"I Became a Runner and Lost Over 100 Pounds!"

I was tired of feeling tired, sick, and worn out from just walking a flight of stairsI was tired of feeling tired, sick, and worn out from just walking a flight of stairsAndrea "Andi" Ball, 31
Elkridge, Maryland

was at my highest weight in January of 2011--103 pounds heavier than I am now--and I was so frustrated! I was constantly tired and knew that something needed to change. I started with classes at the gym and small diet changes. While recovering from a serious illness in June of 2011 that spiraled into acute renal failure, I got winded just walking a flight of stairs. I examined what I needed to do to be the best me that I could be. I started a couch-to-5-K training program two months later.

TRY THIS: The World's Easiest Couch-to-5K Plan

SECRET OF MY SUCCESS: What really helped keep me on track was making my goals very public plus joining a training group. When you tell people that you're training for something and they ask how training is going or what your next race is, it really helps to get you out the door on the days when your internal motivation may be lacking. It is a giant boost to have people "like" your status when you've completed a new distance or a tough workout. The training group also helped to keep me accountable and on track. It's refreshing to know that people miss you when you skip a workout. As individual as running is, it provides a real team-like atmosphere in a group. I found this especially true when slogging through the 20-mile training runs over the summer with my friends!

RELATED: 10 Secrets for Weight Loss That Lasts

I've never been more motivated to reach my goals in other aspects of my life than I am now. Running has taught me to be patient, to trust the process, and that anything worth doing is worth training for and doing well. It has made me a better wife, coworker, friend, nurse, sister, daughter, and person in general. Setting and accomplishing goals on a physical level has encouraged me to push myself in other areas. I studied for and sat for two national nursing certifications in the past year. I have more self-confidence, drive, and compassion for others than I've ever known. My life is infinitely better since I started on this journey, and I don't see it coming to an end anytime soon. I'm proof that the hardest decision to make is the decision to try and to believe in yourself and your own unique abilities.

PLUS: The Truth About 8 Confusing Weight Loss Questions

To go slow. I was initially frustrated because I'd get tired and become short of breath so quickly. Once I slowed the pace, I could run farther and longer and was much more satisfied with how much I was accomplishing. Speed comes eventually.

Written by the Editors of Runner's World

More from Runner's World:

The Best Running Shoes for Your Foot Type

6 Surprising Benefits of Running

Running Tools for Beginners