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Success Stories

How One Former Runner Rediscovered Her Inner Athlete

Megan Walsh works out during her lunch break at Intel's Core Performance Center.

Megan Walsh
Age: 38
Hometown: Chandler, Arizona
Occupation: Marketing Manager, Intel

The Challenge

In high school, Megan Walsh thrived on the hard work and team camaraderie that volleyball, swimming, basketball, and soccer provided. To stay fit as an adult, she spent her free time hiking, rock climbing, and snowboarding.

As her career took off, Walsh had less and less time for fitness (sound familiar?), so she worked hard during the week in the office and used her weekends for working out and participating in races. In May 2008, Walsh was out on a training ride in preparation for an upcoming triathlon. As she was biking home, she was hit by a car.

Walsh suffered a dislocated and separated shoulder, a busted collarbone, torn wrist tendons, and tons of cuts and gashes. She spent the next six months recovering. During this time, she found herself living a sedentary lifestyle due to her injuries, and she coped with the stress by eating. She started gaining weight, but hoped to get fit again after she healed.

Toward the end of her recovery, Walsh's doctor recommended surgery to fix her collarbone, which hadn't healed as expected. Due to a pre-planned cross-country move, Walsh was forced to put off the surgery until April 2009. While not impossible to work out, she found movement unpleasant and painful.

"I had put on even more weight by the time of the surgery, and I knew that I was looking at six months of downtime post-surgery," said Walsh. "So I thought why bother trying to get fit when I'm going to be unable to work out again so soon." 

By time she was given the go-ahead to start training again, Walsh was heavier than she’d ever been in her life. Embarrassed by the weight she'd gained and her deteriorating fitness level, she was ready to get back in shape and feel great. 

Walsh started looking for a program that would keep her accountable, but she loved being coached and knew she needed a great trainer. She signed up for a boot camp-style class, but wanted something that could help her regain her fitness and make overhaul her nutrition habits.

The Results

Walsh enrolled in Core Performance’s three-month pilot program through her job at Intel. In February 2010, she started training and set her goal to lose 15-20 pounds during the program (with an overall weight loss goal of 50 pounds). Each day at lunchtime, Walsh headed to the fitness center for 40 minutes of strength training and 25 minutes of cardio.

In addition to her training with Core Performance, she ran regularly during the week and started training for a half marathon. “I started to feel stronger within the first few weeks, but it took a few months for the pounds to really start falling off,” said Walsh.

During her program, she also committed to taking control of her unhealthy eating habits. An emotional eater, Walsh often found herself indulging even when she wasn’t hungry. (Are you an emotional eater? Click here to learn more.) With the advice and guidance of her trainers, she started to eat clean, track her eating habits, and focus on eating only when she was hungry. With her eating habits under control, she started to see major changes.

“The stability of the Core Performance program and encouragement and support I got from the coaches was a source of personal strength for me,” said Walsh.

Within a year of committing to get healthy, Walsh has lowered her blood pressure and cholesterol, overcome her asthma, and decreased pain in her lower back and ankle. She's also dropped 60 pounds and five dress sizes.

“In one year, I went from vastly unhappy, overweight, and unfit, to running half marathons again,” said Walsh. “I’ve learned that diet is critical to weight loss and fitness, and I now listen to my body and balance my life by following the 80/20 rule.”

After overcoming her weight loss hurdles, Walsh has signed up for a few 10Ks and adventure races, including the Chicago Half Marathon this summer. Her goal is to complete all of the races and run the Chicago Half Marathon in 2:10—13 minutes faster than her personal record.

For more on Walsh's weight loss journey, watch the video below.

Tags: Weight Loss, Race, Work, Women, Motivation