Katie Foster, 31, became a runner “to continue to eat cookies (and all sweet things!)” and along the way discovered she could help inspire other runners seeking to maintain weight loss by writing about her journey. Her story has caught the attention of national media--she's appeared as a guest on the Dr. Oz Show and NBC's Today. Katie, who lives with husband Jerry and their two boys Noah, 8, and Eli, 7, in Newport Mich., is training for this fall’s Chicago Marathon.
Best recent run: My sister came to visit from Illinois, and we went for a run together at the State Park. This was SO fun for me, because my sister just started running in December. She never dreamed she’d be a runner, and now I think I got her hooked on it! A few weeks after we ran in the State Park, I surprised her by flying to Illinois and running her first half-marathon with her. She had no idea I was coming, and it was so fun to surprise her!
Sweet Tooth: I started Runs for Cookies to keep myself accountable when I’d lost 125 pounds. I was terrified of gaining the weight back, and I wanted to document my daily successes and struggles in maintenance. I find when I write out my running goals on my blog, I’m much more likely to follow through with them. It would be embarrassing if I wrote about my goals and then didn’t try my hardest to reach them! My blog also gives me inspiration from my readers. Sometimes they tell me things like, “I really didn’t want to exercise today, but after I read your blog, I went out for a run.” Reading that makes me want to inspire people to work on reaching their own goals.
Speaking of Cookies…: I don’t think I’ve ever tried a cookie I didn’t like! I treat myself to some sort of indulgent dessert after my long runs each week (I really do have a big sweet tooth), and my favorite is a chocolate chip cookie with buttercream frosting. I couldn’t eat those and maintain my weight if I didn’t do a little running beforehand! I love that running allows me to eat those treats.
Favorite Race Distance: My favorite race distance is the 10K. A 5K feels like a sprint to me, which means I don’t enjoy it because I’m focusing on not throwing up; a half-marathon is a nice distance, too, but toward the end I just can’t wait for it to be over. The 10K is perfect distance--long enough to where I can pace myself well, but short enough that I’m not dying for it to be over. Some of my best races have been 10Ks.
Losing Weight, Finding Herself: My readers keep me motivated on a daily basis. When I’m struggling, they make me realize I’m not alone; when I’m successful, they cheer me on; and when I have a bad day or two (or 10), they help me see how important it is to get back on track. Staying motivated is hard, and there are a lot of times when I feel anything BUT motivated. But I’m very determined when I want something, so I do my best to stay focused. One of my biggest hurdles is summertime. I use the “But it’s summer!” excuse to eat and drink more than normal. But I’m learning more about myself (and maintenance) on a daily basis, through trial and error, so hopefully I’ll get it all figured out one day!
Watch Out, Windy City!: I’m running the Chicago Marathon with my friend Andrea in October! She’s lost over 100 pounds as well, and it will be her first marathon. I’m going along to support her in reaching her goal. Our main focus is to have fun and enjoy the scenery (and burn some serious calories so we can eat Chicago-style pizza afterward!).