In this #WhyWeRun post we meet Letitia Dean – an inspiring woman who recently lost 22kg through running and sport, and wants to inspire others by showing it is possible. So amazing!
1. What motivated you to become fitter and kick started your weight loss journey?
I didn’t realise how much weight I was slowly gaining, I thought I was leading a healthy lifestyle and didn’t realise that I was getting bigger until one day I weighed myself and saw that I was 92kg. I had never been that heavy. I then decided that I just couldn’t continue to be that way, so I first started by joining park run (it’s a free 5km group run held every Saturday in many countries across the world) it took me way over 30 minutes to do 5km, but little by little I got quicker and quicker, and I saw the weight dropping off just by running once a week and watching what I ate. I don’t feel like I made drastic changes, but just started monitoring what I was eating.
2. What forms of exercise have you done? Any favourites?
I joined park run, which is now my Saturday morning ritual and I would never give it up! It’s my favourite thing of a Saturday. I also joined a gym and participate in group classes. I find that exercising alone just doesn’t work for me. I need people around me to inspire me, hence why I love park run! People of all fitness levels attend.
3. Is this your first Partners Life Dual or Total Sport event? What other events have you done
and which has been your favourite?
This is my first event with Total sport and I’m super excited. I actually ran the Auckland half marathon last year and raised money for the heart foundation and when I finished I was looking for a new challenge, and found this race. I feel like it’s a huge challenge. I’m not sure I will be able to run the whole thing, but I’m looking forward to it.
4. What advice can you give those who want to follow in your footsteps of weight loss and to
those who just want to become more active?
My advice would be, believe in yourself! You can achieve anything you want, you just have to convince yourself that it maybe hard at first but you will soon find enjoyment in it. I hated running at first, but I soon realised that it’s a sport that brings people together. I run with so many running groups now, and I couldn’t imagine not exercising.
5. How do you feel exercise has helped you besides the amazing weight loss?
I am a teacher, and my days are stressful, I love wine (maybe a little too much) I am having a glass of wine whilst replying to this email, but I feel that I lead a healthy lifestyle but also enjoy so many of life pleasures (such as wine). I love exercising and even after a day at work, I always find comfort in going to a group fitness class and knowing that my body will be happy. I actually met a man in his 80’s at park run who has inspired me. He is 80 and can run his 5km so well, and he told me that he travels with his backpack even now in his 80’s and that’s because he stayed fit and runs and if he didn’t do that he wouldn’t be able to travel like he does.
I am a keen traveller and I love being able to take my backpack and just go, but that’s because I am 27. Looking at him in his 80’s and doing what he does – because he continues to take care if his body – is a real inspiration to me! I can drink wine, and run and study full time (I’m also studying online for a bachelors) and it makes me feel great! Having events that push and motivate me keep me going!
I can’t imagine going back to the couch potato that I used to be! The only thing I haven’t changed is my one drinking! I still can drink some wine and wake up the next day and smash out a run! You just have to know that anything is possible as long as you want it enough!
6. Anything else we should know about you?
I forgot to mention that my dad is an Ironman, and runs Ironman for fun (he is crazy). I always wanted him to be proud of me, and I always wanted him to see me as a runner. I feel like I can safely say that I am a runner now. I am doing the DUAL, and have signed up to run the Auckland half again, and I run weekly. I am a runner now! So that’s also I why I run. I want him to see me as a someone who runs. I’m so proud of him and his achievements. He is running the world toughest Ironman in June, in the Lake District. I’m going to go and cheer him on, now that I am a “runner” and I know the training that goes into races, I can appreciate what he is going to do!