02/10/2014 08:42 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

After A Spontaneous Decision To Try Running, Hannah Geiser Lost 60 Pounds

Hannah Geiser

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Name: Hannah Geiser
Age: 20
Height: 5'5"
Before Weight: 190 pounds

How I Gained It: I have been a vegetarian all my life, and had the very misguided belief that because I did not eat meat, I could not be unhealthy. My diet consisted mainly of pasta, bread and cheese (or a combination of any two!). Walking to the mailbox was too much exercise for me. Physical activity and I did not mix. By the time I was 15, I was wearing size 16 pants and was convinced I was just "built bigger".

Breaking Point: I was browsing online for diet pills and liposuction at the ripe old age of 18. I realized something needed to change. I had been determined to lose weight without putting in any effort or changing my habits. I realized I needed to prioritize health over being skinny.

How I Lost It: One night, rather spontaneously, I decided to go for a run. To be honest, it was more of a pathetic half-run, half-crawl around the block. Despite that, I felt invigorated. If I could run for 30 seconds, surely I could build up to a minute, 10 minutes and even a mile. Being ambitious, I signed up for a half marathon right away. During the course of my eight-month training, weight loss was not my focus. I lost 40 pounds by doing nothing but running. No calorie counting!

I eventually reached a plateau at 155 to 160 pounds, so I began to log my calories. I tried to eat between 1,600 and 1,800 on running days, and 1,300 and 1,400 on rest days. I also started adding some new exercises to my routine like flow yoga, weight lifting, Pilates and Spinning. Not only did I lose weight, but I improved my metabolism and body fat percentage significantly.

There were times when it wasn't easy. Getting up at 4 a.m. and running 10 miles to avoid the Texas summer heat was not fun. There were times when the thought of downing an entire pizza was much more appealing than my quinoa and vegetable bowl. But I have never regretted a workout, and I absolutely love filling my body with wholesome and nutritious foods. It took me one year to lose the weight, and I have kept it off ever since. If I can do it, anyone can.

After Weight: 130 pounds
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