Follow This Mother!

Say "Unkel!" Kelli Unkel and her happy girlies

Women who take up running to help in a weight-loss journey never fail to inspire us. Take Kelli Unkel, a mom in Grosse Pointe, Mich., who has lost 20 L-Bs since July. She's been training for her first 5K next month, although a leg injury (or two!) has her sidelined for a few weeks.  But she's not deterred: "I'm hooked on running!"

Best recent run: I didn’t feel like running a few weeks ago because I was super-tired from a rare late night out. I had previously told myself I was going to run every other day, no questions asked! So...I pushed (I mean pushed) myself to run very early in the morning and ran my farthest to date at that time (2.9 miles) and felt great after.

Weight-loss wisdom: I dieted for the first almost 20 years of my life in one way or another (and I’m only 33 now!). What I finally realized recently is that diets just don’t work for me. Broadly I am doing five things to lose weight and stay healthy (in addition to running): 1. Eating more natural, wholesome, healthy foods. 2. Eating reasonable portions. 3. Eating well-balanced meals. 4. Eating a variety of foods. 5. Only eating when I am hungry. I also make sure to eat a lot of different things, so I don’t get bored of certain foods. In the past when I tried to lose weight, I would always eat the same thing-- grilled chicken, turkey sandwiches, cereal, etc. I would get so sick of eating the same thing over and over again. The blog has really helped me with this because I post a new, tested recipe every week. I only post the best recipes (there are many that I try and don’t think are blog-worthy!). This forces me to try new things and go outside my comfort zone.

First-time 5K: I am so excited for my first race! I can’t even properly describe how excited I truly am. I have found running to be such a GREAT release. But I recently had a setback I am trying to not let get me down. Two weeks ago I got terrible shin splints, so I took a week off and iced and stretched. Then I went running again and had significant pain in my right calf. The orthopedist said it was most likely a stress fracture. I am truly hoping it’s just a bad shin splint. If it’s a stress fracture and I have to take off significant time from running,  I don’t know what I’ll do. At least I know I am truly a runner now: No matter what, I am not giving it up.

Babysitter or ice cream? Babysitter! Recently I hired a babysitter just so I could run and shower. I was steadily increasing my distance, running every other day and I didn’t want to miss a day. I think part of my success is making myself a priority. I think investing in yourself is very important. And ultimately you and your family will be better off for it!

Can’t run without: Music. Running has made me appreciate two things a lot more than I used to: the beauty of the outdoors, and music! I’ve finished every run I have ever planned or started, and I owe a lot of that to music. There are certain songs that have really pushed me through some hard runs. I feature a “Song That Kept Me Running” on my blog every week. Now when I am listening to the radio I’m always thinking, “would that be a good song to run to?”

One year from now: I see myself happy, confident, and being my own person. I see myself running half-marathons. I see myself tackling new challenges. I see myself continuing to write the “inspired chunky mama” blog, but just as a lot less chunky as I see myself at my goal weight.

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Kelli on her younger daughter's baptism day when she was 15 pounds heavier

12 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. We sound similar! I started training in July and have now completed 3 5K events. I haven’t been able to run the whole thing, but I am getting there. I find running a great release for my stress. I have a couple more 5K events coming up but am now trying to figure out where I go from here.

  2. I tried to look for a place to email you privately but didn’t see anything. Just wondering how a running mother, like myself, can get featured on your blog. I love reading about other running mothers and hope others would enjoy reading my blog as well. Thanks in advance for considering.

  3. In May of last year I reached my goal of losing 42 pounds. The only exercise I really did for that period was walking (towards the end I did a little running-very little). However, for the first time in my 43 years, I have managed to keep the weight off and THAT I attribute to running. Running inspires me to eat better in general. I am VERY goal oriented so without running and having the goals that running allows, I would have probably gained all the weight back because I was “goal-less”. Running has changed my life.

  4. Way to go Kelli! I love how you “See yourself running half marathons”, when I started running about two years ago I remember distinctly telling a great pal (who runs regularly…countless halfs etc) that I have no desire to run for two hours straight. 2 yeasr later and 3 halfs under my belt & I am hooked, my point? I love that you have the confidence, and determination so early in the game, that alone is inspiring!

  5. Yay! You just inspired me, Kelli! I’ve been so busy with a project the last two days, I keep putting off my morning run thinking I’ll get to it later, and of course I never do. Tomorrow, I will PUSH myself out the door.

  6. It was a lot of fun to read your profile! I hope your injury doesn’t sideline you for too long. Keep seeing half marathons in your future!

  7. Hey 🙂 Weight loss and a 5K – that’s the same way I got hooked! I hope your injury heals quick and I know you’ll be awesome on race day.

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