Rebecca Garson needed a larger-than-life goal to overcome the devastation of losing her young daughter
Stats• Age 42 • Height 5’7” • Weight now 136 pounds • Weight then 198 pounds • Pounds lost 62
My Story In January 2005, my 10-month-old daughter, Ruth Ann, died in my husband’s arms of a rare genetic disorder. We had known she most likely wouldn’t make it to her first birthday, but her death still left me utterly shocked and heart?broken.
Letting go of my dreams for her was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I stopped taking care of my health and ate too much. A month later, I weighed 198 pounds–the heaviest I’d ever been. Still emotionally distraught, I had no idea what to do with myself.
A healing Plan I knew that if I wanted to have any hope of putting myself back together, I had to find a powerful new focus for my life. I also needed to start exercising, but without some greater aim, I wasn’t motivated. Then I read about Prevention‘s marathon program and a lightbulb went on–this was just the sort of larger-than-life goal I needed to launch myself back into the purpose-driven world. I was so excited by having a new objective to put my energy into that I told everybody I knew: “I’m going to walk a marathon. Just watch.”
Moving Forward I began fitness walking 2 miles, 3 days a week with my best friends, Melissa and Tricia. Those initial walks were my first steps toward recovery.
By the time I was 4 months into the fitness walking program, on my birthday, July 17, I’d already lost 34 pounds and was up to about 10 miles on my long walks. I was overjoyed at being thin again. Mentally I was in a better place, too, and my emotional dips were fewer and further apart. When thoughts of Ruth did come, I learned to use them positively. If ever I was ready to give up, I’d think of how she managed to smile so bravely during her short, painful life. Then I’d fight through my tears and keep walking.
Following Prevention‘s marathon training schedule, I exercised 6 days a week and worked my way up to a 22-mile endurance walk.