"My daughter will say, mommy come run with me and in my old life that never would have happened." Two years ago, Sara Miller weighed 269 pounds. She's now nearly half that - and she credits her family - in part, for her weight loss. "I started running as an anniversary gift to my husband."
Her husband does triathlons, he's an exercise enthusiast. It was his dream to one day do a race with his wife. "So I said okay, I'll train to do a 5K." Sara remembers, "it was really because I didn't have an anniversary gift picked out yet !"
The gift to her husband is the gift that keeps on giving. It's helped her shed more than 120 pounds over the last two years after struggling with her weight her entire adult life. "When our son Lincoln was born, it was very easy to say 'it's a boy so he'll watch Dave and be just like Dave.' I thought he wouldn't struggle with weight because he'd model after his dad and be okay."
The birth of Sara's daughter - a day before her 30th birthday - changed everything. The minute the doctor said, "it's a girl," - Sara says knew she could no longer hide from her responsibility. it was *her turn to be the role model. "You know I'm looking at this little girl and thinking about all the promise that this baby has in this tiny little body and realizing there's no reason my body can't have that promise, because at one time it did."
Sara started monitoring her diet the day after Coraline was born. Six weeks later, she joined Weight Watchers. Fruit replaced doughnuts and she started viewing food as fuel. Her attitude about "diets" changed entirely. "I don't feel like I'm doing this until I get to a certain point and then I can be done - hallelujah!" she laughs, "I will probably be doing this until the day I die because it's that important to me. I don't want to let this go."
Sara now measures everything she eats and even makes her own yogurt, to avoid preservatives and extra sugar. And on the side of the fridge, there's another motivator. It's a two year old picture in which Sara is about twice the woman she is now. "Dave says I walk differently and just carry myself differently and I feel like that self-confidence comes from not necessarily having a smaller body, but from accomplishing something I set out to do."
Sara made good on that anniversary promise and finished her first 5-k last year. Her children were there to watch their mom - and role model - cross the finish line.
Sara also writes a blog, which she says helped her work through some of her issues about weight and food.