop, I felt like I was on a roll.

From that day forward, I started running more and more. In a matter of months, I was running 5 miles straight without stopping at all. The 20-year-old me who couldn’t run for 5 minutes was now running 5 miles. I was hooked—and now at 26 years old, I still am.

In October 2014, I ran my first half marathon. I went back to my Alma mater, Virginia Tech and ran the Hokie Half. Running 13.1 miles in the mountains of Virginia, in the pouring rain, I did not stop one time—not even to walk, use the restroom, or stretch. It was awesome.

Running has not only changed my fitness level, endurance and overall health, but it has also transformed my life completely. While there are times I loathe stepping on the scale, I have to remind myself that I am strong, healthy, fit and more badass than I have ever been.

I am looking forward to seeing where my running journey takes me, but for now I am excited to be lacing up my running shoes and logging some miles as I train for the Richmond Half Marathon this fall!