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Angela Gillis: Team Healthy Kids Ambassador

“I was an unhealthy kid, and that carried over into my adult life to an out of control problem. In 2011, my husband, Willie, and I decided to take back our lives to lose the weight. Together we lost 500 pounds; he lost 300 and I lost 200. I fell in love with running, and I run all the time. Since losing the weight, it’s been a big focus of mine to lead by example and really show kids living a healthier lifestyle is a great thing…. I was searching through the charity list and my heart was overjoyed when I found Team Healthy Kids.”

Little did I imagine that email I sent to Team Healthy Kids about running the Chicago Marathon in 2015 would be life-changing. I had already gone through a life-changing experience as a result of my husband and I making a pact on our first wedding anniversary to lose the weight together. I now know that journey led me to my next life-changing experience with Team Healthy Kids.

Our weight loss pact was sparked by the birth of our goddaughter and our desire to set a good example and be there for her, and our nieces, as they grow up. That, combined with my own experience as an overweight child, made it a natural progression for me to choose to run the Chicago Marathon with Team Healthy Kids. It’s disheartening that kids today are even less active than I was growing up. My husband and I lost weight and gained a second chance at life by choosing healthier options, and things are different for us now. We all need to help kids make the right choices now so they don’t have to go through what we went through to get healthy.

So how did someone who never thought she could run become a marathon runner? I started walking on the treadmill. When I got bored of walking, I started running. The next thing I knew, I had registered for my first marathon in Memphis in December 2013. The marathon was cancelled due to inclement weather, but I ran my 26.2 miles anyway with my husband cheering me on the entire time after he ran the also cancelled half-marathon. It was cold and miserable, but it was the beginning of an amazing journey we have been on ever since.

I encourage anyone to run a marathon and be amazed by what your body and mind are capable of doing. And make your miles count by running with Team Healthy Kids. Don’t wait. Email teamhealthykids@actionforhealthykids.org today.

Learn more about Angela and Willie’s amazing weight loss journey:
WeBeatFat.com
Woman’s Day, March 2016
Today Show, January 2016
Runner’s World, December 2015
CNN, March 2013

Categories: Team Healthy Kids